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SYG, Round XVII: There’s an old saying …

… that you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. This is one reason I no longer bother trying to engage with our Favorite Brady Board Member. It’s become apparent for some time she believes she’s entitled to her own facts.

Apparently in the Brady world, before Stand Your Ground, when you drew your pistol on an attacker, a Watchman would jump out, declare time out, while the Watchman quickly gathered a judge and jury. They would go over your circumstance, and then make a call as to whether your are permitted to act in self-defense. This was practice until NRA came along in the early 21st century and decided that we would try alleged criminal acts after the fact. This is a Brady Universe fact, apparently.

Meanwhile, in the real world the rest of us have inhabited for centuries, self-defense is an affirmative defense to the charge of murder, manslaughter, or assault. It’s always been “shoot first and ask the question later.” The standard has always been “reasonable belief in grave bodily injury or death,” through centuries of common law and statutory law, long before NRA was a twinkle in George Wingate’s eye. The only thing Stand Your Ground Changed was that one question that couldn’t be asked is why didn’t you try to run away from your attacker first. All the other questioned we’ve asked through the ages about self-defense are still perfectly valid, and really, those remaining questions are the ones the vast majority of cases have hinged on throughout history.

I guess the real question is why there are still folks over there trying to argue with a person who clearly lives in an alternate reality not inhabited by most of humanity. You’re never going to convince someone who believes they are entitled to their own reality. There is no public conversation about gun control policy happening over there. As best I can tell, the new media strategy of our opponents is as follows:

  • Ramble incoherently about alternate realities.
  • Bash Second Amendment advocates.
  • Pass off alternate reality as reality.
  • Bash Second Amendment advocates.
  • Get angry about the NRA and some ill-defined “gun lobby.”
  • INSURRECTIONIST!

This pretty much reduces the interaction choices to point-and-laugh for some, and poking the rabid dog for entertainment with some others. I’d save the serious arguments for when they occasionally rope someone of value from this reality into theirs for a short while, which does happen from time to time.

UPDATE: I should also point out that what makes MAIG so dangerous is that they have chosen to remain rooted in reality as the rest of us know it, rather than trying to construct their own.

20 Responses to “SYG, Round XVII: There’s an old saying …”

  1. You know that they are not interested in a debate when The Brady Campaign bans people for posting opposing comments on their Facebook page, and also delete the comments.

    Try it sometime.

    It is a wonder that Joan is still allowing opposing comments on her moderated blog. Perhaps she feels she must in order to retain any shred of credibility.

    • Sebastian says:

      Free and open debate is not a tactic our opponents have tried. Ever. She’s always been pretty tolerant of other viewpoints, as long as you accept the rule that she’s entitled to her own reality.

      • Pyrotek85 says:

        She has a piss poor attitude though, which makes it all the more difficult to tiptoe around her beliefs. Some examples –

        “I think you’ve posted enough for one day”

        “Isn’t it too late to be posting?”

        “You’re posting on a Saturday? Go outside and get a life”

        Her snide and dismissive remarks make it clear that she doesn’t want to engage in any discussion, but it’s still fun to poke her now and then.

  2. TS says:

    The pinnacle for me is how she still clings to this idea that the Zimmerman case shows how Stand Your Ground lets anyone get away with murder by claiming self-defense… all this while he is on trial for murder. It is baffling. Her answer is that media attention means the law can be ignored. No amount of people being charged or convicted of murder in Florida will convince her that murder is not legal there.

    Also, somebody must have said something about how UK has higher violent crime rates than the USA (unpublished). Her “facts” to show how it is wrong involves a mention of “gun deaths” and another “fact” that the UK’s violence rates are decreasing over the past decade, neither of which dispute the claim she is trying to prove wrong. You can say the sky is blue, and she’ll prove you wrong by showing you green leaves.

  3. Weer'd Beard says:

    “I should also point out that what makes MAIG so dangerous is that they have chosen to remain rooted in reality as the rest of us know it, rather than trying to construct their own.”

    I would disagree. MAIG Mayors (specifically the chairs of Bloomberg and Menino) ignore their own cities violent crime problem, ignore the gun control laws that they live under and are proven failures, and push fabrications like “Gun Show Loophole” and “Assault Weapons”.

    Also they simply do not wish to debate, discuss, or address the US Constitution.

    They aren’t as barking mad as the Brady Camp, or the various Joyce Groups, they aren’t any more logical or realistic.

    • Sebastian says:

      They ignore inconvienent facts that don’t help their argument. That’s a bit different than when, presented with facts, pretending they are not facts. MAIG is working with reality, in the sense that they are sticking to what are the most politically achievable goals (even if it’s a major uphill battle) and trying to drive the debate in their direction.

      • Weer'd Beard says:

        All the more reason to press them.

        I think a better way to put it is that All people who press for gun restrictions on a political level are liars. PERIOD

        Just most of the groups are pushing The Big Lie, while MAIG is more for pushing more small and subtle lies.

  4. Zermoid says:

    Why not ask the victims at Columbine, Georgia Tech, etc., how well running away works against an armed attacker?
    Oh, yeah, you can’t, they are all dead………

  5. DirtCrashr says:

    Had to tweet that – reality is reality, not what you want it to be. Despite the popularity of the thought nobody really creates their own reality – they can carve away at the mental-space they live-in, but it doesn’t change cheese to wood.

  6. JayF says:

    Left Coast Conservative: “It is a wonder that Joan is still allowing opposing comments on her moderated blog.”

    I used to comment there — polite and on-topic. About half were printed, and I found that I had less desire for commenting with only 50% odds.

    Even worse was commenting and having her reply “that’s not true” — and then not printing the proof I sent in response.

  7. Alpheus says:

    I’ve known several people who engage with Anti-Gun blogs, not because they expect to convince the blogger, but because they expect to convince those who are looking over the debate. In principle, I think this is a good idea; but considering the Reasoned Discourse(TM) that Japete and others like to enforce, it becomes wearisome and pointless to try to engage them on their own blogs!

    Thus, whatever attention you give to such blogs, it’s best to do it from your own, and to encourage the discussion to occur on your own blogs. In this way, Chaotic and Unreasonable Discourse(TM) will occur, and be there for all to see! (Here, of course, “Chaotic and Unreasonable” means “but he’s using FACTS to refute my BELIEFS!!!11!!1! How COULD he?”)

    • Alpheus says:

      Oh, and I would add: I don’t like it when someone deletes a comment, even deeply offensive ones. I like to see what the offensiveness was; this is especially important when others make comments to in response to the offensiveness.

      I understand the need, sometimes, to moderate comments, and the challenge between cutting out true offensiveness and maintaining Chaotic and Unreasonable Discourse(TM)…but then, it’s one thing to cut out a comment here and there, especially when a chain of inappropriate comments remain to be seen, before the final deletion occurs, and it’s another thing to claim “Oh, these gun bloggers are so impolite! That’s why I delete so many comments!” If the responses are really as bad as you say they are, then show us! Otherwise, I am going to believe you are just deleting them, because they contradict your beliefs…

      • Sebastian says:

        I don’t blame bloggers for moderating, but if you never moderate, the comments end up looking something like the crap you see on YouTube. Every garden needs a little weeding every once in a while.

        You don’t have to do it much to maintain a higher degree of decorum, but every once in a great while, you have to yank a weed.

        • Zermoid says:

          I wish it were so easy in real life……….

          I can think of several weeds I’d like to yank out of existence……

        • Alpheus says:

          The one time I am aware of, where you actually deleted a comment (and it may have been an attack of me, even), it left me a little jarred, and I wished I could have seen the comment; however, the person had already made similar comments as far as I could tell, and had even received a warning. Overall, I think it was a good example of pulling a weed, and I could understand that it needs to be done, even if I don’t fully agree with it.

          On the other hand, I’ve seen a thread or two at Japete’s website, where Japete has been yanking plant after plant, and saying things like “Gun Rights Supporters are so crude and inhumane! We can’t allow such comments to be displayed to the world! It just goes to show how evil their cause is!” It is in these situations, in particular, that I have commented “If gun rights people are so evil, then show us the comments, and allow us to see for ourselves!”

          Heck, even a sample of these comments would lead a little credence to these claims! (I would still wonder if you’re just displaying the worst that you can find, though…)

          Come to think of it, another difference is that Japete will take a single comment, and then claim it is representative of the entire gun movement; whereas when you deleted that one comment, you chastised the individual who made it, and encouraged him to make comments that weren’t ad hominim.

          • Sebastian says:

            I am generally pretty loathe to delete comments. What will tend to get you deleted is racist stuff. I just don’t want to be an outlet for that kind of thought. But I don’t very often get that. I probably delete on the order of half-dozen to a dozen comments a year.

          • Sebastian says:

            Japete will delete any comments that speak against the reality she’s created for herself. She lets enough through to make it appear she’s tolerant, but the reality is, it’s her blog and she’s entitled to her own delusional fantasy world.

            That’s fine. Her sandbox, her rules. But of all our opponent bloggers, I think she is, by far, the weakest intellectually. Ladd Everitt, Josh Horwitz, etc, are rabid dogs, but what they’re trying to do at least fits into an intellectual framework. It’s a false intellectual framework, as much as Japete’s, but it has more intellectual consistency than hers.

            She reeks of a person who feels her way through things, rather than thinks about things seriously.

  8. Rob Halvorson says:

    It won’t get published but I pointed out to her that She and the other gun-banners are partially responsible for the incidents like Joe Horn in Texas. They lie about what Stand Your Ground or Castle Doctrine laws really do and then people believe them. Joe Horn believed that Castle Doctrine allowed him to do things that it didn’t do. Who said those things were in the bill? Who has been saying that all you have to have is a “reasonable belief” that you are in danger and you can shoot someone? It isn’t us.

  9. Philbert says:

    From the linked blog post

    What the Stand Your Ground laws have accomplished is to convince armed citizens that anything goes.

    Say the people who are permanently broadcasting that “stand your ground” means anything goes.

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