Joan Peterson’s Legal Philosophy

I’ve come to one conclusion in what limited reading I’ve done of Joan Peterson’s blog. If it’s legal and she doesn’t like it, then she assumes it is actually illegal and everyone who does what she doesn’t like is a criminal. If it’s illegal, and yet criminals still find a way to get around the law, then clearly it is actually legal and she wants to regulate EVERYTHING in an attempt to make it illegal(er).

I’ve had my share of experiences at smaller non-profit shops that sometimes have board members who like to speak out on their own. If I worked for the other side, I’m pretty sure my head would be dented from banging it against the desk and/or wall after reading Peterson’s comments. Seriously, Peter, if you don’t have a stash of the Montezuma in your desk for a quick chug every time she posts, let me know and I’ll bring you a bottle next time I’m down there.

I admit that I had to laugh about her post on the Mary McFate story. She was McFate’s roommate in DC, and she gladly told her story of sorrow and opened her mouth about plans for the Minnesota gun rights groups. It’s similar to the actions of the former Executive Director of CeaseFire who invited McFate to stay in her home and attend board meetings. I don’t understand how you meet a woman like McFate and not have every alarm bell going off that something just isn’t adding up. Alarm bells should have been ringing in minutes, if not seconds, of meeting her, and yet she shared a room with the woman. Maybe I’m just protective of my personal space, but if someone creates discomfort for me or starts telling me things that don’t add up, then I am unlikely to continue sharing a hotel room with them while I sleep, bathe, and change clothes. But Joan might call that unwillingness to share my sleeping space with strangers who rub me the wrong way paranoia. I call it self-preservation.

I should feel sorry for Joan. The naïveté on display is almost sad for a grown woman. She laments that McFate was “lobbying” for the Brady Campaign on Capitol Hill. She’s convinced that McFate had full access to Senators and Representatives and was possibly telling them to be more pro-gun. Seriously, how many doors does she think the name “Brady Campaign” really opens on Capitol Hill? Even beyond the group name, how many doors get opened or people who aren’t constituents, large donors, or official lobbyists who can drive donations? Going one step further, on the occasion when doors are opened, they are rarely doors to lawmakers. Let me clue Joan in on the answer to these questions: Very few. Those powerful doors pretty much only open when a) you’re important, or b) they want a photo op.

There’s nothing illegal about allowing other people to spill their guts with little or no prompting. It’s not illegal to take advantage of the fact that the gun control groups will so quickly promote someone who just makes them feel good without asking serious questions. I think the only thing that shocked people was just how little effort, time, and money it takes to become a “leader” in the gun control community.

Of course, on the flip side, there’s nothing illegal about Michael Moore joining the NRA as a life member in an attempt to run for the board. He’s welcome to try. Of course, we require a little more than simply coming up with a sob story and showing up for a few rallies to be a leader of more organizations on this side of the argument. It doesn’t matter if someone just makes us “feel good,” they have to be willing to make an effort for the cause. Not only do we have many members who ask serious questions of those who want to step up into leadership, but those of us lawful gun owners active in the movement tend to ignore those who set off our alarm bells. We have a natural vetting process within our grassroots communities. Joan’s vetting process is limited to those who make her feel good or listen to her tell her stories. She tries to blame us for her lack of awareness, but I don’t think it fools anyone.

22 thoughts on “Joan Peterson’s Legal Philosophy”

  1. Not knowing much about the McFate story, it still sounds pretty damn creepy to me.

  2. Even if it bothers you that someone who doesn’t believe in the gun control agenda just showed up to some meetings to find out what they were doing, that doesn’t make it illegal.

  3. “Those powerful doors pretty much only open when” needs “c) hot”

    Hollywood can’t make a realistic show about Capitol Hill, because they can’t hire actors as hot as the interns and staffers.

  4. Heck, if there were meetings around me, I’d show up to see what was going on.

    I didn’t really read it as she “just showed up to some meetings.” It sounded considerably more involved than that.

  5. I totally agree that it’s not illegal. I think it’s plenty unethical, and not what I’d want my side to get caught at, though.

  6. Believe me, it’s easy to get invited to more if you just show up. I just went to a press conference, and I was approached by several people on their side thanking me for coming out and showing support – until they finally figured out I wasn’t there to support them. It wouldn’t have taken more than the smile I already gave, a little chatter, and minimal interest in what’s going on to have secured more invites.

  7. Hmm,

    Let’s take the anti’s usual approach.

    If they have nothing to hide, then what is the problem; right?

    Isn’t that what they usually tell us when we talk about privacy?

  8. I’m wondering this morning what feelings Joan would have on that 14 year old mexican hitman that would get out at 18 if convicted under mexican law.

  9. I do not see how you can stand to read this woman’s writings, especially her responses on her blog. She either has an extremely low IQ or she is intellectually dishonest in her arguments. When reading her responses to other people I cannot decide if she is really that clueless and out of it or if she is purposely misrepresenting what other commenters are saying. At first I did not realize that japete or whatever her handle is was Ms. Peterson. I honestly thought it was middle school boy based on the logic and intelligence shown in her posts.

  10. Joan’s vetting process is limited to those who make her feel good or listen to her tell her stories.

    Well it’s not like she has many folks flocking to her side from whom she could choose.

    Joan simply doesn’t live in the same reality as most folks. I have to admit it’s more than a little amusing to see her unraveling play out on her blog and in comments. A bit sad, but quite amusing.

  11. Matthew – Her responses are pitiful, even for what I’m used to from anti-gunners. I mean how many times have we seen the woman respond to reasoned, intelligent comments with one word. “Nonsense”

  12. She’s started to comment at Huffpo on the gun pages. She is using the screen name “ethanellie” at the GritsJr/Horwitz piece linked in another recent post.

  13. Am I the Peter you’re referring to? if so, let me just say that Joan Peterson is a really, really decent person who has tried very hard to reach out to gun rights supporters to try to establish a real dialogue. And she deserves way better than this kind of cold treatment.

    Who are you? Are you the person I’ve met who is reasonable and can listen to opposing viewpoints? Or are you a cold heart who will just crucify anyone who’s on the other side? Good God, it’s the Christmas season. Have a little compassion for those who differ with you on something. You’ll sleep better at night.

  14. So Petey, are you saying that you endorse her total lack of logic, facts, or ability to present a cogent argument?

    “Joan Peterson is a really, really decent person who has tried very hard to reach out to gun rights supporters to try to establish a real dialogue.”

    We’ve dialoged. She’s still wrong. She’s impervious to facts. She’s in good company though. None of the rest of you are interested in facts either.

    “Have a little compassion for those who differ with you on something.”

    Physician, heal thyself.

    Here’s a plan. Why don’t you guys stop pushing for further abridgments of our rights. Maybe we could get along better if you weren’t doing your level best to make sure that I couldn’t own and carry firearms. Failing that, please at least be honest about your intentions. Stop pretending that we are so stupid that we will believe you when you pretend that all you want is “common sense” gun control.

  15. I agree that Bitter is very mean :)

    I’m sure Joan is a very nice person. My grandmother was a very nice person. But my grandmother was a strong believer in prohibition (the 18th Amendment kind) and quite insanely so. Granted she married an alcoholic, so I can see where it comes from.

    Joan reminds me of my grandmother in many ways. I loved my grandmother, but I wouldn’t have put her on the board of anything as a representative of a movement.

  16. I know plenty of very nice, decent people whose good intentions combined with an inability to accurately forecast the results of their policies will pave the road to hell.

    Being a decent person is not enough. Having good intentions are not enough. Results matter. You can’t lay out a series of steps or a political philosophy that has led to ruin before and expect us to believe that this time it’ll be different.

  17. Joan reminds me of my grandmother in many ways. I loved my grandmother, but I wouldn’t have put her on the board of anything as a representative of a movement.

    Too easy.

    Obviously, Sebby would much rather be represented by someone like Ted Nugent–a racist, draft dodger, and child molester.

    Of course, it’s pretty easy to review the history of the NRA and find many of its leaders were criminals, adulterers, racists and assorted grifters.

  18. Oh, there are and have been NRA board members I think had no business being there either. But NRA board members are elected. How exactly does Brady choose its board?

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