Serious Question

My question is to Colin Goddard, who’s testimony before the Congressional Panel on banning private gun transfers can be found here. It’s quite a chilling story. Given the circumstances described, if he had to go back in relive that day, would he have preferred to have a gun with him or not? It’s very difficult for me to understand how the answer could be no. Putting aside for a second the burdens of carrying a gun, it seems difficult for me to believe anyone would say no. I’m not sure what it says about your own belief in yourself, your abilities, and your self-image.

Perhaps it is pacifism. There are some people who simply could not bring themselves to do violence on another, even if the other person were trying to kill them and everyone else around them. I can accept that is a personal choice, but it seems to me to be a personal choice — not something to be imposed on others through force of law.

14 thoughts on “Serious Question”

  1. Real pacifism I can respect, and respectfully disagree with–but anyone who calls armed police officers to deal with an intruder isn’t a pacifist at all. To face an attacker with nothing more aggressive than “Jesus loves you” takes enormous courage. Having someone else come out and do the ugly business of using deadly force is both cowardly and dishonest.

    Sending hired guns out to disarm people so that they are forced to be pacifists–that’s a step up from that in hypocrisy.

  2. There are wolves sheep and sheepdogs, that day at VT there was one wolf, and one sheepdog (The Professor that blocked the door) the rest were sheep, several never even tried to flee.
    The sheep are as frightened of sheepdogs, as they are of wolves. They want to pull your fangs, until the wolf comes calling.

  3. “Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and — thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never solves anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor; and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.”

    — Jean V. Dubois from Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

  4. Agreed!

    On a related subject, a sheriff in an Iowa County refused to issue a cc permit to a pro-life activist, who was receiving death threats, because the sheriff felt that the applicant’s protest rhetoric was provoking the threats and should just shut up and the threats would stop. But the district judge found that this refusal violated the activist’s 1A free speech rights and ordered the sheriff to issue the permit AND to take a college class on the U. S. Constitution! Ordered him! I love it! Any chance we could get this judge to order Obama and his ilk to take the same class?

    This gives me hope!


  5. A somewhat different take–While the account of the shooting (not a gunfight) was chilling, I did not find the testimony compelling at all on the issue the witness was trying to advocate: closing the “gun show loophole.” In fact, he failed.

    He says the murderer slipped through the system because his mental health condition was not of record in such a way as to prevent the sale. OK, that is not the fault of any gun show promoter or retailer.

    Then, victim (not armed citizen combatant) Colin Goddard goes on and on about requiring private individual sellers to do background checks, too.

    1) His story, while high profile, does not speak to what he calls the gun show loophole. That is not how the VT mass murderer got armed.
    2) Brady–and gun controllers–are in full retreat. Some don’t fully grasp it yet; others like Paul Helmke are savvy enough to see it, know it, and to have developed a “best strategy in bad times” approach. This testimony illustrates the approach.
    3) Now, they are going to pick at the practical exercise of the RTKBA, impeding the exercise of the right in any way possible: trigger locks, micro-stamping, California’s ban on sales of ammo from out of state. The list goes on. Even Helmke says “I’m not against guns,” and almost every politician says he “supports the Second Amendment, but….,” but the fights are now going to be close-range, small-unit operations aimed at some small feature of firearms use and ownership.
    4) Finally–and I really, really don’t like saying this. Sort the arguments into categories from strongest to weakest. Our argument for the political and personal need for the Second Amendment is a strong winner, now broadly accepted by most of the country and many Democrat politicians at least on the most high-profile votes. However–and this is what I don’t like saying–they are on to something with what they intentionally mis-label the gun show loophole. They no doubt are horrified by gun shows and all of the people who attend, but it has little to do with gun shows per se.

    They are going to pound away against the right to transfer the weapon in a private sale, without a NICS check, for this is our weakest point in the debate.

    I’m not saying anything they don’t already know. They try but cannot get traction arguing that more guns lead to more crime. Accidental deaths are horrible, but preventable through safety training and they do not want more safety training because that would indicate acceptance of firearms ownership. They really don’t get anywhere with smearing guns shows except in the minds of the ignorant, because dealers run us through the NICS check.

    But, they are on to something with the private transfer and we are going to have to deal with this argument.

  6. MJM,

    Even though I don’t think that background checks matter all that much in preventing crime (Cho Seung-hui passed, didn’t he?) I imagine that most gun owners would not have a problem with trying to get a background check on every firearms sale.

    But the NICS system is too easily abused and we all know that.

    There are several ideas floating around to replace NICS with something else that would let the Brady Bunch have their warm-fuzzies and would lessen the possibility of the federal government maintaining an illegal firearms registry.


    (Yes, Sebastian — I know you are not a fan of BIDS.)

  7. Here is why I cannot sign onto requiring the private individual to obtain a NICS check. Like all of these “good idea” laws, that means making it a crime to fail, forget, forego or otherwise fumble getting the check done. You’ve done nothing immoral, but it would be illegal and that means enforcement–fines and jail.
    It’s Sunday and your brother-in-law comes into town and wants your old Enfield with the cracked stock. Or, you’re in a gun store, trying to get them to talk to you about trading and the guy next to you says “How much do you want for your Colt?”

    I can see innocent gun owners getting convicted of a crime.

    We already have way too much criminal law in this country (and too little punishment) and I just see the net getting bigger and bigger, sweeping up innocent people. So, while that wouldn’t seem burdensome to someone who never owned or traded a gun, I see it raising that fear level. I suppose that is why the law remains that the private person may sell or give away without doing the check.

    Of course, Americans willing to give up their liberty ( I gave up and just decided to call them Marxists) don’t care about that and are blithely willing to see law-abiding gun-owners go to jail. We know that from debates over the right to carry.

    I’m looking for some sort of solution. In the meantime, I think next time I run into a guy who wants to trade or buy, I’ll jot down his driver’s license number.

    I’m really puzzling over this one.

  8. Not long after I got my first gun, my stepmother told me that she would prefer being raped and murdered to actually having a firearm to defend herself from it.

    It’s not pacifism. It’s abject fear of firearms, and fear of violence of any form.

  9. With all due respect to Mr. Cramer, there is never anything admirable about pacifism, genuine or otherwise. Pacifism is nothing more than a fancy name for cowardice. A pacifist openly and proudly proclaims that there is nothing that he or she is willing to fight to protect. There is nothing worthy of respect in that position.

  10. Pacifism in the wild is a self correcting idea, in that pacifist animals get eaten by those that aren’t. Ergo, pacifism isn’t natural, as any animal that pratctices it goes extinct.

  11. Indelible indication on Drivers License indicating prohibited states. One has to check ID to verify in-state transfer status.

    Keeping recored of DL# and date covers the seller.

    Courts issuing verdicts that result in prohibited status confiscate DL and the new one issues says “prohibited.”

    Strict enforcement of Fake-Id laws.

  12. [I shouldn’t have used the word “states” in first line above. It has nothing to do with states of the United States. The DL should indicate if the holder is a prohibited person.]

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