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Esquire Article Seeking Feedback from Gun Owners

This Esquire article, which starts off saying the gun control debate is over and gun control lost, suggests the NRA is loony tunes for saying gun control is a threat, then proceeds to call for more gun control. It ends asking  why gun owners haven’t seized their movement from the fanatical bastards at the NRA:

My question is: Where in the hell are all the “responsible” people today? Where were they two weeks ago? Make no mistake. Without them, this profound problem cannot be solved. If they are the majority — and god knows, I hope that’s the case — then why don’t they wrest control of their side of the issue, and of the NRA itself, from the crazy mountebanks who are only in it for the buck? I am quite sincere about this, and I’d like any gun owners who read this blog, and especially any members of the NRA, to provide me with an answer. Where are you people?

I suggest folks follow through, and provide him with an answer.

UPDATE: We can see how well a defense of lawful gun owners participating in the political process is taken. As sample so far:

Because it is pointless to engage a debate with someone as transparently nutters as yourself.

Now go do your little end zone dance because I refuse to treat you as an intelligent person worthy of baseline respect.

This came after the commenter discussed how easy it was to refute the arguments made, but refusing to actually refute anything when called out.

38 Responses to “Esquire Article Seeking Feedback from Gun Owners”

  1. Rydak says:

    These people are a funny breed. Self induced delirium. This goes way beyond opinion or personal beliefs.

    • David says:

      They certainly are interesting. In that same thread of comments, he keep trying to pick fights. When it became clear that he was outnumbered or could not pull people down to his juvenile level, he we on to the next person to try it all over again. I guess if I behaved like that, had friends who behaved like that, I’d be all for gun control too. Can’t have a bunch of loose cannons running around.

  2. Ken says:

    What do you expect from a magazine that denounces rich people on the page opposite an ad for $1000 jackets?

  3. Stephan says:

    They never seem to realize that the NRA was founded to protect the second amendment, by using the first amendment. Why should a group have to be formed to protect the constitution?

    • Harold says:

      Errr, no, the NRA was founded by former Union officers to improve marksmanship, a general decline of which was probably exacerbated by the introduction of rifled muskets firing Minie balls with their long range and “rainbow” trajectories.

  4. GMC70 says:

    “Esquire Article Seeking Feedback from Gun Owners”

    Really? No it’s not.

    Once even a cursory reading of the article is done, it’s apparant they’re not really interested in hearing from gun owners at all. The usual self-appointed guardians of approved thought in the comments section make that abundantly clear.

    It’s a common problem for the anti-freedom crowd: if your position is so emminently “common sense” and self-evident, it should not be difficult to make it.

    Yet they can’t. They instead resort to tawdry insults and self-rightous puffery.

    No wonder we’re winning.

    • Erin Palette says:

      Isn’t it easier to say “We’re winning because we know how to argue coherently” ?

      • Harold says:

        Unlikely to be accepted by someone who doesn’t realize their inability to do so.

        • Erin Palette says:

          As someone wiser than me once said, “We aren’t arguing to convince them. We’re arguing to convince the undecided folks who are reading.”

          The more rational we look, and the more frothing at the mouth gun-grabbers look, the better off we are. Hopefully we gain a few converts along the way.

          • Harold says:

            Indeed, and for a very long time that’s exactly how I’ve approached arguing this topic.

            Although occasionally I go into “Hammer of God” mode and point out in so many words that if they push us too far, we will kill them (“civil war”). It might not be entirely constructive but I believe they are due fair warning. And if I get through to them, they might get less enthusiastic about their efforts.

    • John A says:

      Agreed. The author [multiple?] off-handedly mentions knowing some gun owners, but disagrees with them: about what? My guess would be anything about owning firearms. Nor do I see any suggestion of what to do, which might actually start a discuddion. “Why do we allow crazies to get guns{ is not even a good question, never mind a proposal.

      I also wonder how the author feels about knives, considering that less than a week ago some guy killed eight and sent several more to hospital using a knife.

  5. Oranje Mike says:

    Typical Esquire garbage. Would this asshole ask for people to defend freedom of speech?

  6. Rydak says:

    Another great example of progressive insisting that the NRA is some giant machine that strong arms elected officials. No,,, not like that at all. The NRA is an organized representation of the forearms owners in the united states. Anyone who has taken part in NRA elections knows that the officials of the NRA and their position is something that the members directly dictate. If the NRA does something that a majority of the members don’t like…they can take action and in a decent amount of time as well. Not like our current government, where life long Pols do pretty much whatever they want and only start even coming close to caring about it around election time, if at all.

    You think that NRA is too powerful? You think they intimidate poles….I agree with the last part at least. They do, they intimidate them with accountability. Something progressives and liberals or whatever they call themselves this week don;t understand the meaning of.

  7. GMC70 says:

    And no, I’ won’t be jointing that playpen. I don’t sign in to Facebook, at any time, for any reason. Ever.

    No thanks.

  8. TS says:

    Erin is kicking some serious butt over there. A fine read indeed.

  9. Michael Bane says:

    Brother, you did as good a job responding as possible! The overwhelming truth is that these people — who are in fact our blood enemies — only play the game if it is rigged. I say this as a former award-winning contributor to ESQUIRE.

    It’s why I won’t play. Having a “reasonable conversation” with antigun zealots is a bit like trying to find common ground with Herman Goering on just how many Jews it’s okay to kill.

    Thanks for fighting the good fight!

    Michael B

    • Sebastian says:

      I tend to think the purpose of this kind of conversation is less to try to convince anti-gunners than it is to try to get more gun owners to wake up and join the fight. The media has done a good job of keeping them asleep. Let them see the ugliness of the other side. That might make them realize what’s at stake.

      • Harold says:

        Let them see the ugliness of the other side.

        Yeah, but getting back to my “Hammer of God” point, can people who aren’t in this fight, who don’t realize the consequences of our opponents’ proposals—seriously, nothing less than a bloody civil war—truly see the full ugliness?

        (Not that many Americans want to see that level of ugliness, I think that’s part of what was behind the muted response to Waco’s denouncement, the sheer unwillingness to believe our government had committed mass murder—and to be very precise, the FBI defines that reasonably, 4 or more dead in one incident, and around a dozen were killed when engineering combat vehicles pulled a building down on top of where a group was taking shelter. That’s totally clear cut.)

        Or at a lessor level, the depredations of the ATF, at least in the period when they didn’t care about killing kittens or making pregnant women miscarry. Although I suspect Katrina might have made a difference….

  10. Sebastian says:

    Yeah, but getting back to my “Hammer of God” point, can people who aren’t in this fight, who don’t realize the consequences of our opponents’ proposals—seriously, nothing less than a bloody civil war—truly see the full ugliness?

    Most of them don’t think there will be a bloody civil war, because they don’t get some people will turn their guns in only after they turn in the ammunition. And in truth, they’d probably do it slowly enough and with enough grandfathering that the frog will be boiled slowly enough.

    But what you really want are gun owners, an when I say gun owners I mean people who own a gun, not people who identify as gun owners in a political sense, seeing other gun owners speaking out, because it encourages them to speak out.

    You have a lot of people who will tell you they believe in the Second Amendment, and that people ought to have a right to have guns for self-defense, hunting, etc. But they haven’t really thought deeply about the issue. They may have some reservations about identifying as a gun owner politically, because they think the NRA is too radical, or they want to appear to be reasonable. Many of these people, I think, can be reached with the right arguments. At the least, they can be encouraged to speak out against radical anti-gun ideas because they see others speaking out.

    There’s also the little secret that a lot of liberals and Democrats are gun owners. If that wasn’t true, Obama would have no problems jumping right into the gun control debate. He’s not concerned about Republican gun owners; he’s already lost them. He’s interested in not losing more Democrats who own guns. I think one of the reasons we’ve changed the culture as much as we have is because we created an environment where liberals could be comfortable identifying as gun owners in a more political sense. They may never be radical gun rights activists, but they are useful to win over, to the extent possible.

    • Harold says:

      What you and I think we may be seeing is a slow motion version of a “preference cascade” … which I think is connected to several things including our graying demographic and the nationwide sweep of shall issue regimes.

      Hmmmm, there’s also some “crying wolf” in the mix, our adversaries predicted blood in the streets after the end of the AW ban and in around 38 states from Florida in 1987 to Wisconsin last year as they institutes shall issue. Surely some people have noticed it didn’t happen … and they’ve had so many chances to notice by now. It was probably hard to ignore for those who pay even vague attention to statewide current affairs when it rolled through their state….

  11. ern says:

    Truth is, not much of an argument needs to be made against gun control, especially post-lapse of the assault weapons ban. Point out that the ban had no effect on gun violence, and that’s that. Only die-hard anti-gunners want to pass laws just to feel good about themselves. Most people (even those not enamored as we are with guns) don’t want to pass laws for no reason. Given that most people know someone who has been the victim of some sort of violent crime, and the commonality of stories of people protecting themselves with guns–well, the anti-gunners have a very steep hill to climb.

    They don’t seem to understand that the onus is on them to make an argument, which is why they get so huffy when people don’t just naturally default to their point of view.

  12. Harold Lloyd says:

    Like a lot of other things, guns are power.
    Power is neither god nor evil, it’s the purpose and intent that makes it one or the other.
    What I think we should be discussing is why so many people are doing more violent things.
    It’s not just gun violence, it’s road rage, child abuse, and other sorts of violent acting out.
    If we focus on guns, we miss an opportunity to investigate the damage being done to the society that allows or compels these things to happen.

    I would like to see a reduction in insults and slurs in this forum. Use language that you would use in front of your mother.

  13. Jujube says:

    I think the NRA is too powerful and I’d like to see the “Anti-NRA” formed.

    One of the things that made me realize that the NRA is too powerful is the Physician Gag law that the NRA got passed in Florida. I don’t believe doctors should have to give up their First Amendment rights to appease gun owners.

    The fact the NRA would push such an unconstitutional law shows how radical they can be, and I don’t believe it is good for any one group to hold so much power in this country.

    • Sebastian says:

      You kind of have to understand NRA politics to know why that was so aggressively pushed in Florida. The courts struck it down, as expected, so hopefully we’ll see little more of that nonsense.

    • Harold says:

      It may be wrong public policy, the politics are iffy as things stand today, but it is most certainly not “nonsense”.

      It’s based on at least a couple of things: a long campaign by many medical organizations to paint gun ownership as unusually dangerous, especially to children, and the fact that it’s almost always the case that a physician asking such questions is making a actionable boundary violation.

      Or at least it should be actionable, which is of course what this law was about.

      One of the things that unambiguously told me New Hampshire was “lost” was when a couple was told by the state’s CPS that they could either lose their guns or their kids. As I recall, there was no basis for this (no history of incidents or unsafe storage), it was just the usual suspects being upset about “Kids + Guns!!!”

      Physicians are required to report evidence of child abuse and this has been abused in general (don’t know about WRT to guns); there’s also the lock up your safety “safe storage” laws which have already resulted in the murder of innocent youths.

      I gather we’re past the high water mark of this effort (helps that we’ve decreased the number and rate of true gun accidents a lot) but I’d rather have our adversaries fighting our pushing into their territory than our fighting their “sensible and reasonable” regulations and laws about this.

  14. Erin Palette says:

    See, my take on this is that it’s none of my doctor’s business if I own a gun a not, and so absent anything in my diagnosis that might indicate a decreased mental state, if he asks I have to wonder what his agenda is. Will he deny me care if I say yes? Is this some kind of insurance thing? I just don’t know.

    So my choices are:
    * Say “yes”, and accept whatever negative consequences may come from that;
    * Not say anything, and have the doctor assume that my silence means yes, because otherwise I’d say no;
    3) Or lie about it, which doesn’t bode well for the doctor-patient relationship.

    OR the doctor could, you know, only ask me relevant medical questions. I like that scenario better.

    • Harold says:

      so absent anything in my diagnosis that might indicate a decreased mental state

      And as Clayton has documented so well, the threshold here is very high for coercive action.

      I myself will note, after consulting my favorite HIPPA expert, the privacy laws and regulations are sufficiently strict that the doctor’s hands could well be tied. The options are:

      Coercive action if it is so bad it has to go to the courts and someone or the state gets assigned to take care of the patient.

      If the HIPPA forms included a section the patient signed off on allowing discussion of anything with a specific third party like a spouse, that person could be informed.

      Otherwise the doctor would be reduced to trying to convince the patient to allow him to talk to his family or whomever.

      The doctor is allowed to consult with any medical professional for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment, but not for this sort of thing.

  15. Harold Lloyd says:

    The Second amendment is there to protect the First amendment, not destroy it.
    Whenever you hear of some kid finding a gun and shooting himself or a sibling, you know that asking about guns in the house is not irrelevant. But it should prompt a discussion of safety, not anything else.

    It’s a mistake to assume that everyone is a responsible gun owner. I have been in homes where, among the trash and filth, a rifle was lying under a couch, or a pistol just left out on a table, loaded.

    • Drifter says:

      Precisely what training makes Herr Doktor a firearms expert? This legislation was not about stifling free speech but about keeping doctors in their lane (which, last time I checked, was medicine).

  16. Harold Lloyd says:

    Dear drifter, the doctor is not a weapons authority, he specializes in health.
    Note I said health, not medicine.
    You are about 30 years behind the times.
    A good doctor will also ask about dogs, cats, snakes, swimming pools, and anything else that might pose a risk to an infant.

    What is your area of expertise?
    Who keeps you in your lane?
    How are you qualified to comment here?

    • Drifter says:

      Looking in my dictionary, I see no definition for “health” that includes any of the things you mention. I don’t want a life coach. I want somebody who can treat illness with a deeper knowledge than writing a scrip for 800mg of Motrin.

      I don’t go to a doctor for firearms advice any more than I go to him to tune my carburetor. I sure as heck don’t go so that he can shove the AMA’s anti-gun agenda down my throat.

      As to my profession, I will decline to answer on the grounds that my employer is rather picky about what I say as a representative of the organization. I’d hate for someone to mistakenly link the two. I, like the doctor can say anything I want as a private citizen. However, if he’s going to give advice AS A DOCTOR and charge money for it, I want to know that he knows what he’s talking about.

    • Ian Argent says:

      I will note here that our pediatrician only asked about one of those things, and he did so across two separate visits. I took the easy way out, sort of. The first time I was so flabbergasted that he took my silence for a negative, and the second time he started out with “of course you don’t have any,” so I didn’t see the point of dreading politics into it. Because that would be what it was at that point, politics.

  17. Harold Lloyd says:

    And I doubt your doctor will ask you about your gun.

    But if you were a 19 year old pregnant girl whose husband has a love for guns, your doctor probably would ask.
    And before you go off, this is a small town and people do know these things.
    Here, my doctor probably knows a lot more about us all than you are probably accustomed to. Not just the Doc, but everybody.

    I think your concerns are misplaced.

    What would bother me is if the doctor’s notes fell into the hands of the insurance company, who might react in a way I wouldn’t like.

    I do appreciate the civility in your response though, thanks.

  18. Harold Lloyd says:

    A better link – http://news.yahoo.com/doctors-target-gun-violence-social-disease-154925347.html

    This is just one more disappointment. I’d hoped it would be about stressors of todays life, and early detection of mental illness, and like that.
    I’m still hoping.

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