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Interesting Observations About Our Opponents

From commenter terraformer:

Some people (not saying you are one of them) think that the drafters of this legislation just want to convict innocent people, etc and although I fully accept there are some warped individuals on the brady side with this goal, the overbroad and abuse friendly legislation comes from elsewhere.

It comes from the fact that these people so thoroughly trust the DAs and the cops to not screw up (forget about intentional corruption for a sec) that they see no problem with the broad discretionary/interpretive powers handed to authorities.

A guy got his guns stolen up here a few years back. He suspected a neighborhood kid. The cops dragged the kid (pre-teen) in and got a confession out of him and made sure it implied that the guns were not properly stored and allowed easy access to the kid. The cops charged the gun owner with improper storage and didn’t charge the kid for stealing them because of his age (and it turns out in order to get the “confession”). The guns turned up across town and the guy had them was linked to the robbery. The confession was a result of browbeating a pre-teen into regurgitating leading questions.

But we should trust authority, right???

Having observed folks on the other side for quite some time, I think this is correct. There are some petty and vindictive folks on the other side, but a naive faith in government, and an unshakable belief that government officials will do the right thing, are at the root of laws that grant broad authority to officials, essentially putting us in their hands. I quite often think many of our opponents would be fine with a law that says guns are illegal for anyone to possess that the Attorney General believes would be a danger to society. It’s common sense, after all. Who wants someone to have a gun that’s dangerous to society? These are not people who read Orwell, or study history in any serious way.

Another excellent observation comes from commenter jdege over at our favorite Brady Board member’s blog, where she suggested the problem with people murdering each other is a culture that is accepting of gun ownership and gun possession:

The problem isn’t “the culture”, it’s the individual who decided to pull the trigger.

You’re continued attempts to confuse, deflect, and share responsibility only makes things worse.

There’s one finger on the trigger, and one person who decided to pull it. No one else is responsible, and the decisions and behaviors of no one else is relevant.

Second Amendment advocates often hurl the word “collectivists” at our opponents. After a long time reading what they have to say, I can’t find any evidence this isn’t a completely accurate description of a large number of them. One of the things that caused me, as a gun owner and avid shooter, to get more involved with the issue is being greatly incensed at the constant attempts to make me responsible for the negligent, criminal or suicidal behavior of others. There’s something about that attitude that does not sit well with me, and I suspect the same is true for many of you.

This brings to mind the legal term corruption of blood, a concept wisely eschewed by the founders in the United States Constitution. Our opponents are strong believers in a variant of this concept of guilt. Collective guilt, collective responsibility, collective sacrifice. Surrender your rights and privileges because of the abuses of the few. Think about where that idea leads, and it doesn’t go pretty places. There might be room in this country for some gun regulations, but at long as these people are the ones driving the idea, it’s going to be opposed by people like us. There isn’t trust. There can’t be trust. Our opponents philosophical roots are vastly different than ours.

5 Responses to “Interesting Observations About Our Opponents”

  1. ZK says:

    Text of the (as yet submitted) bill is here:

    http://maloney.house.gov/documents/crimjustice/guns/MALONE_080_xml.pdf

    I don’t see any major gotchas for gun owners in there. I actually think these things are already crimes.

  2. terraformer says:

    “A guy got his guns stolen up here a few years back. He suspected a neighborhood kid. The cops dragged the kid (pre-teen) in and got a confession out of him and made sure it implied that the guns were not properly stored and allowed easy access to the kid. The cops charged the gun owner with improper storage and didn’t charge the kid for stealing them because of his age (and it turns out in order to get the “confession”). The guns turned up across town and the guy had them was linked to the robbery. The confession was a result of browbeating a pre-teen into regurgitating leading questions.”

    I should add if it isn’t obvious, the gun owner was charged with a rights robbing felony and had those guns not turned up as fast as they did (how often does that happen), he may have been wrongly convicted of doing something he hadn’t done based on this bad confession.

  3. mobo says:

    I hate the whole “collectivist vs. individualist” argument. Humans are by nature collectivist, just as ants in an ant colony are. We simply cannot survive as isolated “rugged” individuals.

    The real debate should be between voluntarism and coercion. I want to choose which people to associate with to better my position, and others want to force me at gun point to participate in their schemes. I will admit that sometimes coercion is neccsary, but the line has long since been crossed and it has gone too far.

  4. johnnysquire says:

    “Our opponents philosophical roots are vastly different than ours.”

    With respect to 2A issues, that’s seems true. However too many pro-2A non-libertarians (which leaves Sebastian out) are quite content with collective punishment and regulation – AZ’s immigration papers law and “anchor babies” are the best recent examples.

  5. Alpheus says:

    “I hate the whole “collectivist vs. individualist” argument….We simply cannot survive as isolated “rugged” individuals.”

    The difference between “collectivism” and “individualism” *isn’t* whether we gather ourselves into collectives, or shuffle of as individuals to do their own things. The difference is in freedom.

    A collectivist thinks that, if only we have a Queen Bee directing the hive, telling people what can or cannot be done, then we’ll fix all our problems. By decree, the Queen Bee makes us into a single Collective.

    An individualist, however, recognizes that a single Queen Bee cannot possibly know or do everything needed to run society smoothly. For society to run smoothly, individuals need to be in charge of their own lives, to decide who to associate with, what duties to perform, and what services and goods to provide to each other. This can create societies with “collectivist” aspects to them, but ultimately, those activities occur because of the free will of those involved.

    Paradoxically, in order to be truly interdependent, we need to foster “rugged” individuality. Individuals need to be determined to do what they can for themselves and for those they love. “Collectivism” undermines this, by attempting to provide everything–food, schooling, protection, shelter, etc–to the individual.

    Ultimately, this is the reason why it makes sense to differentiate between “Collectivists” and “Individualists”.

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