OPINION: An Open Letter To ‘Non-Gun’ America

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Dear Non-Gun Owner,

I am writing you today to discuss firearm ownership in America. Fear not – I will not talk down to you, belittle you or call you names. For instance, I could have used the term “anti-gun” instead of “non-gun” in the title, but that would have immediately put you on the defensive. That is not my intent.

I also will refrain from invoking grandiose constitutional arguments or partisan political statements – in reality, I don’t need them. What I would like to do is explain why the restriction on inanimate objects in the United States is not only ineffective, but also goes against our way of life as a free society.


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I. Introduction:

Besides being a life-long shooter, I have lived in almost every part of this country: the South, the Northeast, the West, the Midwest even in the middle of the Pacific. I have lived in both rural areas and big cities. I have traveled the world personally and professionally – and not to just the nice places, either.

I am also a husband, a father, a tax payer and a community member. I have worked both “blue collar” and “white collar” jobs. I am also a law enforcement officer with two decades of experience who has seen both the best and worst examples of the American populace. So, I feel that I have a fairly broad, even-keeled perspective on gun ownership in the United States.

Aside from a select few topics, you would be hard-pressed to find something as polarizing as firearms ownership in the U.S. As such, I certainly don’t have any delusions that a single open letter will do anything to change the mindset of any non-gun owners. However, I would like to try.


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II. The Unfair Analogy: Alcohol

The analogy between firearms ownership and the legal consumption of alcohol is unfair – to gun owners. But if I am going to attempt to explain a topic for which you have little to no understanding or basis, I need a comparable consumer-based industry in which to draw certain parallels.

Why is the comparison between firearms and the possession and consumption of alcohol unfair to gun owners? For one, alcohol is a mood-altering drug that effects each of its users in different ways. Firearms, on the other hand, are inanimate objects that have no chemical or pharmaceutical properties.

Second, there is no actual need for alcohol – its consumption is strictly for entertainment purposes only. Firearms, however, can fill distinctive rolls: protection, defense, hunting as well as entertainment top the list of why some Americans own firearms.

So, knowing these differences, why bother to compare firearms with alcohol at all? Because many of you drink alcohol. And most of you who do drink alcoholic beverages do so in spite of the health and public safety risks that go along with the entire industry itself. And even if you don’t drink, you know of others who do, and probably don’t judge them or attempt to take away their right to drink.

Another reason to compare guns to the alcohol industry is sheer numbers: even though firearm ownership has increased in the last few years, its numbers still pale in comparison to the number of Americans who imbibe regularly. So if you aren’t a gun owner and I’m trying to find a common point of reference that a large swath of America can understand, drinking alcohol might be a good place to start. Again, it’s not perfect, but in my opinion it is much more viable than using the tobacco industry or passenger cars as examples.

So now that we have our baseline comparison, let’s begin.

Why does the United States continue to allow the legal sale, possession and use of alcohol? Its use only serves entertainment value, however the detrimental health effects from the consumption of alcohol is well documented. The social consequences of the abuse of alcohol are also wide-reaching. And the public safely concerns of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, domestic violence, sexual assault and many other crimes have a direct correlation with the use of alcohol.

Knowing all of these facts, the use of alcohol should have been banned long ago as a menace to society. We could talk about the failed prohibition days, but that had everything to do social progressive crusaders and  nothing to do with protecting public safety. Yet today, for all intents and purposes, the beer, wine and liquor industry is stronger than ever. But why? For one reason countless people drink socially and don’t want the industry banned or restricted. They enjoy drinking and they are willing to accept the risks of doing something that may have unintended consequences like those mentioned above.

Again, the comparison is unfair – alcohol serves no purpose. And whether you like it (or understand it) or not, firearms have many legitimate uses that are not purely entertainment-based.


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III. Looking At The Numbers.

I detest statistics. Besides being nearly impossible to boil down dynamic events into mathematical data sets, statistics can be easily manipulated in favor of one side or another. However, people, especially Americans, prefer “hard data” when discussing emotional topics. As such, I guess I am forced to play along.

A. Let’s take a look at Operating Under the Influence (OUI) statistics as posted from the Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website:

(http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/about/drunk-driving-statistics.html)

  • Every two minutes, someone is injured by a drunk driver.
  • Every day, 27 people die from drunk driving.

Those numbers are staggering. Why haven’t we as Americans moved to ban the consumption of alcohol based on these drunk driving statistics alone?

B. Let’s look at the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control on liver cirrhosis:

(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/liver-disease.htm)

  • Number of deaths: 36,427
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 11.5

An overwhelming majority of these cases are caused by alcohol abuse. So why not ban the use of alcohol?

C. Let’s take a look at the overall public safety statistics related to alcohol as presented by the CDC:

(http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm)

Short-Term Health Risks

Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following:

  • Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.6,7
  • Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.6-10
  • Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.11
  • Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.12,13
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.6,12,14,15

Long-Term Health Risks

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but here are are a couple counterpoints that you may be thinking:

It’s ironic that you cite the CDC since they have been prohibited from studying firearm related injuries and deaths.

I guess it’s ironic, however remember, guns aren’t chemicals, pharmaceuticals or mood altering drugs. They are just inanimate objects. In addition, it’s not like we have no studies or statistics to base injuries and deaths from guns in the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program keeps comprehensive statistics on all types of crime, including gun deaths.

The statistics on the public health risks you posted above pertain to the abuse of alcohol, not the safe use of alcohol.

I understand. So you don’t want me to judge a large cross section of society based on the actions of a small group irresponsible or criminal abusers? Got it. Can I ask the same consideration from you about gun ownership?


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IV. Laws and Regulations

Another argument in the comparison between alcohol and firearms is that, over the years, alcohol education, deterrence and enforcement through legislation have attempted to reduce the risk of injury or death. So why haven’t gun laws followed suit? Why can’t gun owners make “reasonable” concessions to make everyone “safer”. The truth is, there have been many firearms laws passed:

  • National Firearms Act (“NFA”) (1934): Taxes the manufacture and transfer of, and mandates the registration of Title II weapons such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, heavy weapons, explosive ordnance, silencers, and disguised or improvised firearms.
  • Federal Firearms Act of 1938 (“FFA”): Requires that gun manufacturers, importers, and persons in the business of selling firearms have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Prohibits the transfer of firearms to certain classes of persons, such as convicted felons.
  • Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (1968): Prohibited interstate trade in handguns, increased the minimum age to 21 for buying handguns.
  • Gun Control Act of 1968 (“GCA”): Focuses primarily on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.
  • Firearm Owners Protection Act (“FOPA”) (1986): Revised and partially repealed the Gun Control Act of 1968. Prohibited the sale to civilians of automatic firearms manufactured after the date of the law’s passage. Required ATF approval of transfers of automatic firearms.
  • Undetectable Firearms Act (1988): Effectively criminalizes, with a few exceptions, the manufacture, importation, sale, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or receipt of firearms with less than 3.7 oz of metal content.
  • Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990): Prohibits unauthorized individuals from knowingly possessing a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
  • Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (1993): Requires background checks on most firearm purchasers, depending on seller and venue.
  • Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004): Banned semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices. The law expired in 2004.

Remember, in what many refer to as the “simpler times” that followed World War II, all types of firearms could be mail ordered from places like the Sears catalog and delivered right to your door. So, to say we haven’t enacted firearms laws is simply not true.

But gun regulations and laws in the United States are so much different than in other parts of the world. Why do we live in a ‘Gun-Culture’.

The reverse can be said for consumption laws in many countries throughout the world, where, for example, drinking is socially acceptable among younger age groups than legally allowed here at home.

So, what are you trying to say? That it is ok to die or be injured from a firearm because your could also die or be injured from an alcohol related incident?

Not at all. I think that non-gun Americans need to rethink their aversion to risk when it comes to firearms, because they will gladly accept the risk of living in a free society when it come time to doing something they want to do, like consuming alcohol and supporting an industry that can cause so many social issues.


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V.  Conclusion

Laws and regulations barring the possession and use of inanimate objects are completely ineffective. Humans need to evolve in a way that addresses violence, impulse control and myriad of other societal issues. Simply taking away objects only treats us like children, creating disdain, anger and furthering inequality.

I could go on for pages, identifying all the negatives of alcohol in America. Gory details of death, injury and loss. A billion-dollar industry whose singular purpose is to give people a chemical high. Tales of ruined lives that start from the bottom of a bottle or a can.

Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it?

The truth is, no one is calling for the end of all (or even parts) of the alcoholic beverage industry. For one, because scary looking bottles of swill aren’t being paraded across the tv and Internet as being evil incarnate. But mostly it’s because in America, almost everyone drinks. And because it’s so mainstream, the industry will remain, no matter what the risk is to the American people.

And I’m fine with it – because I accept those risks as well.


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VI.  A Request Of non-gun Owning americans

I am not asking you to change your mind on gun ownership (right now, anyway). I am asking you to gauge the hypocrisy that may be playing out within you. Do you believe that so-called “assault weapons” should be banned, but you enjoy a gin and tonic on your porch? Do you “not understand why anyone needs a gun” while you head out to the bar on a Friday night? Is it really because you think it’s a public safety hazard, or is it because you are not part of that specific demographic. Be honest with yourself: are you more likely be hurt from an alcohol incident or a firearm incident? How do you honestly deal with that dichotomy?

And if you don’t drink, why are you not calling for a second Prohibition before more gun laws? The health and safety risks are clear. We don’t treat legal drinkers as criminals, so why should we treat legal gun owners that way? We don’t call for the ban on hard liquor over beer because they are somehow “more dangerous”.

Like alcohol, firearms are the horse that has left the proverbial barn. Closing the door is not an option. As Americans, we need to find new ways to deal with criminal behavior and our fulfill our responsibilities as good human beings

Stop and make the comparison. It might just open your eyes.

Respectfully,

One American Firearm Owner

p.s. In case you somehow missed the point, I’m not  calling for any restrictions on alcoholic beverages (like most Americans, I do enjoy a good drink now and then).

 

(Views expressed herein are strictly personal.)



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Pilot

    First!!! But seriously, this letter is amazing. I truly hope everyone reads it and can understand it and maybe change some minds.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      First? Seriously?

      That was the bottom of the barrel intellegence back in 2005. Stop it. The rating system puts relavent comments on top, no concern for when you happened to click an article.

      This article will change no minds. And frankly a little off topic for TFB.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed…

        • Dont mind him. He comes to this site only to antagonize (and never contributes or posts anything positive regarding an article).
          Good job Pete. You worked hard on this and it shows.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Thanks Alex.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Hilarious, lets go to a gun site and argue with each other about the best way to argue.

          • grunion

            That’s a liberal exercise.

        • Mark

          If it makes you feel better I actually got out of bed this morning and stepped on a wasp that stung me on the arch of my foot. I still enjoyed your article. So to clarify, a wasp somehow got in to my home at night, then to my room, and on the floor directly to the side of my bed at 6:45am so that I could step on it. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES!

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Ban wasps!

          • I have been stung by scorpions five times in my 43 years on This Green Earth, and four of those times were in my own %$#& bed.

            that’s not counting the time I felt something crawling on my shoulder while sleeping, and from a deep REM sleep, reflexively ninja-punched another scorpion to pieces without being stung.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Growing up in West Texas we hung our shoes up in the closet at night to keep scorpions out and when I got up in the middle of the night to piss I always turned on a light and checked out the floor first.
            Stepping on one is extremely unpleasant.

          • me

            Just last week I was stung by one of those little bastards. Somehow it was in my shirt that I took straight out of the dryer.

          • Here’s how you keep the little $#!+s out of your footwear, and permanently stop foot funk: put dryer sheets in your shoes or boots when you take ’em off for the day. Completely eliminates foot odor, and the aggressive scent the sheets give off is like a chemical warfare area denial weapon to bugs.

          • Pastor Dan

            I have read volumes of tales about the benefits of dryer sheets outside the dryer. Just asking, out of nothing more than curiosity: How many of those things do you go through in, say, a month’s time?

          • Takes six or eight weeks to use up an 80-count box, which is all of $3.50 at the local H-E-B.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Pfft, “first” deserves a lot worse than what I said.

          As to the article, it’s nice, it’s written decently and it’s correct IMO. But will change no minds.

          1/2 because no one who needs to will see it, 1/2 because you should already know it’s not about facts or reason. It’s about feelings.

      • Sasquatch

        You know there is a nice little sort button by the comment box. It can really be handy if you want to see FIRST!!! or best comments. So its ok….Take a midol and relax. ☺

        • Cory C

          I think he was just busting your chops.

        • grunion

          Would you guys please take out to the playground?

      • A negative attitude will change nobody’s mind

        • Sasquatch

          My momma always said ” you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

          • Pastor Dan

            Now we know that you have at least one intelligent parent. Nothing against your poppa, mind you, I’m just saying that I agree with your momma. This time, at least.

          • Sasquatch

            First off how does this relate. Second what do you mean this time? Who do you think you are. I will have you know I was raised by two intelligent parents. You need to check yourself before you reck yourself.

          • Pastor Dan

            Thank you for your comment. Let me start over.

            I don’t know her at all except from what you just wrote about her, but in my opinion, your mother sounds smart. That’s all I meant to say.

            Now, seeing that you assert that you had two intelligent parents, I have no cause to doubt you. I just feel that I should be clear that the only evidence upon which my above opinion is based is the evidence that you just provided. I suspect that you could tell me many fine things about each parent, but that will have to wait until we each have some time to share.

            I hope this helps.

            Peace and blessings to you and yours.

          • Sasquatch

            I am not stupid. I know you don’t know my mother. It would of been a lot smoother just saying that my mother is smart and leaving it at that. Your words implied that you were belittling me and my parents.

          • Pastor Dan

            Okay, sir, if you see it that way, I am sorry that my originally presented phraseologies were so convoluted as to permit various and sundry interpretations. Such was not my intent, whatsoever. I should have said simply, “You got a smart momma,” and let that pronouncement stand or fall on its’own merits, or lack thereof. I will be more careful with future posts.

          • Sasquatch

            It’s ok I do forgive you.

          • Pastor Dan

            Thank you. I am happy to hear that.

          • grunion

            Pal, you are out of your element. Go to a blog where you will have at least some relevance. No offense, just silly to read your baiting and apologetic musings. One could even suspect you are a troll with disinformation and little else on your mind. Your methods are suspect because their use is ancient. OK, I’m done with you.

          • Cory C

            Or as Alexander Hamilton said is Federalist 1, “For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.”

          • Pastor Dan

            Mohammed’s marauders never read that, did they?

  • Kala Shnicat

    request: put in firearm stats on part III, otherwise a non-gun owner has nothing to compare against.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I intentionally left off gun stats. I didn’t want the debate to center on a numbers game. Plus, non-owners already get bombarded with stats, correct or not.

      • glasswolf

        Not to mention that unfortunately there is no database for defensive use of firearms, which far exceeds the number of criminal uses, but there is no way to quantitatively prove that, since often times the mere sight of a defensive firearm deters the crime from happening, and is not reported to any law enforcement agency. Nearly every murder however, is reported and cataloged. Also, if we took gang-related violence and suicides out of the equation, we’d be left with hardly any gun-related homicides in this country.

        • Sylvio

          Nor will one never exist, rightly. Lawfully armed gun owners (LAGOs) already feel beset by un-Constitutional, unfair and hysterical attention from those with primitive irrational fear of guns who have one goal: to disarm everyone. Everytown, Hillary, Chris Murphy, deny it despite all the evidence to the contrary. Logically, many millions of no-shot-fired defensive gun uses happen without fanfare or government record-taking. But the anti-gun left pretend unless it’s written down, it’s not real. Sorry, we’ve fallen for that before: they’ll revise the records, while revising history, to suit them.

          This is what happens when we lowered the voting age to 18. And they’ve already started getting away with lowering it more by allowing high schoolers to pre-register so they can vote as soon as they turn 18 if they age-in within 30 days of election.

          Or sooner, because voter fraud is non-existent according to them.

  • Parnell

    Well written, a cogent argument.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Sweet, sweet alcohol…

    • M.M.D.C.

      “Second, there is no actual need for alcohol – its consumption is strictly for entertainment purposes only. ”

      I don’t know, life without beer would be… well, sad.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        No joke.
        Look at the two yahoos we have to choose from for president and tell me you dont need a drink.

        • M.M.D.C.

          I am truly grateful for beer. Ale, in particular.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Summertime in Houston would be unbearable without it.

          • b4k9zp

            I dunno. Soft drinks are an acceptable substitute, IMO.

            Not a teetotaler by any means, just never really developed a taste for most lagers–I do like German style Bock beers, and stouts, like Guinness. Though if the beer companies depended solely on my business for them to exist, they’d quickly close down.

          • Pastor Dan

            Lemonade. Strawberry lemonade. Raspberry lemonade. Iced tea. Cold filtered water. Cranapple.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            God no, the last thing I need is a sugary syrupy concoction that maintains sobriety.

          • Edeco

            yeah, I lost interest in sweetened soft drinks the day I turned able to get alcohol. Waste of calories, throw off my constitution.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Ive actually been attempting not to drink beer Sun-Thur but when Friday rolls around and I start knocking them back my tolerance has been thrown off so much I end up with a hangover on Saturday.
            Maybe I need to get halfway drunk on Wednesday just to balance my constitution.

          • b4k9zp

            That’s your preference, though actually , IIRC, there’s more sugar in a 12 ounce can of beer than there is in a cola drink.

          • grunion

            Beer is irrelevant in Houston. Air conditioning is the only modern creation necessary to survive in that hell hole

          • adverse4

            Beer, propane and BBQ, the air conditioning is gravy. “Hell Hole”? You brute you. May your jeans be so tight your boots blow off when you fart.

          • grunion

            I was born and reared in Houston but I still have the feeling we would get along. Similar approach to humor…

          • adverse4

            Ain’t that the truth……….

        • FarmerB

          “Yahoos” that’s an interesting noun to use. I wonder if it indicates something about your background?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Possibly.
            Do you have a point?

          • b4k9zp

            Sounds like he’s had at least a passing acquaintance with Dr. Jonathan Swift and his “Gulliver’s Travels”./ Dr. Swift, in Part IV of that classic, wrote about the “land of the Houyhnhnms”. This was a land where the dominant animals were a race of intelligent horses, which could manipulate tools with their hooves and could converse with each other in their horse language. There was a race of slaves, called “yahoos” who were human like, but had no ability to think in organized manner. Dr. Swift intended his description of the “Yahoos” to represent all that is bad about human beings, while the houyhnhnms were representatives of the best of humanity. .

          • FarmerB

            Well beyond my literary knowledge base – thanks for the source. There are parts of the world, particularly in the Antipides, where the term is used to describe wild, uneducated, badly behaved youth. I don’t recall Hearing it elsewhere, particularly in North America.

          • b4k9zp

            Gulliver’s Travels used to be taught in either junior English or Senior English in all the high schools in Texas. But I guess the liberals thought that it was “too hard” for the poor little 17 and 18 year old “kids”, like a LOT of other things that are no longer taught in public schools–like American History and US Government.

          • Pathetically true unfortunately——

          • hiernonymous

            Huh. American History and U.S. Government are still mandatory here in 11th and 12th grades, respectively. They were removed from the curriculum where you live?

            BTW, notice that the author of this piece provides yet another in the long, long line of examples I’ve provided to you concerning the use of the phrase “gun deaths.” Note that he, as a literate English-speaker, uses the phrase to mean “deaths in which guns were the instrument employed,” not – as you have insisted is the only possible meaning – “the deaths of guns.” One trusts that you are taking note and learning.

          • b4k9zp

            Effectively, they have been flatulence, for the students are not being taught the constitution, or the actual history of the USA.

            More flatulence from both ends from you as always. Gun deaths means that that the guns were once living things that can die. Of course logical and rational people know that’s impossible, since the guns are not living things.

          • hiernonymous

            Effectively, they have been flatulence”

            Oh, so they’re still taught, and you lied about the courses no longer being taught? What you meant to say is that they’re taught, but don’t teach all of the things you want them to teach?
            You might want to have a look at this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.Gov/pubmed/6357967
            “Butcher’s knife wounds, are they really so contaminated?”
            It deals with infections in knife wounds. This should be of interest to you for the linguistic construction, not the content. About now, you should be protesting that knives can’t have wounds – therefore, the phrase “knife wound” is meaningless.
            The problem is not that you are uniquely insightful and logical and understand the language better than the scholars, academics, officials, journalists, authors, and others who regularly use these constructions; the problem is that you do not understand the flexibility and full range of the language, and are blaming your own limitations and incomprehension on others.
            You can’t offer a rational reason that the first component in these constructions – the ‘gun’ in ‘gun deaths,’ or the ‘knife’ in ‘knife wounds’ – can’t refer to an instrument or means, rather than an agency. You simply keep bleating out your insistence that guns can’t die.
            The stench you are smelling is not virtual flatulence, but the rot of your own stagnation and ignorance.

          • grunion

            I have come to flatulate (Made up word) not to burn.

          • hiernonymous

            Vice versa for me.

          • b4k9zp

            The only stench I smell, flatulence, is that of YOUR ceaseless burping and gas passing at all times. Nothing you have ever stated has ever been based on fact at any time.

          • hiernonymous

            You’re not even trying.

          • b4k9zp

            Don’t need to, for your posts prove that my statements are accurate.

          • hiernonymous

            You’re failing the Turing Test again.

          • b4k9zp

            You fail all tests for intelligence at all times. For your posts are nothing but flatulence (and particularly smelly flatulence at that) at all times.

          • b4k9zp

            You fail every intelligence test at all times, for none your posts are anything but flatulence and particularly smelly and odorous flatulence at any time.

          • hiernonymous

            The Turing Test is not an “intelligence test,” you moron.

            Though, to be sure, you just failed a self-administered intelligence test.

          • grunion

            His gaming of the language is no different than what the politicians have done to us in the last 50 years with their “Special” meanings for words. I said “X” but really meant “Y” is what I hear from our feckless leaders every day. I despise our lying politicians and their minions as they steal our money to achieve affluence. Affluent effluence.

          • James Kiser

            Used all the time in parts of the south.

          • FarmerB

            Good to know – I obviously don’t get south enough (in the US) often enough.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            Ditto what James Kiser said. People here in Oklahoma use it regularly to describe people who act strange or goofy.

          • grunion

            I have heard the term in Texas since I can remember. That would be around 60 years of listening.

          • grunion

            You must be joking,

        • Brian Nunes

          No, there is another…

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Feel the Johnson

          • jay

            Or, feel my johnson.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Will it Bern?

          • jay

            If the Johnson Bern, see the doctor. But vote Trump, or get the std hillary. ;-}

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            The idea of Hillary being sexually contracted truly makes me shudder.

          • jay

            Probably the same response billy would give, if huma didn’t take care of hillary. ;-}

          • jay

            I don’t think I much like hillary’s new symbol.

        • Pastor Dan

          That’s a hard point to counter. I just refuse to give either of them that much control over my decision-making for as long as possible.

        • Well when you put it that way:-(

      • Longhaired Redneck

        Benjamin Franklin once said that the existence of beer 🍺 is proof that God loves us…

        • adverse4

          What he said.

  • Mike C

    Since you’re discussing alcohol and firearms, you could have brought up the fact that we have gun laws thanks to the gang violence that occurred as a result of the feel-good ban of alcohol and the business opportunity it created. So much for laws stopping illegal activity and making people safer…

    • KestrelBike

      Which was brought on by the temperance movement, brought to you by limp wristed beta males (the precursor to white knight hillary voters).

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        I have noticed that there are a disturbingly large amount of parrslels between the two issues. If you have some (read: a lot) of time on your hands, watch Ken Burns: Prohibition. As I watched, I realized just how emotionally driven America has been run, and could not help but notice the same arguments being used against alcohol then as are being used against guns today.

        • BryanS

          The Progressive / Temperance movement was the forge for many horrible ideas, like the political indoctrination of children (so come voting time, they side with the movement that controls the school).

          • Oh, they’ve long since gone Next Level with that sort of thing; now the kids are indoctrinated by whoever controls the textbooks, because that way you can force rightthink into the heads of the impressionable youth nationwide.

          • grunion

            Not if you take the job of parenting as seriously as it should.

          • b4k9zp

            It appears that the only persons who take the job of parenting seriously are those who “home school”–and their kids are generally better educated in every field than those who are educated in the publicly supported schools, according to their scores on the SAT and ACT college admissions tests.

        • Pastor Dan

          Took me forever to see “parallels” in there, but it makes a lot of sense now.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            Sorry, sometimes I think faster than I can type 🙂

          • Pastor Dan

            Auto-correct is not always our friend, either.

      • FYI, “beta males” is one of those phrases like “the Jewish Problem” that immediately outs you as someone whose opinions are 100% worthless. Try to avoid using it in conversations about guns– I actually like having Second Amendment rights, thanks.

        • Cory C

          Ouch. That’s a bit harsh. I’d argue that the phrase “the Jewish Problem” seeks to malign a group of people based on ethnic characteristics and familial ties largely beyond their control, whereas referring to chubby hipsters who live in their mom’s basement and have a general push-over vibe as beta males is an attack on character, which is a far lesser evil.

          • I would have gone with “cuck” instead, but I’d forgotten about it at the time because it’s not a thing intelligent people with valid opinions ever use unironically.

          • Cory C

            Haha. But do you give no credence to the fact that they’re both really funny phrases?

            I’m kidding, of course. But on a serious note, TUA, I’ve come to appreciate your insight. I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say. You’re a credit to our state.

    • Blake

      That is a very good point.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Isn’t a big difference between alcohol and firearms is that you can shoot someone with a gun?

    • John Yossarian

      Well that sounds like a challenge! If you prefer to be killed with a lethal dose of ethanol, we have ways of making that happen.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        How often have someone been killed by being forced to drink alcohol? Probably has happened.

        How often has some been killed by getting shot? Probably has happened at some point too.

        Are we talking about someone killing themselves accidentally with alcohol or intentionally, vice versa for guns.

        I like firearms and while this article has the spirit, but it doesn’t make any sense factually, because the comparison is dumb.

        • Xanderbach

          I think a comparison that may work for you is drunk driving. That counts as someone getting killed by alcohol. Drunk driving (like murder) is ALREADY illegal, yet tens of thousands of people die each year from it, often those not even involved in the ingestion of alcohol.
          It is a sound comparison

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            But how many people intentionally get drunk, jump in a car and deiced to kill a specific person with that car? Drunk and the death(s) that result from them are more often that not unintentional.

            The injuries and deaths that can result from drinking alcohol are often accidents. Other times alcohol makes people more violent.

            When people get hurt due to the involvement of alcohol it’s usually not something the person or people wanted to happen, not to say that you can blame everything on the drink and then be done with it however.

            But when people get hurt or killed due to getting shot it is often what the person or people who did the shooting meant to do.

            Some people get guns to hurt or kill other people with the intention of doing just that, or they own a gun and end up doing one or the other due to various reasons (like alcohol f.e)

            I’ve never heard of many cases were someone gets tanked in order to hurt or kill.

          • ThatGuy

            The article is more about risk and associated causes, rather than a direct cause and effect correlation, hence the analogy. It’s a stretch but I do see his point and appreciate his time to articulate it.

            I ask people what’s the difference between an AR and a scalpel, as they’re both instruments that can take lives and save lives too. We need more people to understand the latter, and that usually starts when they realize the police are not legally responsible for saving anyone. Acceptance of personal responsibility for satefy, kind of like anytime someone decides to consume a mind altering drink and its effect on public safety.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            You make a really good point. Great comment.

          • Cory C

            These are fair questions you’re raising, and, yes, there are some differences between alcohol and guns. It’s not a perfect analogy. But the author is essentially saying that there are enough similarities that it’s still a useful analogy. Gun control advocates argue that no one needs guns. The author points out that no one needs alcohol, yet pro-alcohol folks have never needed to justify the legality of alcohol on the basis that it’s necessary. Gun control advocates argue that guns cause a lot of harm. The author says, in so many words, “Sure, but so does alcohol, and you’re not calling for it to be banned.” So on and so forth.

            The point isn’t that guns and alcohol are perfectly similar. Rather, it is that the reasoning of “ban guns because they are used to hurt people and we don’t NEED guns” is a double standard, because the same can be said about many things that no one is advocating to be banned. If it really is as simple as wanting to save lives, then those in favor of banning guns should have the same feelings about alcohol, but they don’t? Why? The best answer is that there are cultural underpinnings of alcohol consumption that most of Americans subscribe to. They all know that alcohol consumption can be bad, but they accept the risks because of the value they attribute to it, which is again tied to cultural aspects. There are some people who don’t buy into this culture. They see alcohol as evil. They don’t care that people enjoy it. They don’t need alcohol, and look at all the harm it causes? Why shouldn’t we ban it? Sound familiar?

            Another analogy would be swimming pools. No one needs swimming pools, and hundreds of people die in them every year in America; usually kids. I mean, if we need to justify everything on the basis of necessity, then no one really needs pools, so why not ban them? Or what about air conditioners? Many folks in this country believe that burning fossil fuels for energy is literally going to cause the deaths of millions or billions of people. Air conditioners are entirely frivolous for most people. Humans have lived for thousands of years without them. If climate change is really such a threat, and saving lives is really all some folks care about, and air conditioners are not an absolute necessity, then why don’t we ban air conditioners?

            The big picture answer is freedom. Free people don’t need to justify why they want to do something. Sure, we recognize that there are some things we can’t do because the literally trample upon the rights of others. We make laws that forbid us to do those things. But at the core of the system is the notion that we don’t punish all drivers for the few that run red lights, nor do we shut down the water park because that one time some molester went there to pick up kids. No, our entire system of laws is based on the notion that we punish the people who do bad things to other people, not everyone else. Ergo, making alcohol illegal because some people abuse it is bad, as is banning guns for the same reason.

            In short, sure, alcohol is not a perfect analogy, but it’s close enough.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Thanks Cory. Well said.

          • Cory C

            Thanks. Good article, by the way.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Alcohol changes the state of mind making people quarrelsome and as a result some people tend to get violent. Alcohol is a dangerous drug and should be banned. Most violent crimes are commited under the influence of alcohol. But multi-billion market brings a lot of profit to the mobs controlling the politics, and also dumb the population and help the same mobs and bankster keep people uncoscious. That’s the reason alcohol is not going to be banned.

            But guns are going to be banned. Nurse Ratched is going to take care of it.

          • Paul Joly

            In both cases an object (car, bullet) killed a person because of the bad behavior of the person using this object. So having this behavior using this object should be illegal and in one case, drunk driving, it is. But what is the behavior of somebody who kill using a firearm? A lot, especially when you thing about the accidental death. So, what do you regulate? The firearms, the ammo, having a loaded firearm on yourself/shooting, owning a firearm?
            I would choose the ammo. But for someone with little knowledge in this subject, like most politician, he would choose the firearm.

        • John Yossarian

          Both alcohol and firearms can be abused with lethal results in a variety of ways. In either case, it is not the inanimate object but a person who is to blame.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            I completely agree about the person being the one to blame for these types of things, but it’s all relative.

    • Larry Moore

      Predators use alcohol all the time to take advantage of others, and LOTS of folks die from broken beer bottles being used as weapons, ESPECIALLY in places where guns are outlawed. Should we all be made to live in a rubber padded world to prevent any possible boo-boo?

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Did i ever say anything about banning guns? I can see why you think im implying it, but im not.

    • Sylvio

      Is your concern saving lives, preventing preventable deaths, or only the manner by which they die?

  • Burt Gummer

    Lest we forget that alcohol can be used as a fairly effective weapon itself when applied properly. One other point worth adding in; many published firearms death studies and statistics include suicide via firearm, legal defensive shootings, and shootings of suspects by LE.

  • 22winmag

    Forget about all the anti-gunners and their propaganda for a minute. Few things could be a bigger turnoff to potential first time gun owners than a quick look at some YouTube “gun fails” videos and a quick read of many gun blogs that spout religion and screech politics more than anything else.

    • Cory C

      You’re absolutely right, but the broader implication is that every group has their morons. I personally believe that it’s the responsibility of every gun owner to call out the bad ones among us. I work in the legal field and I get a lot of flack for throwing bad lawyers under the bus. Screw ’em, I say. They make it harder for the good ones to make a living.

      • grunion

        They do it all the time here.

    • b4k9zp

      Without Christianity, this nation has no hope of going the same way as the dodo bird.

      • Cory C

        Que?

        • b4k9zp

          Really? Your inability to read plain English is quite obvious, then. For what I stated is the truth. Unless every citizen of the US repents and turns to Christ for forgiveness for his/her sins, this country will be judged by our Creator, who will not continue being merciful if we continue blaspheming him and ignoring his commands.

          • Cory C

            You jumbled your words and accidentally said something you didn’t mean to say. You jumped to the conclusion that I was arguing with your point when I was actually just pointing out that you inadvertently said something foolish and ribbing you a little bit.

            The dodo bird went extinct. So what you said was, “Without Christianity, America has no hope of going extinct.” What you meant to say was, “Without Christianity, America will go the way of the dodo bird (extinct).”

            But good job being a child about it and trying to talk down to me when you’re the one who can’t comprehend what you wrote. Good job being insulting and digging the hole deeper for yourself. Really, you’re a credit to your religion.

          • b4k9zp

            I jumbled nothing. I stated clearly what needed to be said.

          • grunion

            Living a spiritual life dedicated to God and Christ is hard, hard work in America today. Most are too lazy to even pray once a day. Plenty of folks will revile and hate a real Christian because the haven’t the strength to follow a narrow path and that’s all it is. Watch the theory play out in the major inner cities. Being evil is easy, at least for a while… We see it all day, every day. It’s the other side of life that makes them squirm. I don’t give a damn what the linguists squawk about, I know what you meant and you are correct. True Christianity requires and advocates liberty. People have lost sight of what giving and taking actually mean.
            I jumbled like crazy. What don’t you understand?

      • Fox Hunter

        That’s what the romans thought in 100 AD, and the muslims in 900 AD. Christianity will outlaws you and people like you. America was founded on Christianity, and only the God of the Bible and Christianity can save America from these demon-crat barbarians.

        • Fox Hunter

          i mean outlast, not outlaws.

        • b4k9zp

          Mm. brother, I was stating that without Christ at the center of our daily lives as individuals in this country, our country is going down the tubes, no matter whom we elect as president.

      • Edeco

        I like to think so. I sometimes worry other things could do us in.

        • b4k9zp

          In Christ, all things are possible. But without Him at the helm, there is no hope.

    • grunion

      That being the case, I don’t want people such as you describe owning a gun. If they are unable to separate the wheat from the chaff, they will undoubtedly shoot themselves accidently and start a whole new movement because they would be stupid people.

  • Larry Moore

    Here here! Well said, and finely crafted! This is the best article I’ve read in a long time. Thank you sir for your service to to freedom itself, American or otherwise!

    • Cory C

      Pssst. It’s “hear, hear.” But I totally agree.

  • Brocus

    That’s a lot of text for dissecting an analogy I’ve not seen made anywhere else. Just stop. Analogies are a poor debating technique and more often than not inherently flawed. Make your argument stand on its own merits.

  • Sermon 7.62

    “Drug harms in the UK: a multi-criteria decision analysis”, by David Nutt, Leslie King and Lawrence Phillips, on behalf of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs

    • Harry’s Holsters

      So if were were doing to legalize drugs we should legalize Mushrooms, LSD, Buprenorphine, Ecstasy, Anabolic Steroids, Qat, Butane(isn’t that legal?) Mephedrone, Ketamin, Benzodiazepenes, GHB and Meth? I thought pot was supposed to be harmless to non users.

      • John Yossarian

        According to chart, marijuana is almost as harmful to others as tobacco. They are probably factoring in second-hand smoke, because the few tobacco-fueled rages I’ve seen were more laughable than deadly.

        • Ryfyle

          Gotta get your smokes. or least thats how I felt til I finally lept off that method of nicotine delivery. Laugh all you want about them dumb vaping kids, it’s a way better feeling than back when I used cigarettes.

          • Pastor Dan

            I have been thankful for more than 20 years to have been freed from that nasty and sometimes gut-wrenching addiction. I used to say that giving them up was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I will pray for everyone trying to give them up, and for everyone who hasn’t yet seen the need.

        • Sermon 7.62

          There’s a PDF online, it contains more charts. The calculations are based on 16 parameters. Among them, for cannabis, the most significant are: Economic cost, Family adversities, Injuries, Loss of relationships, Drug-related impairment of mental functioning, Dependence.

        • KestrelBike
        • Harry’s Holsters

          That’s my guess is that many of these are long term medical and also physical situations caused as a result of the high.

        • jay

          No, it’s the imbibing. You smoke a joint and hold it in. 1 joint is supposed to equal 20 cigarettes.

          • grunion

            You guys are a bunch of cavemen promoting that discredited belief. Read some newer research on the subject and writing your own is not allowed. What? Nothing to write?

          • jay

            The carcinogens imbibed are more than cigarettes. Doesn’t have all the chemicals in it as does tobacco, though. I don’t care if someone smokes, either substance. Both are harmful and addictive. One helps people with psychological issues, to become more psychotic. You can argue against all the research you want. I’m not interested in a flame war. Good bye troll.

      • Sermon 7.62

        Mushrooms and LSD used to be legal, MDMA used to be legal, Cannabis used to be legal. In fact, Heroin and Cocaine used to be legal. Not so long time ago.

        Does it look like the prohibition of these drugs had some positive effect?

        Meth is a preferred drug of LGBT people. For some reason. Their clubs are full of people on meth. This drug is a bad drug. It causes dependence, harm to the user’s health and changes in social life of the user in such a manner that the user becomes disconnected from the non-using people because the user has to consume it on the regular basis, and most of the time the user is just too high for being normal or about to get there. Meth is also the drug that the Japanese suicide pilots used, and the Nazi commandos used it, and Hitler himself used it. But at the same time, some journalists, and authors of some notable books praised it as a source of inspiration. So, this question is not that simple.

        The problem I think is the same here as the gun problem: use vs abuse. I support total legalize. But it doesn’t mean that all drugs should be treated like equal.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          The reason I stated the drugs I did was they had the lowest rates of harming others. I could care less what people do to themselves if they are aware of the risks they are taking. I think having illegal drugs causes more issues than having legal ones. I think we’d see a spike in usage if we legalized them and then it would go down to lower rates than now. Banning anything that can be easily made doesn’t work.

          • Fox Hunter

            Legalizing means wasting taxpayers money protecting the people who trade and use these mind altering drugs. bad idea.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            It’s frankly a lose lose situation if they are legalized or not. We’d save a ton of money on enforcement and it’d cut down on theft and violence related to the trade.

          • grunion

            Wrong! It destroys the profit motive and Paco gets a day job. The stuff is easy to grow, cheap and robust. Make it a regulated, privately supplied market. The dealers will disappear and the Gov. might make some money. It most assuredly will provide the family farmer welcome relief. I would take a look at what your “Drug War” has cost the citizens. It is obscene when we could generate instead of destroy mountains of money but right now, the money is in intervention at the end of a barrel. Until we change, there it will remain. Don’t be a sucker for the federal bullshit about the drug war or anything else for that matter. America is in deep trouble and the prisons full. Can people really be that stupid?
            By the way, how’s that earthworm view of the world been working out for ya?

        • Pastor Dan

          Murder was not overtly illegal until the first time it happened.

          • Sermon 7.62

            This kind of reasoning might pass as rational among some congregations of boneheads.

          • grunion

            Pretty long time ago. Things do change, like it or not.

          • Pastor Dan

            I think my point is that saying something was once legal (e.g., LSD, heroin, etc.) is meaningless, and commonly a smokescreen. It often seems to suggest that the act of making it illegal was a mistake.

            In 7.62’s post, the reverse may be true; I’m not sure what he was trying to say. However, I think he is arguing that criminalizing substance A or B is evidence that we rightfully have the choice to make other things legal or illegal if we have compelling reason for such a choice. His choice is complete legalization of drugs, or so he says, but I don’t know where he stands on gun regulations or alcohol.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Pastor Dan, I mentioned the fact that all drugs used to be legal to remind that in those times, despite the drugs being legal, there was a much smaller problem of drug abuse, and there was no such problem as drug cartels and drug-related organized crime, so prohibition must be the reason of that as one can see also on the example of the alcohol ban. If people can’t get it in a drugstore than people can get on the street.

            Next, there is a misunderstanding of drugs by general public because of the image that media created. Each drug belongs to a group and these groups of substances form categories of drugs, each one has properties not shared by drugs from another group. So, to generalize like the media teaches us putting all of them in the same basket is a stupid trick, as there are bad drugs and good drugs. Some of them are safe to use.

            Most drug-related problems arise as a consequence of abusement, lack of culture and ignorance. Education can heal these problems, but it has to be education, not propaganda. There is also a problem of most street drugs being substandard, because all the middle-men in the chain of distribution mix some sh*t into them to make more profit, and as a result more side-effects occur and more users damage their health.

          • Pastor Dan

            I often see the repeal of Prohibition used as a major brick, if not the cornerstone, in building an argument for the legalization of so-called “recreational” drugs, and/or certain drugs in that category that might also have ingredients that seem to offer symptomatic relief in some medical situations.

            I’ve not studied the issue in detail, but I am confident that this group will have answers. Did the repeal of Prohibition lead to the demise of the organized crime that seems to have arisen from its’ institution? Did rates of misuse and abuse of alcoholic beverages decline precipitously after those products were again legally available? Did the prices of those commodities decline, so as to make them more affordable to the masses? Were there more or better programs that helped people with alcohol-related problems?

            Did the net tax collections from the alcohol industry rise? If so, did the governments benefitting from these increases use the windfalls to reduce the tax burden on their citizens generally, or in any particular category?

            I don’t know; I’m just asking. Anybody?

          • Sermon 7.62

            This is the same mistake that I pointed at, like putting all drugs in the same basket. For example, alcohol in general can be made at home, but a good sort of it can’t be made at home, and cannabis, the best of it, can be cultivated in a closet by users. Also, alcohol causes alcoholism, and cannabis even if abused doesn’t cause a serious problem, and in fact helps to quit alcohol, since most people that smoke don’t drink much alcohol.

            As it is demonstrated by the research that I referenced, there is nothing else that is as harmful as alcohol. So it is inappropriate to use alcohol and alcohol-related problems as a benchmark for evaluation of the drug legalization issues. For the rest of it, the War on Drugs and Mexican Drug War articles is a recommended reading. Looking closer at the countries like Netherlands and Czech Republic is also recommended.

          • grunion

            The Joe Kennedys were already wealthy by the time the end of Prohibition came along, they just diversified, they had the money earned bootlegging.. The gov. willingly reducing taxes? Pleeez….
            Net tax collections took a jump but that is irrelevant.
            How much was spent to enforce? Does that count as a tax reduction?
            The lies and assorted bullshit comes from the government so thick and fast, one really does need wings to stay above it.
            It would reduce the number of people incarcerated (Big savings in that one), it would end the violence over turf, it would end the fantastically expensive DEA, it would free up the courts to dispense justice as opposed to “the best deal you’re gonna get” as the prosecutors lose the means to politicize drug cases and make the news. I could go on and on but the point is, drug use is not a criminal activity. Our government made illegality the law of the land and resulted in complete mission failure and drug cartels the only growth industry left in the Americas and elsewhere.
            Stop trying to run other’s lives…

          • Pastor Dan

            Sorry, when I said “net” tax collections, I meant, like, net. After collection costs, bureaucracy, etc. Otherwise, the term would be something like “gross” tax collections.

    • Ryfyle

      So what that graph is saying that a good trip ever once in awhile ain’t that bad for you? Huh. Well I guess under a controlled environment it could be useful.

    • grunion

      How do ya’ll define “Harm”?

      • Sermon 7.62

        There is a set of parameters that can be used, like health issues, etc.

  • Rog Uinta

    This is a great, well thought-out article.

    The problem, I have found, is that “non-gun” Americans’ positions on guns are generally not “well thought-out”. So much of their attitude–and thus political position–is based in emotion. I had a girlfriend who was reduced to a limp, crying puddle on the floor when she discovered I was carrying (yeah, that date didn’t end too well).

    Hoplophobia is a genuine thing, and these days it’s pretty obvious that the average American votes his/her feelings, rather than logic.

    • Pod

      Agreed. I have yet to hear a well-articulated argument for increased gun control with facts to back it up, especially when it comes to the “evil black rifle problem”. Even the Feds admit the AWB did nothing to help an already-decreasing violent crime rate. But the non-gun side calls for an AWB because a few guys and girls misuse them sometimes. To keep with the alcohol theme, it’s as if someone wanted to ban Absolut because it (hypothetically) was consumed by people who were involved in rather gory.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Oddly enough, that actually did happen with absinthe. Gin was also demonized, but it didn’t have a mild hallucinogenic like absinthe’s thujone for booze-banners to latch onto as a “dangerous.”

        • Josh Rothman

          The ban on importation of absinthe was lifted on 1 Jan 2008, for reasons unknown to me; for that matter, I don’t know why it was banned besides its alleged hallucingenic properties. As this date is also my sobriety date, I guess I missed my chance to try absinthe by one day. I don’t miss it much, though.

      • I haven’t gone through the recently released 2014 numbers from the FBI in detail yet, but in 2013, rifles of all kinds were only involved in roughly 2% of homicides.

        The most impenetrable arguments against gun control as public policy have always been places like Chicago and Los Angeles and Camden and Detroit and Washington, DC, which have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet consistently lead the nation in both violent crime in general and firearm-related crime in particular. The evidence is undeniable: gun control simply does not work. Meanwhile, according to the FBI, guns are used to prevent at least as many crimes as they’re used to commit.

        • Pod

          Yes. Rifles are the low-hanging fruit of the gun-control world. Initially, modern efforts focused on handguns. I believe the CSGV was originally named the “Coalition To Ban Handguns”, but later shifted gears when they realized that handguns were the most numerous of all the firearms types in the US. They moved to campaigning to ban black rifles since they are an easy target for the uneducated.

          • “Assault Weapon” is just the new “Street Sweeper” is just the new “Saturday Night Special”; they’re all nothing but empty propaganda terms designed to scare people who don’t know any better into thinking the sky is falling.

          • Pastor Dan

            Or the miseducated.

        • Gary Kirk

          Forgot Baltimore

          • There are so many other cities on the list as well. It’s almost as if cramming huge numbers of people into a small space and then rigidly stratifying them along economic and racial lines while the local government looks the other way is kindasorta like pouring powder into a keg.

          • Pastor Dan

            Forget Baltimore.

          • The Baltimore city government sure has.

        • jay

          Actually, it’s gun control and democrat leadership does not work. ;-}

      • grunion

        I have yet to meet an anti-gun person who has any extensive experience with a projectile firing tool.

    • jay

      I’ve found that those who are really anti, are often quite liberal in most of their views. And I don’t mean liberal in a good way. They are often governed almost solely by emotion and leftist indoctrination. Both of my ex wives were more accurate pistol shots than myself. I blame it on lower center of gravity, and hip structure. ;-}
      I use firearm ownership, and conservative thinking as a test on whether to even go on a date (or 2nd if she’s really hot).

      • grunion

        Pretty long wait, eh?

        • jay

          I’ve been reading your responses to my posts, as well as others. You
          seem to take pleasure in posting adverse or contrary comments. A sure
          sign of a troll. Begone troll

  • Then there’s tylenol poisoning. Why not ban that? Sure, you have a headache, but if it saves one life …

    • Somewhere between one hundred and two hundred thousand people are killed by improperly prescribed or incorrectly administered prescription drugs in America every year. Imagine how much better off we as a nation would be if the anti-gunners were burning that political capital on fixing our completely broken health care system.

      • Pastor Dan

        At the risk of seeing this entire article and associated comments deleted from the”Firearms Not Politics” blog we all know and love….

        They already fixed the health care system, remember? It’s called The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). 😷😖😓

        • grunion

          And gave an immediate seizure to 1/6 of our economy. No amount of lies, federal money, forcibly seized private money, etc. will change the fact that the ACA is failing faster than it can be propped up. Participants are leaving in ever increasing numbers, includes the providers and the purchasers. Doesn’t sound like a very good law to a fifth grader but our Congress liked it… Money, money, money, money…..

          • Pastor Dan

            Again, I am sorry for not clearly labeling that comment as the sarcasm it was intended to be.

  • Another thing is, even if you compare our homicide rates with that of other Western countries, it’s actually not that different once you account for sociological factors.

    According to FBI stats, 50% of murders in America are black-on-black, with blacks 13% of the population. And according to HuffPo, the murder rate for Hispanics is twice that of non-black/Hispanic, with Hispanics 17% of the population.

    The math is simple. With an overall homicide rate of 4.7 per 100K that works out to the following rates: Black 18; Hispanic 4.5; Non-black/Hispanic 2.2; Homicide rate in the UK? 1.2! And some say the UK number should be adjusted upwards to account for differences in reporting.

    This suggests that if we improve the lives of black and Hispanic citizens, we can keep our guns and have a low homicide rate. Now wouldn’t that be nice.

    • You mean as in President Johnson great society program—-

    • If you define “homicide” as “one person directly causes the death of another person”, the UK actually has a 47% higher homicide rate per capita than the United States; the UK Home Office deliberately skews its own crime numbers by changing the definition of “homicide” to “a conviction of murder was obtained in a court of law” in order to make the nation seem “safer” than it really is. Always be wary of Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics.

      The number one driving force behind crime in general is and ever has been income inequality; fat happy peasants have no need to revolt, and a citizenry with good jobs and good schools and access to reliable, affordable government services has no need to resort to crime.

      • Jwilson

        That’s really interesting. Where can I find out more about the true UK numbers vs the propagandized version?

        • http://rboatright.blogspot.com/2013/03/comparing-england-or-uk-murder-rates.html

      • Pastor Dan

        Why not access to reliable, affordable, commercial services? Government does nothing that it doesn’t do poorly — and I say this with decades of inside government experience. With the possible exception of….. Ah, never mind. Wrong venue for this discussion. Sorry.

    • Reuven Mizraha

      That’s easy – end drug prohibition and the welfare state.

      • Anonymoose

        We should regulate weed like cigarettes, and have “plain packaging”-type (like on Aussie cigarette boxes) billboard ads and TV commercials to scare people away from hard drugs like crack, heroin, and meth.

    • jay

      You do know the old adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” We can’t “improve” anyone’s life, that doesn’t want to do so. Also, you are mis reading the UK statistics. Their homicide rate is higher per capita.

      • I’ve heard that about the UK. Do you have a source? I haven’t been able to find anything firm on that.

    • grunion

      Let ’em improve their own lives like the people who forged a nation… Never happen though will it? The gov. has disinformed most Americans in to a state of sedated stupor from which they shall never recover and that is just how the gov. wants them. Now, if only they would work for kibbles.

  • Great article. Truly great.

    Just wanted to point out a grammar error:

    ——
    ….and supporting and industry…
    ——

    *an

    But, I’m going to share the crap out of this article to be sure.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Corrected! Thanks.

  • Sasquatch

    Well said my good sir well said.

  • I think you missed his point—–

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      I get his point, i just don’t entirely agree with him. I guess i didn’t make my own point entirely clear. Blame it on english not being my native language.

  • I really like this argument as it does point out the basic fact that humans tend to evaluate our level of risk based on our familiarity with the activity in question, and of course the focus or hype on an issue from media and politics. This is true for much more than shooting and alcohol.

    I intend to forward this article to some of my friends. My compliments and gratitude to Pete.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    “What I would like to do is explain why the restriction on inanimate objects in the United States is not only ineffective, but also goes against our way of life as a free society.”

    We have controls on countless inanimate objects throughout our society so the beginning of this argument is ridiculous.

    There are more positions than the two extremes on the gun issue. Guns can be kept legal and yet controlled so the harm done by them is minimized but no one on the pro-gun side wants to acknowledge that; they want no restrictions of any kind. The problem with sticking with the extreme position is when there is enough public support for change, there won’t be any halfway measures taken. The anti-gun side will demand (and get) everything they want and consider the pro-gun side’s positions as much as the pro-gun side currently considers the anti-gun side’s position.

    • That tends to fall apart when you get into specifics.

    • tyrannyofevilmen

      Go buy a gun. You’ll find there are plenty of regulations to purchase one legally.

    • Anti-Bill Of rights activists have proven beyond any doubt innumerable times over the years that “compromise” is a code word for nickel-and-diming Constitutional rights away one little piece at a time. Incrementalism is a proven strategy for both the left and right wings of American politics.

  • Ian Osborn

    Alcohol is a specious argument. A better one would be driving and car ownership if an analogy is to be made. Learning how to drive and doing so responsibly is FAR more like owning a firearm than is alcohol consumption.

    The differing needs to rural vs urban realities needs consideration as does the purpose of the different types of fire-arms available vs their use in crime.

    • John Yossarian

      If a person can’t be allowed to live free in urban areas, then the city or its people are the problem – Not the freedom. Banning any freedom just enables the environment to become less fit for other freedoms.

    • It is sadly unsurprising just how many gun control advocates have never even

      considered the concept of rural life; when the nearest town is twenty miles away and the nearest sheriff’s deputy is an hour away, you either provide for your own protection or you get killed by a meth head looking for stereo equipment to fence. And that’s not even getting into the undeniable fact that the cops just don’t go to certain poor and minority neighborhoods, even in major cities.

      • Pastor Dan

        Having personally dialed 911 in downtown Detroit on a sunny Saturday afternoon last year, I am confident that you speak the truth. I ended up stepping out into the street to block the police cruiser that was going to drive past the bleeding person on the sidewalk. We had five witnesses to an aggravated assault, but the cops didn’t bother taking our names.

        • The people I know in Detroit don’t even bother calling anymore when they hear someone magdump a full auto AK on the next block over, because what’s the point? Like as not, if Officer Apathetic does show up, he’s just going to interrogate whoever called it in.

    • Don Ward

      Driving is a terrible argument since it is one of the most regulated activities in the US from licenses to requiring insurance to the fact that automobile manufacturers have to comply with countless environmental and safety regulations.

      Stop making my job harder with your bad analogies, people.

  • Jim Drickamer

    One thing which must always be considered when passing laws is enforceability. Can we actually enforce this law? In my community, the passed a law to control noise. Noise was defined as anything exceeding 50 decibels. Great law, except that in order to enforce it, the police needed decibel meters to be able to measure the level of a sound. The community did not want to spend money on the meters. So we had a feel good law that accomplished nothing.

    • Congratulations on that, then; entirely too many Feel Good laws accomplish rather quite a lot, to the detriment of The Republic. Witness the crime rates in California or Illinois or New Jersey.

      • Pastor Dan

        Yes, I think it’s obvious that the nation is suffering from a shortage of laws. We must pass more laws; we have too few. I will write to my representative soon.

  • Road

    I’ve been making this exact argument for years. In fact, I wrote a piece a few years ago that was very similar to this one- I even made the same reference to gin and tonics! Anyway, unfortunately, it will fall on deaf ears. The mainstream media, et al., has so deeply ingrained the immediate association of fear/terror with guns, many will never be swayed.

  • Wayne King

    Very interesting and well written post. Out of interest if there was a law passed that outlawed the private ownership of firearms, how would you enforce it?

    I’m a Limey shotgunner BTW.

  • Cal S.

    Whooo-boy! You go, TFB!!!

  • gusto

    I often use the alcohol thing as an argument pro-guns

    banning guns because some evil-doers do evil stuff with them is like banning cars because some people drink and drive

    sadly that kind of argument is even moreso pertinent now with Nice and the truck-attack…¨
    but lets not do like they do and use tragic events for cheap points.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      What gets me is Hillary wanting to make the gun companies responsible for misuse of their products. Part of me wants to see it go through because it would set a precedent for all industries and spell disaster.

    • John Yossarian

      And don’t forget Elliot Rodger, whose evil father blamed guns – But Rodger started his murder spree with a knife and ended with a car.

      • bee O bee

        Plus, his magazine only held ten rounds of ammo.

  • Cal.Bar

    Pretty sure “non gun” America ISN’T reading TFB. (or most any of the other sites you posted it to. Next time, if post it somewhere “they” will actually see it. Otherwise you’re just preaching to the choir. Try Vanity Fair, Vogue or Wired. See how that goes.

    • Sylvio

      Agree. Thing is, no liberal entertainment publication would dare, even if it would give them a false sense of being fair. The NYT might give it a chance as a Letter to the Editor or even go so far as to use it as a step stool for an op-ed denouncing it. It’s been my experience that the liberal left has become that which they fear and detest: closed minded hypocrites. Many are are too young to care to be self-examining or devoted to ethical standards. Especially on micro-blog sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where the under-age run amok, any sober dissent is immediately set upon with rabid contempt and mockery.

      • KestrelBike

        I’m still shocked that Reddit has gun subgroups.

  • TDog

    Great article.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    As someone who really enjoys bourbon and beer in comfort of my home or in the presence of a responsible driver I really enjoyed this letter. I’ll be sharing it with other for sure.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’d like to see what many of the anti gun people said if the politicians were willing to “compromise” by banning alcohol. I don’t want to see it, but it’d be interesting to see it proposed.

  • SignalFromTheRim

    I salute you!

  • anonymous

    Democrats view gun ownership not as a right to be protected and exercised, but as a deviant activity. Sort of the same way Republicans view homosexuality.

    • Fox Hunter

      Homosexuality IS a deviant activity, sexually deviant, just like pedophilia zoophilia/bestiality and incest. No doubt about that. Democrats have warped minds and wicked hearts, they call good evil and evil good, they have abandoned Christ, they are degenerates and thugs. They defend evil while trying to destroy what is good. Yes to the 2nd, no to homosexuality.

    • grunion

      I am beginning to think you are a disingenuous person.

  • Aramaki

    WRT II, I have a couple things that need correction. 1) alcohol is necessary for certain religious rites, and also can be useful as a disinfectant. A light spiking of untrusted water can make it safe for consumption if boiling is not an option as well.

    • Pastor Dan

      My religion discourages the consumption of it altogether. We use grape juice for Communion, and nobody complains.

      I still want the nurse to swab my arm with the other kind before sticking me with anything, however.

      • Aramaki

        That’s fine your religion discourages it. Mine does not, and in fact, is a absolute necessity. Catholics cannot hold Mass without wheat bread and grape wine.

        • Cory C

          And this is exactly why imposing restrictions on other people based on personal belief is inherently troubling. Pastor Dan should have the right to choose to abstain and Aramaki should have the right to choose to imbibe. And, of course, the same thing should apply to guns.

          • Sermon 7.62

            I heard that in Colombia a lot of people have sex with donkeys and the donkeys seem not to mind that at all.

  • Sylvio

    Thank you for this blog, it makes many of the arguments I make in defense of gun rights. I, too, avoid using stats because then the whole discussion gets bogged down in childish “did so, did not” nonsense and no one reads them with any sincere effort to intake and comprehend the results, especially when said results diminish their stance. The onslaught against the 2d since Sandy Hook has been relentless and uses every dirty trick, every appeal to emotion, every bait and switch and every Alinsky cheat that I know of, and probably more I’ve yet to bump into.

    It drives me to drink.

    • Mattie Dimes

      83.7% of all statistics are made up

      • Pastor Dan

        I’ve heard that claim before, but I’m still waiting for documentation.

  • Don Ward

    Well this changes everything…

  • GhostofBrowningNagle

    have tried this line of reasoning before with people, usual response was “well guns are DESIGNED TO KILL!”

    you know, because thats what matters, not the actual body count.

    • Sylvio

      When they say that to me, I say “So are antibiotics.”

  • Don Ward

    You know, reading this again, next time you try using an analogy, don’t bring up alcohol which is one of the most taxed and regulated substances in America at the federal, state and local levels with regulations regarding its use and distribution and the fact that there are areas in the country where it is still outright prohibited.
    The gun control debate is hard enough without people on our side scoring own goals, ok?
    It’s as bad as the “CARS KILL MOAR PEOPLE” argument and just as ineffective.

    • Martin M

      You are correct that it is taxed at an unbelievable rate in some states.
      $35 in Washington vs. $2 in Missouri (per gallon). Then again, it takes very little (monetarily and materially) to actually make alcohol.

      • Don Ward

        Yep. I live in Washington and it was just a couple years ago that you could only buy liquor at state run stores which also happened to be closed on… (What day was it?) … Sunday I think.

  • Anyone who thinks that banning something at the federal level will somehow make it completely inaccessible has never lived in a college town and has no idea what burning rope smells like.

    • Cory C

      Yep. Penn and Teller’s Bullshit has a good episode that makes the case that drug prohibition has only made the few market entrants more profitable and has driven up the purity of the substance.

      • The Volstead Act was literally the direct cause of interstate (and international) organized crime in the United States. Before Prohibition, there was most certainly plenty of organized crime, but it was a local affair; there just were not the physical infrastructure and communication networks in place to maintain control over a mob outside the boundaries of a single city. Once criminal gangs were forced to set up networks to smuggle vast amounts of alcohol in from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean and distribute it around the country, rumrunners like the Bush and Kennedy families– seriously, look that up– were able to build vast criminal empires that set down local roots into every new area they expanded into on their illicit supply/distribution chain.

        We’re already seeing the same thing happening with guns, as the various larger, well-established street gangs and biker gangs with chapters across the country have set up gunrunning networks to move ~~scary~~ guns into states with AWB laws, because they know they can get top (illegal, tax-free) dollar for popular models.

    • Don Ward

      Burning rope smells like burnt plastic since we live in the 21st century.

  • hingedthinker

    In the BoR, how many state, “…shall not be infringed?” Only one. And yet…. All those unconstitutional laws infringing it. We are our own worst enemy.

  • Fozzy

    People, especially on the internet, love to jump at the opportunity to call folks hypocrites. But it’s important to remember, it’s ultimately just an attack of character. Not an argument in itself.

    • Cory C

      Eh, that’s a bit of an overstatement (you goddamn hypocrite!!! Just kidding). If you remove the term hypocrite from the above passage and replace it with “specious reasoning” or “double standard,” any inclination to call it an ad hominem is muted, but the crux of his diatribe still stands. That is to say, calling someone a hypocrite, while technically an ad hominem rhetoligcal fallacy, is an ad hominem fallacy of a lesser degree, because the term inherently points to an impropriety within one’s ability to reason, rather than a pure assault on their character. Long story short, I kind of agree with you but only kind of.

    • Cymond

      Maybe he should have referred to “cognitive dissonance” but that’s not a phrase in common, daily usage for most people.

  • MrEllis

    Nice write up, Pete, I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s a good read! Be safe, man.

  • HM

    Just a couple of points.

    1. TLDR, If you cannot sum up the idea you are trying to convey in a short couple of paragraphs no one will bother to read it.

    2. There was nothing in this article to convince non-gun owning Americans that you are on the correct side of the issue. Try addressing the concerns directly not indirectly with a guns are better than alcohol argument.

    Its a good starting point, but it still needs more work, and much more thought from the community as whole.

    • Cory C

      He didn’t argue that guns are better than alcohol. His argument is essentially that there are other dangerous things that we can live without yet we have decided that they’re okay, so why don’t you apply the same reasoning to guns?

    • Pastor Dan

      I fully understand what the author is saying, and I agree with both the goal and the rationale. Nevertheless, it needs to be reworked to get a reader intellectually interested and emotionally disarmed. Opening with “Dear Person With Whom I Disagree And Here’s Why I’m Right” isn’t going to get the magazine off the coffee table. You have to first get in touch with them in a manner that will leave them at least open to hearing you out.

  • wetcorps

    Nice try, but I don’t think it would be very effective. In the end you’re just being another smartass trying to make people face their own contradictions. Guess what : they usually don’t like it one bit and will shut off.

    Unfortunately, debating isn’t only about logic. Feelings are involved on both sides and you have to take them into account even if you don’t like it.

    • Cory C

      I partially agree. Some people just will not change their minds. But I make people change their minds for a living, and I can say that if you take an empathetic approach and build upon concepts that they readily accept to be true, you can win more than you lose. We had a case recently in Podunk, TX. It was an incredibly, hyper-conservative town, and we had a client was genuinely injured due to the misconduct of a pretty bad guy. I had to prepare some materials for the trial for my boss, the owner of the firm, to present. Initially, one of the lawyers I work with write up a draft of his opening statement. He used all kinds of arguments that would not resonate with that jury. I changed it and made a video presentation that discussed the case in terms that a rural, old-fashioned, skeptical-of-lawyers jury would find more to their liking. We spoke of the importance of personal accountability, about how a man owns up to his mistakes and does what’s right, and about how the defendant’s failure to admit his grievous mistakes is flat-out cowardice, and how they (the jurors) get to decide what kind of county they want to live in; one where bad people don’t get their comeuppance prone where they do. Needless to say, that resonated with that crowd a lot more than, “Waaa, my poor little client is emotionally distressed.” See what I’m getting at? It’s a tough road to hoe, but it can be done if you’re willing to genuinely take the time to understand the value system that people cut from different cloth than you live by, and then speak to them on their own terms.

      • wetcorps

        Yep this is where I was going. To convice people you must understand them and act accordingly.
        Understanding yourself and being aware of your own bias also seems very important to me.

        • Cory C

          Well said, sir.

  • That’s only one factor. In the last 30 years or so the lack of a father in the home contributes greatly.

    • Badwolf

      And income inequality also contributes to lack of a father.

      • Pastor Dan

        And lack of a father is quite likely among the biggest factors contributing to “income inequality,” in my semi-educated judgment.

    • Pastor Dan

      Amen.

    • jay

      And their culture attacking authority, education, and prospering in a way that is not parasitic by nature (drugs, pimping, crime, civil right crusaders, sharpton and jackson come to mind).

      • grunion

        If people will pay, there is a market to be exploited. Why the noisy rhetoric, they are just new normal entrepreneurs.

        • jay

          I’ve been reading your responses to my posts, as well as others. You seem to take pleasure in posting adverse or contrary comments. A sure sign of a troll. Begone.

    • b4k9zp

      And yet there are plenty of white and Hispanic families where there is no father, because of accident, suicide, war or murder, and most of the kids from those families–who generally have an extended family with at least one person who is a stable, solid “father figure” to whom they can relate, and they come out okay. I know of many children who have lost a father when young, but who had a strong grandparent (some had both grandfathers who were good men), and even though the kids weren’t around the grandfather(s) that much, they were still affected by his rules.

  • Major Tom

    Pete, my hat’s off to ya. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece of work!

  • Dickie

    Well written

  • Tim

    You can have my Jameson when you pry the bottle from my cold, dead hands.

  • KUETSA

    Active and retired law enforcement officials, will not, do not, and refuse to be limited to, relying on 911 for their security – The rich, the powerful, the famous, politicians, will not, do not, refuse to be limited to, relying on 911 for their security!

    That is because 911 IS THE ILLUSION OF SECURITY!

    The second amendment is a right to a CAPABILITY – enabled by EFFECTIVE arms to provide security and collectively keep secure AMERICAN FREEDOMS!

  • Cymond

    This reminds me of another article I read a few weeks ago, which itself was a follow-up to good own (earlier) article. Both are well worth reading and probably sharing.

    medium com/@jonst0kes/guns-booze-and-needs-vs-wants-d963ebf2aad0#.5zkkccuek

  • Edeco

    Good article, but, you know people put reason on a pedestal. Like done on here have said feelings are another matter. Moreover I’d point out that without shared basic principles, like beyond the gun thing, reason is useless.

    So this is where an anti gun person would accuse me if making guns a religious thing. Like, they’re a totem if primacy of the individual, which is something I take as a relative principle. But that’s a load if crap, we all have philisophical backgrounds.

  • DIR911911 .

    kept waitng for the prohibition comparison (how evenwhen illegal people will find a way). but probably better without a direct correlation. may start more arguments than it stops.

  • Fox Hunter

    Even more dangerous to society than either smoking or alcohol is homosexuality. Homosexuality or homophilia, is just another variation of pedophilia and zoophilia. Yet the same people who want to ban guns want homosexuality legal. Homosexuality should be recriminalized, it should have never been legalized in the first place. Ban homosexuality, legalize guns, all guns. Abolish all NFA laws. Protect real God-given rights like the the 2nd. Ban all these fake “rights” like abortion and homosexuality.

    • Cory C

      And you’re exactly why this issue will remain divided along party lines and all hopes of having a meeting of the minds will never happen.

      People think that to embrace the 2nd Amendment means aligning themselves with people like you. You don’t have to like homosexuality, but to call for criminalizing is just another flavor of the same big government tactics that gun control fans have in mind.

      • Fox Hunter

        If criminalizing murder or pedophilia is not a big govt tactic, then neither is criminalizing homosexuality, which is even more corrosive to society than murder and is just as immoral as pedophilia. If you’d rather align with people who defend and promote sexual deviance than Christian Conservatives, then you are part of the problem. Gun ownership is a God given right, homosexuality is a human wrong, a sin , an abomination in God’s eyes, the two are not even close, polar opposites in fact.

        • Dan

          Ok bible thumper i wasn’t going to feed you but here we go. First homosexuality is nothing like pedophilia. Two same sex consenting adults doing what they want with their God given free will cannot be compared to an adult taking advantage of a child. People have been living just fine without Christianity or even knowledge of God just fine. Let God judge as he will. He isn’t going to Judge you for the sins of another person. Just stop with the fire and brimstone. Believe what you want and leave others to believe what they will.

        • Cory C

          Great. That may very well be so (notwithstanding the fact that it’s conjecture). But the attempt to codify your religious views into laws that tell other people what to do in the privacy of their own homes or to decide for other free men what is in the best interest of their souls is the epitome of government overreach. You’re advocating using the government as a tool to make people live the way you deem appropriate by your moral standards. Guess what? Not everyone in America shares your moral standards, yet they still wield political power. If Scientology became the dominant religion in America, would you want to have those Sci-ties telling you how to live?

          Our system of government works on the basis that we value individual rights above all else. When someone commits a robbery, pedophilia, etc., they are directly infringing upon the rights of others. Do prohibitions on those acts also coincide with your moral values (and mine too)? Sure. But here’s the kicker. THE SOLE BASIS for this prohibition cannot be that you and I think that that’s the right moral path. In order to tell other free men how they should conduct themselves, we must express it in terms of “you’re not allowed to do X because it infringes upon this other person’s rights.” But when you can only advocate for banning something based on your belief system, that is quite literally the exact same broken logic used by liberal do-gooders who seek to ban guns. In short, you fundamentally misunderstand why pedophilia and murder are criminalized. We can rationalize banning them on the grounds that they violate the rights of other innocent people. Your claim of the evils of homosexuality is that you think it indirectly corrupts society. Not the same thing. Again, though, it is essentially the same line of reasoning as banning all firearms because they give someone the heebie-jeebies.

          • Sermon 7.62

            The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States.

            “In December 1977, police raided a house in the Boston suburb Revere. Twenty-four men were arrested and indicted on over 100 counts of the statutory rape of boys aged eight to fifteen… Commenting on this issue, Boston Magazine described NAMBLA as ‘the most despised group of men in America’, which was ‘founded mostly by eccentric, boy-loving leftists’. The ‘Boston-Boise Committee’, a gay rights organization, was formed in response to these events, allegedly in order to promote solidarity amongst gay men, saying in an official leaflet that: ‘The closet is weak. There is strength in unity and openness.’ NAMBLA’s founding was inspired by this organization.”

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0058def055d1d324e2f0c559d730dbd58f009be7830c8c3dcba546867cb968ad.jpg

    • crackedlenses

      Troll. Don’t respond to him.

  • Jerry The Geek

    It seems redundant to say this, but the Volstead Act (3/4 of a century ago, more or less) was an experiment in “Prohibition”.

    It failed miserably.

    Americans will do what they want. You can make it illegal, and that only leads to criminals feeding the preferences of otherwise-law-abiding citizens.

    You can outlaw booze, you can outlaw guns, but that only criminalizes Americans.

    A law which outlaws guns will be treated with the same disdain as the law which criminalized Alcohol … and led to more deaths, more crime, more broken lives and broken homes.

    Americans will not obey arbitrary laws which criminalize the freedoms which they enjoyed ‘yesterday’. We shun politicians, we despise adventurers, and we disdain those who would undermine our freedoms.

    Other than that … go ahead, make your laws. Send us all to jail. It is a mark of pride, for Americans, to defy those who defy our petty rural guns and Gods.

    Anyone who willingly runs for public office … who WANTS to hold an office … is automatically suspected of chicanery.

    They rarely fail to meet our very low expectations.

    And that’s the truth.

    BLAAAT!

  • Dan

    Prohibition was largely a movement by Social Conservative Methodists who lead the Temperance Movement in the 19th century. As a Methodist teetotaler myself, I am proud that we were able to lead the nation into sobriety, if only for a little while. I always blame the failure of Prohibition on the beer-swilling German Lutherans. Yep, that’s it.

    • Pastor Dan

      Ya know, my dad came from German ancestry, and my oldest sister is a Lutheran. I never knew either of them to drink much beer. Jus’sayin’.

  • guest

    bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

    What the article could have been, for all intents and purposes: “hello, it is me, the middle class white man in his 40’s here to convince you with a fact and statistics laden TL;DR that is about as interesting as user manual for a toilet cleaning fluid. Please grab a coffee or two as I lull you into comatose sleep with this wall of text that not be less boring”.

    Whoever wrote this needs to understand how to communicate with the masses in an appealing way.

  • Blake

    Excellent analogy. I usually use driving & driver’s licenses as an analogy, but:

    – driving is not “optional” for many many people
    – driving is largely regulated at the state level, & is not mentioned in the Constitution

    Thanks, I’ll send this on.

  • anonymouse

    Is TFB not getting into politics here?

    Proposed restrictions, like ensuring backround checks are conducted irrespective of the seller and restricting gun access to those on terror watchlists or who have mental health problems sound entirely sensible – and I cannot fathom, nor have I heard, a decent reason for opposing them (apart from feeling it’s a step down the ‘slippery slope’).

    I think, ultimately, America’s gun violence problem isn’t really down to the availability of guns (although doubtless it is an enabler, particularly with mass shootings) given other countries have similar levels of gun ownership but massively lower violence rates.

    It’s fine saying “guns aren’t the problem”, but if you’re saying that you need to work out what the problem actually is – because there is a problem, no question (out of all developed countries Belgium has the murder rate closest to that in the US – and Belgium’s murder rate is less than half the US rate, while most developed countries have rates that are a quarter or less than the US rate).

    My personal view is that it’s actually down to American values, culture, and society itself – and that’s perhaps an even more difficult subject to broach than simply focusing on gun restrictions.

    At its most fundamental level, the American dream is an individualistic dream and American culture is an aggressive culture (aggression to succeed, aggression to compete, etc). While there are doubtless many benefits of that economically and individually, I think ultimately if you value individualism and an aggressive mindset, and then combine that with the lack of a meaningful state safety net, then you’re also going to end up with a lot of violence.

    • Cory C

      Fair points, but I don’t agree with them. Rather than preach to you, I’ll ask that you indulge me in a thought experiment. Imagine that the War on Drugs ended today. All of a sudden, you can buy heroine and marijauna at Walmart. These products would be produced by large corporations with oversight from the FDA. What would that do for violence in America? Really think about it.

      The overwhelming majority of gun violence in America, by a huge margin, involves young African American men shooting one another. Sure, many jealous husbands shoot their cheating wives, and some angry businessmen shoot their partners that screwed them out of royalties, some religious crazies will shoot up their local abortion clinic, and some other crazies will shoot at cop cars when they drive by, so on and so forth. But the majority of gun crime, the stuff that really pumps up the numbers and makes our country seem so far askew, is attributable to young African American men shooting it out in factional turf warfare and the drug trade.

      I’m not suggesting that African Americans are the problem. I’m suggesting that a variety of factors coalesce to make their neighborhoods into ground zero for the drug trade, and that business is one that is inherently violent. If you eliminated the War on Drugs, surely there would be new problems. Perhaps the availability of heroine at Walmart would result in mass casualties of a different sort, but what you’d find is that Steve the crack dealer can’t compete with the economies of scale and other business efficiencies available to Walmart. The financial incentive for the amateur drug ride would evaporate. Would this ill all the ails of poorer neighborhoods? No. Would it solve the problem of gun violence immediately? No. Are there other factors to consider? Sure. Many argue that LBJ’s Great Society initiative through its provision of welfare for single mothers created an incentive for poorer families to be fractured. Without a father in the picture, welfare could be received, which, as some argue, resulted in the mass exodus of African American father figures. That combined with the mass incarceration of African Americans due to the drug trade, and you end up with many young black children growing up without an abundance of parental support, and gangs provide a readily available substitute.

      If any of what I said is true and eliminating the drug trade could have a big impact on gun violence, then does it still make sense to blame the guns? Doesn’t that indicate that other factors are at play?

      • anonymouse

        I’m certain that legalizing and controlling the supply drugs would massively reduce almost all crime rates, gun related or non-gun related, without question. And I’m definitely with you that the issue is far more nuanced, and with many more factors at play than purely guns themselves.

        But drugs are also illegal in most other developed countries, and you don’t have the same level of violence or gun related violence in other developed countries as you do in the USA.

        Moreover the trope that gun violence in the USA is actually gang violence has been widely discredited – gang related homicides are about 20% of the total. The latest official stats for gang crime, from 2012, show there were 2,363 gang related homicides, among 14,827 homicides in the US that year, and 11,623 gun-related homicides that year. Even if you assume every gang murder involved a firearm that’s 20.3% of the total number of firearm murders (ie: a minority and not a majority, let alone and overwhelming majority). And I’m not cherry-picking a year to look at, the opposite in fact as gang murders in 2012 were significantly higher than any preceding year.

        I’m not an anti-gun guy btw. I don’t think guns are evil, and I’m an avid shooter – but equally I don’t think you can take guns out of the equation when looking at gun violence in the US.

  • Len Silva

    A couple of points: I contend that for some people, perhaps a very few, possession of a firearm is similar to a mood-altering drug that effects each of its users
    in different ways. Possession of a firearm can cause a false sense of bravado, perhaps resulting in the owner doing things he might not otherwise do.
    Secondly, most of us are not anti gun or non gun. We are simply against and looking for a solution to the great number of gun deaths in this country compared to other very similar cultures, Canada as a very specific example.
    We spend billions to reduce automobile deaths and have been very successful, to the point where gun deaths exceed automobile deaths is some places.
    Similarly, we have significantly changed the drunk driving culture through education and penalties. There was a time when being drunk was considered an excuse for bad behavior, that is no longer the case. We expect people to take responsibility for their actions.
    That’s all we are asking in the case of guns. Take responsibility for your actions. Be absolutely positive that you are not selling a gun to someone who might harm himself or others. Be responsible for your firearm that it isn’t easily stolen or found by children. Insist that irresponsible gun owners be punished when someone else gets their hands on it. Hold gun owners to a higher standard when it comes to accidental discharges of any kind. There is little excuse for any such discharge. It’s not an oopsy like you spilled a drink. Call out your friends who engage in celebratory gunfire over the holidays.
    Those of us on the “other side” are open to reasonable discussion from reasonable people.
    If, on the other hand, you think you need an arsenal to defend yourself against a tyrannical U.S. Government, then forget everything I just said.

    • grunion

      Get back to teaching English, professor…. You are rather translucent.

  • Blackhawk

    Great article. While I understand using the alcohol analogy, I’m a bit surprised you didn’t go for the “other” inanimate object beloved of most Americans: the automobile. There are plenty of stats relating to the dangers of having such a proliferation of motor vehicles which cause more deaths annually than any two years worth of firearms deaths. Not too long ago, annual automobile deaths rivaled the deaths of Americans in combat in Vietnam, although now the annual rate is down to “only” 20 or 30 thousand a year. Yet Americans insist they have unlimited access to these multi-thousand-pound implements of destruction. And so on . . .

  • Cmex

    Spread this around like Texas wildfire!

  • Bryan Brah

    Nice letter, but what about the children dying every day?!? If taking away your gun saves the life of one child, it’s worth it! Case closed!

    Seriously though, trying to use reason, logic, and statistics to sway those who would deny our rights is a waste of time. Our opponents fall into two basic categories. Either they already know the truth and persist in their beliefs in furtherance of an agenda (e.g. liberal politicians, their lackeys, and the media that gives voice to their lies), or they are simply inexperienced, fearful, and ignorant products of a lifetime of [urbanized] anti-gun programming. In the first case you need something much more than facts to get them to sing a different tune (i.e. cold hard cash). But for those poor souls in the second group, facts and arguments will only work if you first overcome their irrational fear of guns. The ONLY strategy I’ve ever found that works with the “Feels Vs. Reals” crowd is to replace that fearful, confused emotional state with something more powerful, specifically a gun and the heady rush you feel when you shoot one. That’s it. period. Problem solved.

    The boom-stick goes off, the brain-switch turns on, and it all makes perfect sense; truth, facts, and statistics that prove the righteousness of our position are just icing on the cake.

    After a couple hundred rounds of Winchester white box, even the staunchest Social Justice Warrior will be asking how much Glocks cost. And then… you’ve got a convert who voraciously digests the facts while lamenting his/her previous ignorance. Of course the biggest hurdle to this plan is convincing your friend to go and ensuring a safe, friendly, and encouraging environment for the epiphany to take place.

    So the solution to our problems was in front of us all along, right there at the top left of this page. Political discussion never swayed anyone to our cause; we need FIREARMS NOT POLITICS!

  • grunion

    Please keep posting!!!

    • hiernonymous

      Okay!!!

  • grunion

    Stop giving it away. We want them mired in their own rhetorical mud.

  • b4k9zp

    Your comments are still nothing but flatulence, as always, hiernon.

    gun deaths refers only to deaths of guns. gun violence still only refers to violence committed by guns. I can’t help it if others are ignorant of the rules of English grammar.

    • hiernonymous

      And what is a knife wound?

      • b4k9zp

        I can’t help it if ignorant, uneducated people like you constantly misuse terms.

        • hiernonymous

          To be clear, you are insisting that “knife wound” is an incorrect, meaningless phrase?

          • b4k9zp

            Yep. Just like “gun death”, “gun violence”, and so on. Sorry, your nonsense doesn’t fly in the real world.

          • hiernonymous

            “Sorry, your nonsense doesn’t fly in the real world.”

            You might want to pay a visit to the real world before writing something that stupid. Here are a few of the examples you’ll encounter when you get there:

            http://www.forensicpanel.Com/expert_services/pathology/criminal_law/wound_analysis.html

            Knife wounds generally fall into the categories of slash wounds, incision wounds, and puncture wounds.

            http://www.cbs5az.Com/story/32751653/officer-suffers-knife-wound-in-phoenix-police-shooting

            Officer suffers knife wound in Phoenix police shooting

            http://www.usatoday.Com/story/sports/mlb/2016/06/07/prank-gone-wrong-sidelines-marlins-prospect-stone-garrett/85571214/

            Miami Marlins prized outfield prospect Stone Garrett will be sidelined for at least six weeks with surgery scheduled to repair damages to his thumb sustained from a knife wound last week by his teammate, Josh Naylor.

            http://www.hidesertstar.Com/news/article_886e18b2-34f9-11e6-b189-a7160b29b0e5.html

            Victim was bruised before fatal knife wound, coroner says

            http://journalstar.Com/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-s-knife-wound-leaves-lincoln-man-in-jail/article_98413ea3-20c4-5264-9e45-1932548f1427.html

            Woman’s knife wound leaves Lincoln man in jail

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.Gov/pubmed/5136577

            Brown-Sequard syndrome following a knife wound of the spinal cord

            http://www.kravmaga.Com/forum/forum/krav-maga-worldwide-forums/general-km-related-topics/1807-differences-between-bullet-wounds-and-knife-wounds

            “Differences between bullet wounds and knife wounds”

            http://www.warriortalk.Com/showthread.php?19155-Survivability-of-knife-v-handgun-wounds

            Survivability of knife v. handgun wounds

            http://www.echo-news.co.Uk/news/14608486.Moped_pair_left_man__46__with_knife_wound_in_terrifying_attack/?ref=mrb&lp=4

            Moped pair left man, 46, with knife wound in terrifying attack

            https://books.google.Com/books?id=2vpKAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA227&lpg=PA227&dq=%22knife+wound%22++royal+++-stab&source=bl&ots=rHIPgWUhjB&sig=ytkbdL-_QAfxTGu2dOouFS8ICto&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHivLMks_OAhUJLSYKHUPgAccQ6AEILTAD#v=onepage&q=%22knife%20wound%22%20%20royal%20%20%20-stab&f=false

            Inquest respecting the death of Robert Firme, killed by a knife-wound

            http://thestir.cafemom.Com/celebrities/136227/miley_cyrus_rushed_to_the

            Miley Cyrus Rushed to the Hospital for Knife Wound

            http://dmmoyle.Com/simeans.htm

            Langer Lines (or “longers”) are the natural grain of the skin. When the skin is cut, as by a knife wound, the skin pulls back the along the langer lines.

            http://medicpatriot.blogspot.Com/2012/08/the-sucking-chest-wound-open.html

            Gunshot wounds, knife wounds, shrapnel, are just a few examples that could cause this type of wound.

            http://www.aic.gov.Au/publications/current%20series/tandi/401-420/tandi417.html
            An Australian government site titled “<bKnife crime: Recent data on carriage and use.”

            http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.Com/article/S0002-9610(39)90645-8/abstract

            Penetrating knife wound of the skull with subcortical hemorrhage

            https://archive.Org/details/b22329857

            Aneurism of the Femoral Artery and a Knife Wound of the Intestines.

            Now, let’s see – the real world examples you’ve just been presented include usage by official government sources, medical journals, several different mainstream media articles, quite a variety of online resources, from martial arts, gun, and survivalist blogs to celebrity watches. In short, you ineffable moron, every caste and caliber of English speakers, from the most casual to the most erudite, regularly uses the construction. It’s found in official publications in Britain, Australian, and America. It’s used by the American Journal of Surgery, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

            Stupidity is forgiveable, if annoying; your aggressive, insistent, persistent, and obstinate stupidity is a serious character flaw. When you’ve been presented with overwhelming evidence that you are in error, it is utterly moronic to follow your path of denial.

            You are either one of the biggest idiots I’ve ever encountered, or one of the most consistent and effective trolls.

          • b4k9zp

            I live in the real world, unlike you. Guns, knives, and all other inanimate objects that can and have been used as weapons are not living things, and they cannot suffer “death”. Nor do they “murder” anyone. Nor are they “violent”. They are inanimate lumps of steel, and wood or plastic, and do NOTHING by themselves. Any violence, or deaths, or murders that occur are committed by human beings against other human beings, not by the guns themselves The guns do NOTHING except rust away into uselessness if a human being does not pick one up and use it, whether for lawful or unlawful purposes. To believe otherwise is to believe in a fantasy world where there are pink unicorns.

            The fact that you continue only to prefer to call others names shows that you know you have absolutely no facts whatever and no possible or conceivable form of logic, reasoning ability or thinking ability with which you can support your ignorant, and uneducated premises.

          • hiernonymous

            “I live in the real world”

            Really? Then why do you struggle so much with both the language and the concept of evidence?

            I’ve already, very patiently, explained to you the basic grammatical mistake you’re making. You can’t seem to grasp that nouns can be used in an adjectival fashion for more purposes than indicating agency, and, in this case, they indicate instrumentality.

            A footprint is a mark on the ground formed by means of a foot. There’s no implication that the foot decided where it would be placed or how it would be used. Nor is there any implication that the print is in or on the foot. The ‘print’ is an effect, which is understood to be on the ground or floor or some other surface to which the foot was applied.

            A nail hole is a hole that was caused by means of a nail. There’s no implication that the nail decided where it would be driven. Nor is there an implication that the hole is in the nail. The hole is an effect, which is understood to be in the surface to which the nail was applied.

            A gun death is a death that was caused by means of a gun. There’s no implication that the gun decided who would be shot, or how, or when, or why. Nor is there an implication that the gun died. The ‘death’ is an effect, which is understood to be that of the living being at which the gun was aimed.

            In all of these cases, the initial term in the phrase identifies the instrument by which the second term in the phrase was caused. There’s no grammatical implication or reason that the second term, the effect, would apply to the instrument.

            In our latest example, “knife wound,” the phrase indicates a wound that was caused by means of a knife. There’s no implication that the knife was wounded. The wound is an effect, which is understood to be in the living being to which the knife was applied.

            Now, you’ve never been able to respond to or rebut this logic; in fact, you’ve never indicated that you could even understand it. And that’s okay. It’s my contention that you are not terribly bright, and it’s probably not your fault that this confuses you. I can forgive you for that.

            But if you’re going to posture and preen about the real world, then you can’t simply ignore the overwhelming evidence I’ve provided you that the usage I’ve outlined for you is, in fact, the common, dominant, and educated usage. You’ve been presented – on more than one occasion, now – with many, many examples of that usage, by a broad range of authors across a broad spectrum of English-speaking countries. You’ve been shown its usage in pop culture, so you can’t claim it’s esoteric. You’ve been shown its usage by government agencies, so you can’t claim it’s simply slang. You’ve been shown its usage in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, so you’d be hard put to it to claim that it’s uneducated, or that those using it don’t understand the language as well as you do.

            “The fact that you continue only to prefer to call others names …”

            You see, this is another example of one of your outright lies. I don’t “only” prefer to call others names. I certainly will call you a buffoon, because your obstinate and aggressive dishonesty and stupidity have earned you all of the scorn that “names” are used to convey – but to claim that this is my “only” preference is a cowardly lie. You were just presented with an extensive and well-sourced list of usages that run counter to your claim. And you seem to think that by simply pretending it isn’t there, you don’t have to deal with it. That’s both dishonest and cowardly. For you to claim otherwise is another example of why I consider you an abject and spineless buffoon.

            And, yes, I called you a name there. It’s a name you have worked hard to earn. But you’ll be lying if you claim that the name is the “only” content of the post. I predict you’ll ignore the rest, because you seem to be the world’s first invertebrate ostrich.

          • b4k9zp

            The only one who struggles with language and evidence is yourself, as always, for your name calling and personal attacks invalidates everything you state, and makes all your comments worthless.

          • hiernonymous

            Notice that you haven’t actually addressed either of the principle issues.

            Can you rebut the grammatical logic?

            And can you demonstrate that the wide array of sources I provided s somehow flawed?

            Surely you don’t think that your “name-calling” dodge is fooling anyone?

        • hiernonymous

          Crickets?

          • b4k9zp

            Thanks for proving the truth of what I stated, again. as always.

          • hiernonymous

            Oh? Are crickets profanity or obscenity? Or was this another if your mindless non-responses?

            I know you have a great deal of trouble with both the formal and informal aspects of our language, so I’ll explain it to you. In movies and television, the sound effect of crickets chirping is often used to provide an audio indicator that everything is otherwise quiet and uneventful. It’s an artistic way of drawing attention to the fact that there is nothing to which the viewer’s attention might be drawn.

            In this case, it is intended as an interrogative, drawing your attention to the question I posed to you earlier, and the subsequent and conspicuous absence of a substantive response.

            It’s a way of inviting you to, someday, gather your wits and courage and substantiate the observations and accusations you are so fond of posting, but which you never seem to have the time to support.

          • b4k9zp

            MOre flatulence, of a particularly smelly variety, as always. You are capable of nothing else. Your personal attacks, as always, invalidate and negate everything you have ever stated.

          • hiernonymous

            Still squirming. Still dodging.

            And still not a single example to back up your claims.

            What a useless lump you are.

          • b4k9zp

            More personal attacks, as always, negating and invalidating everything you state. I bet it must really be smelly where you are.

          • hiernonymous

            Personal attack?

            I can substantiate everything I say about you. There is nothing I write that I am unable to explain exactly why I wrote it and provide specific support.

            You, on the other hand, vomit accusations you don’t actually understand out of emotional reflex, and then squirm and dodge when asked to substantiate your claims.

            So, for example, you claimed that my posts were characterized by profanities and obscenities. In the weeks since, you’ve deflected, denied, and done everything except what any man of integrity could and would have done: support the claim or retract it.

            Since you can do neither, and your posts are thus both unreliable and cowardly, you’re a useless lump, offering meaningless posts and avoiding the substantive posts that you owe.

            Put another way, you have found, to your displeasure, that accurate characterizations are insulting to individuals of little character. If you were a better man, you’d avoid the insults by trying not to deserve them.

            Happy to clear that up for you.

          • CowsomeLoneboy

            To be fair, b4 isn’t entirely useless. He does generate CO2 for the trees.

  • hiernonymous

    No, a Turing Test is not an ‘intelligence test’ – that is, it’s not a test to measure a person’s intelligence. It’s a test to see if a computer AI is sophisticated enough to convince a correspondent that it is human.

    Since your on-again, off-again contempt for Wikipedia seems to be off again, as a matter of convenience, let’s look at what it actually says:

    “The Turing test is a test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. ”

    Note that it’s not a test of intelligence – it’s a test for intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human.

    Since you’re too dense to understand the allusion, let me, once again, spell things out in simple terms: your online responses are so predictable, so similar, and so unresponsive to the actual stimulus, that they resemble a very simple machine script. When I tell you that you fail the Turing Test, I’m not telling you that you’re stupid (though you are), but that your responses are repetitive, canned, and reminiscent of a very simple BASIC interactive script that keeps returning similar answers to a broad range of inputs.

    Note that your current response reeks of your incomprehension – you ran across the word “intelligence” and stopped thinking. If you’d had the wit and work ethic to keep reading a couple of more sentences, you’d have run across this:

    “If the evaluator cannot reliably tell the machine from the human (Turing originally suggested that the machine would convince a human 70% of the time after five minutes of conversation), the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give correct answers to questions, only how closely answers resemble those a human would give.”

    In other words, what is being tested is not how ‘intelligent’ someone is, but whether a computer can be programmed such that a judge conversing blindly with a human and a computer cannot reliably determine which is the human.

    So, once again, you entirely miss the point.

    • b4k9zp

      Okay bill clinton, admitted perjurer (liar) and sexual predator, quibble over the definition of “is”.

      You state a “Turing test ” is not a measure of intelligence, when its definition clearly shows that it is. Then you waffle by saying “of humans, that is”. What’s the difference”. I

      Dogs have an intelligence that’s superior to humans like you. So do cats and horses.

      Everything else you state is just so much flatulence and a particularly smelly variety of that gaseous substance.

      • hiernonymous

        Typical. You babble about something you don’t understand, you’re corrected, and you call it “quibbling.” At some point in your pointless life, you’ll learn to take ownership of your own ignorance, instead of blaming it on others.

        Speaking of which, I notice that we’ve entered yet another week in which you’ve failed to produce a single example of the “profanities” and “obscenities” that supposedly form the bulk of my posts. Notice that I’ve let the standard slip a bit, in order to help you out – instead of the multiple examples you owe, perhaps you can produce just one of each? Since your “bill clinton” comment suggests that you at least understand that dishonesty is bad, perhaps it’s time for you to stop being dishonest?

        “Dogs have an intelligence that’s superior to humans like you. So do cats and horses.”

        It’s not clear that you’re in a position to judge, but in your own unintentional and moronic way, that’s actually correct, in the context of the Turing Test. It was actually the point of one of the passages I quoted to you. Dogs have certain functions that are superior to humans; they’ll respond more ‘intelligently’ than a human to a scent trail, for example, following or fleeing it when a human would just bumble on. That was precisely the point being raised in noting that the Turing Test was not an “intelligence test” because the behavior it seeks to imitate actually requires it to avoid certain types of “intelligence” available to it in order to achieve success on the test, which involves believable mimicry.

        “Everything else you state is just so much flatulence and a particularly smelly variety of that gaseous substance.”

        See, this is an example of the sort of idiocy you pen that would fail a Turing Test. You sound like a script, not a thinking human.

        • b4k9zp

          I state the truth, something you don’t understand and never have been able to recognize. Everything you state is nothing but extremely smelly flatulence, and without any merit whatever. Typical of your posts, you still prefer to do nothing but insult and make personal attacks against those to whom you have always lost your arguments.

          Your “scripts” sound like something that is not even as intelligent as a rock.

          • hiernonymous

            “I state the truth…”

            That’s testable. One of the “truths” you stated, before retreating into your silly and untestable “flatulence” script, was that my posts were characterized by obscenities and profanities,

            For weeks now, I’ve challenged you to produce examples. If you “state the truth,” you could provide those examples. But you’ve responded as a dishonest coward, evading every single time.

            Time to man up, jellyfish. If you “state the truth,” then when I call you out as an abject liar, you’ll have no problem at all linking to my many posts full of obscenities and profanities.

            Or will you offer another simpering little evasion?

          • b4k9zp

            Everything you state is mere flatulence, as always.

          • hiernonymous

            H: “Or will you offer another simpering little evasion?”

            b4: offers another simpering little evasion.

            At least you’re consistent.

          • b4k9zp

            More flatulence, blatant lying and nonsense, as always.

          • hiernonymous

            H: “Or will you offer another simpering little evasion?”

            b4: offers another simpering little evasion.

            H: Posts b4’s simpering little evasion.

            b4: Offers another simpering little evasion.

            What a jellyfish you are.

          • b4k9zp

            You think that I am evading your flatulent comments? I state what I say because I despise your lies, your obscenities, your personal attacks, and your all around boorishness. Your comments are utterly irrelevant and immaterial.

          • hiernonymous

            And yet, you are unable to produce a single example of profanity or obscenity in any of my posts.

            You’re a buffoon.

          • b4k9zp

            SHUT YOUR LYING PIE HOLE !

          • hiernonymous

            1. You’re the one lying. That’s why you’re losing it

            2. Umm…make me?

          • b4k9zp

            Despite your lies, I have not lied to you at all or to anyone else. You just cannot stand the truth.

          • hiernonymous

            “Despite your lies, I have not lied to you at all or to anyone else.”

            Prove it. Provide examples of profanities, obscenities, and hate speech in my posts.

            You don’t have to keep squirming. You just have to show that your claims are true.

            “You just cannot stand the truth.”

            You can’t seem to speak it. Why are you still dodging?

            Surely even someone as spineless and dim as you must be getting a bit embarrassed by now. You made very clear accusations – why is it so difficult for you to substantiate them?

          • b4k9zp

            WHY DON”T YOU KEEP YOUR LYING TRAP SHUT?

          • hiernonymous

            Because you’ve made a dishonest statement, and have neither substantiated it nor retracted it.

          • b4k9zp

            I have not made any “dishonest” statement, and you have provided all the substantiation that is necessary in every post you make.

          • hiernonymous

            You have claimed that I rely on all of the following in my posts, and have provided this many examples of each: zero.

            1. Profanity
            2. Obscenity
            3. Hate speech

            The common expression is “put up or shut up.” Except, of course, in your case, having made a public accusation, “shut up” isn’t sufficient. You need to “put up or take it back.”

            Come on, you cowardly buffoon – if every post contains ‘substantiation’ of your accusations, then why are you in your third month of squirming? Just cite examples of each, and you’re off the hook.

          • b4k9zp

            I stand by what I’ve stated, and your comments show that you know that I’m telling the truth, for you keep making those same personal attacks.

          • hiernonymous

            The issue isn’t the “personal attacks,” moron. I’ll insult you for as long as your aggressive idiocy and slander demands it.

            It’s the profanities, obscenities, and hate speech that you “stand behind” but can’t seem to find. You’re quite plainly not telling the truth, and I call you out for the persistently spineless liar that you are.

            All you need to do to earn a sincere retraction from me is produce the profanities and obscenities you claim mark my posts. Support your claims, and I’ll do what you lack the spine to do – support or retract.

            You’re pathetic. You know you’re talking nonsense, you can’t back it up, and you aren’t man enough to acknowledge your error. You don’t deserve to be classified as a vertebrate.

          • b4k9zp

            The issue is always the personal attacks, for there you go again, proving that my statements about you are 100% correct by continuing your childish, immature personal attacks. The only slander and lies have been by yourself, as always.

          • hiernonymous

            ” The only slander and lies have been by yourself, as always.”

            Des tha mean that you are finally ready to provide examples of the profanity, obscenity, and hate speech you claim my posts contain?

            I’m more than happy to entertain any complaints you have about “slander and lies” in my posts. Unlike you, I have and will make my reasoning explicit and identify my supporting facts. I believe I’ve given roughly thirty explicit citations feom your comments that underly my assessment that you are a moron, but we can go through it again, if you didn’t understand the first time through.

          • b4k9zp

            You constantly provide all the proof that is needed. And this most recent post is further proof that everything you state is invalid and without merit.

          • hiernonymous

            “You constantly provide all the proof that is needed.”

            And yet you can’t cite even a single example. Where is all of this proof? Where’s the profanity? Where’s the obscenity? Where’s the hate speech?

            Nope? Still nada?

          • b4k9zp

            In every post you make, ignorant one.

          • hiernonymous

            Okay, let’s take you up on that one. Let’s look at the post to which you responded, word by word, and what do we come up with?

            Not one profane word.
            Not one obscene word.
            No hate speech.

            Can you show otherwise, or can we consider this the final exposure of your dishonesty?

          • b4k9zp

            More tiresome repetitive nonsense, invalidated by your constant personal attacks. Ho hum. You continue to prove that your mentality is much less than those whom you deride as “morons”.

          • hiernonymous

            “More tiresome repetitive nonsense, invalidated by your constant personal attacks. Ho hum. You continue to prove that your mentality is much less than those whom you deride as “morons”.”

            So you were lying about the post containing proof of your accusations. Got it.

          • hiernonymous

            “Typical of your posts, you still prefer to do nothing but insult…”

            Wait, I thought you claimed to state the truth – yet this is a bald faced lie. For nearly all of my posts to you these days contains an explicit challenge for you to produce examples of the profanities and obscenities that my posts are supposedly full of.

            That’s quite clearly a challenge, not an insult, so my posts self-evidently do not consist of “nothing but” insults.

            Shame on you for lying again. Now, where are those profanities and obscenities, you slanderous scrub?

          • b4k9zp

            I state the truth, that everything you have stated since the first time you called another person a “moron” or any other synonym of the word, is as meaningless and without merit as if everything you stated was nothing but obscenities and profanity. Your comments are utterly worthless, and made so by your boorishness in preferring only to make personal attacks rather than discussing issues like an adult.

            The only one who is constantly lying is yourself.

          • hiernonymous

            “….as if everything you stated was nothing but obscenities and profanity.”

            Yes! Congratulations! It took you two months, but at long last, you admit that you lied!
            It’s a big step. You can’t solve a problem until you acknowledge that it exists.

            The next step is to try to understand why you tell these lies, and to change your behavior.

            “The only one who is constantly lying is yourself.”

            Ths is the next one you need to face up to, but one step at a time. I hope that self-awareness isn’t another two months coming for you on this one. You’re now on the right path, but, well, you’re no spring chicken, so you can’t afford to dawdle if you want to become a man before you pass on to face your maker!

          • b4k9zp

            I did not admit that I lied. I still state that your comments are and always have been rendered worthless by your use of profanity, obscenity, hate speech, and personal attacks. That is true of anyone of your like, who prefers only to make such usage of the language rather than discuss issues like an adult.

            The only one who tells lies about what others say is yourself, laar.

          • hiernonymous

            “I did not admit that I lied.”

            Well, first you claimed that my posts were characterized by profanity and obscenity.

            When you were unable to provide examples of either, you shifted your stance to claiming that my posts were as meaningless as if they were obscenities and profanities.

            Now, at that point, you were either acknowledging that the earlier stance was untrue, or you don’t understand the counterfactual nature of the expression “as if.” This isn’t the first time that we’ve had to try to figure out if you were a liar or a fool.

            Then, of course, when the contradictions in your various posts was made public, you predictable let the idiot side of your ego double down on the original stupidity, so you’ve restated your original claim. Which brings us back to where we were a couple months back, when I challenge you to produce examples in my posts to support your contention.

            If you haven’t been able to find one in two months, it’s not clear what you’re going to change now. Which means we can probably expect several more weeks of alternating braggadocio and cowering from you.

            You’re still a moral jellyfish. And, still, a man’s follow-up to your accusations would be either specific and factual support, or a retraction and an apology. And, still, you lack the ability and wit for the former, and you lack the spine and integrity for the latter.

            You’re trapped in a cage of your own making.

          • b4k9zp

            Since none of your statements are anything but lies, flatulence and immaterial nothings, nothing you state has any validity at any time. Your own truthfulness is non-existent,.

          • hiernonymous

            Heh – and you are utterly unable to offer a reasoned rebuttal, nor can you provide a single example of the sorts of comments you claim I rely on.

            Come on, you clown: produce a single example of my supposed profanity, my supposed obscenity, and my supposed hate speech.

            You’re not honest enough to understand or acknowledge why your feelings are really hurt. That’s something for you to talk over with your therapist or chaplain. You have some uncomfortable truths to face if you want to break your cycle of buffoonery.

          • b4k9zp

            Every post you make is full of obscene and profane name calling without any doubt. So SHUT UP AND QUIT BOTHERING ME.

          • hiernonymous

            I’ll quit “bothering” you when you retract your dishonest accusation or provide examples.

            If every post is full of obscenities and profanities, why can’t you produce examples of the same? Cite them!

            It’s up to you, Jellyfish.

          • b4k9zp

            What dishonest accusation? Your every post is proof of the truth of what I state.

          • hiernonymous

            “What dishonest accusation?”

            The one you just reiterated above, you buffoon:

            “I still state that your comments are and always have been rendered worthless by your use of profanity, obscenity, hate speech, and personal attacks. ”

            “Personal attacks” is vague enough to not be worth discussion; I insult you, of course, because you have earned insults. But that leaves three claims that you have not been able to provide a single example of, much less be characteristic of my posts.

            Having made the accusation on multiple occasions, it is your obligation to demonstrate that I use:
            1. Profanity
            2. Obscenity
            3. Hate speech.

            There’s your dishonest accusation, buffoon. It’s been over two months – isn’t it about time for you to substantiate or retract? Or are you both fool and coward?

          • b4k9zp

            That is the complete truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for your constant preference for personal attacks, ad hominems, name calling, or whatever you want to call it has always rendered everything you state totally worthless.

          • hiernonymous

            “…the complete truth…”

            Buffoon,
            You’re still missing any examples of the profanities, obscenities, and hate speech.

            Doesn’t look very complete to me.

            When are you going to man up and complete it? Or are you content remaining a jellyfish?

          • b4k9zp

            Just responding to everything you ‘ve ever stated with the truth. Your comments are always invalid, and of no effect, no matter what you say.

          • hiernonymous

            Still missing any examples of profanity, obscenity, or hate speech.

            Keep squirming.

          • b4k9zp

            The only person who is squirming is yourself, for you know that my statements about you are 100% factual. And you keep proving that they are every time you call others any kind of name. WHat you call “squirming” is my rolling on the floor laughing at your idiotic comments.

          • hiernonymous

            “The only person who is squirming is yourself, for you know that my statements about you are 100% factual. ”

            You’re not quite sane, it seems. What I know, and have demonstrated, is that you haven’t been able to provide a single example of any of your claims: no profanity, no obscenity, no hate speech.

            “And you keep proving that they are every time you call others any kind of name.”

            Don’t hide behind “others.” I’m not calling “others any kind of name” – I’m calling you a moron. I’m calling you a moron because you’re persistently writing moronic things. The set of moronic things you’re currently writing is that a series of posts containing no profanity, obscenity, or hate speech somehow ‘proves’ your claim that they contain profanity, obscenity, and hate speech. If you don’t understand why that is moronic, it rather reinforces the idea.

            Understand that I’m not simply calling you names. I am pointing to a very specific pattern of behavior, a very specific set of claims and responses that you’ve posted, and I offer them as evidence of your stupidity. You’re engaging in the equivalent of pointing to a blue ball and insisting that it constitutes proof that the ball is red.

            The way to avoid being labeled a moron is to stop being a moron. In your case, produce examples of your repeated claims.

            “WHat you call “squirming” is my rolling on the floor laughing at your idiotic comments.”

            I don’t think so. You’re not laughing. You’re careening from approach to approach, trying to find some way out of the bind you’re in. The sad thing is that there are two quick and direct ways out: provide examples to support your claims, or retract them and apologize. You can’t do the former, and you’re not man enough for the latter. So you keep squirming.

            I’ve got your number, buffoon.

          • b4k9zp

            Then you know nothing, and prove it with every post, for nothing you state has ever had anything but your own spleen to support it.

          • hiernonymous

            Great!

            Then showing examples of profanities and obscenties should be a snap!

            But you seem to be having so much trouble doing it. What’s going wrong?

  • Aldo1887

    This author completely failed by not stating his thesis. What is “The unfair analogy?” Instead of stating the argument, he carries on a long list of facts and statistics as if everyone knows what the argument is? I don’t know what the hell he is talking about? Total writing fail, I came to this headline expecting to be able to link it, and it is so poorly written I can’t…

  • Mark Lee

    Pete, excellent piece and perfectly logical. Too bad it can’t be boiled down to be simpler or ideally in an “infographic” format because I’m sure that our “non-gun” people will find this “TL:DR” (too long:didn’t read). Is there anything you can do to give this the Reader’s Digest treatment?

  • Come on people this is childish

    • hiernonymous

      Noted.