In Order to Have a Discussion, There Has to be Two Sides

Joan Peterson, Brady Campaign Board Member and Minnesota gun control activist, laughably says:

We do need to have a serious discussion about what’s going on in our country concerning guns and gun permit holders.

I’m all for it. Let’s have a discussion. Does this mean she’ll stop censoring dissenting opinion in her blog comments? How can you have a “serious discussion” when you refuse to allow any kind of open discussion on your blog. I mean, I get it’s your sandbox, and you can do what you want, but let’s not pretend you want to have a serious discussion when people who try regularly find themselves silenced when they say things you don’t want to hear. When you are ready to have a serious discussion, we are certainly ready and willing. But that’s going to require everyone to be adults.

We need to talk about the wisdom of letting citizens carry guns around with them wherever they go. We need to talk about why it is dangerous to ramp up fear and paranoia amongst people who have been led to believe in myths and outright lies about our nation’s President.

OK, let’s talk. But we’ll have to do it here because your side won’t allow for open discussion in any forum you control. It’s part and parcel for the gun control movement. I haven’t seen any of the half-dozen or so anti-gun blogs that have existed that didn’t censor dissenting viewpoints, or disallow any kind of discussion outright.

That’s not the marker of a movement that has strong arguments and is self-confident. That’s a movement that knows it has no arguments. We have been having “serious discussion” about these topics. The problem is, you guys aren’t convincing anyone.

62 thoughts on “In Order to Have a Discussion, There Has to be Two Sides”

  1. “People who have been led to believe in myths and outright lies about our nation’s President divinely appointed ruler, so shut up, you peons, and know your place.”

    FIFY, Joan.

    And while we’re on the subject of lying and Presidents, let’s talk about the President who said it was easier to buy an “assault weapon” than it is to vote…

  2. I sent a request to have a discussion here. I have this strange feeling that it will be “awaiting approval” for a VERY long time…

  3. I’ll have a discussion. I’ll even kick it off in good faith.

    I invite anyone in favor of gun control to show me actual statistics proving any of the following things:
    1) permissive CCW laws correlate with higher rates of violent crime
    2) CCW holders are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes
    3) CCW holders are statistically more likely to suffer from mental disorders including paranoia

    Show me ANY of those things and I’ll be willing to reconsider my support for CCW laws.

    (just as an aside, being called paranoid by the side of the political spectrum that thinks G.W. Bush orchestrated 9/11 is just too funny for words)

  4. I stopped taking her seriously years ago. Although she would fit well out here in California.

  5. I just submitted the following comment. Let’s see if it makes the cut:

    Every holder of a concealed-carry permit in the United States is going to have passed a background check, and many states not only require classroom tests and training for getting a permit, they also require a live-fire demonstration that the person knows how to operate a firearm. Do some permit holders commit crimes? Sure. But studies have consistently shown that they do so in infinitesimal rates and numbers. For example, a recent study in Texas found that CCW holders were much less likely to commit a crime than the general population of Texas. Why are you worried about people who have all passed background checks and are demonstrably more law-abiding than an average American?

      1. Or a member of Congress, member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns or any political office in Chicago. All of whom can do a lot more damage to a lot more people than one person with a gun.

  6. Joan is being, as usual, disingenuous. There has already been many discussions on this issue. These were held in the various state legislatures when they passed shall-issue permit laws, including Joan own state of Minnesota.

    We have also had a national discussion on this issue several times, when National Reciprocity almost passed in the Senate.

    Anti-gun rights people like Joan really mean “dictate” when they say “discuss”, so why bother paying any attention to her? I have not for about 18 months, and intend to continue the policy.

  7. They know they lost the argument and the war, they just choose to continue to battle hopping for that one tragic event that will give them the footing to take back some ground.

    They lost in the Courts, and since 2008 have seen a steady decline in their prospects. Then in 2010 they saw another blow. and all thew while states keep rolling back gun control like one gun a month in South Carolina and Virgina. once the mainstay of their portfolio, now swept into the dust bin.

    If not for Bloomberg, California and Chicago, they would be lost. They think that by making a mountain out of every permitee or gun owner that makes a mistake or does something stupid, they are going to scare the mainstream of America to their side. Hence the Starbucks campaign and others.

    Make no mistake about it, they have some clever PR people and the resources to do it, but it doesn’t come from membership dues

    And some on our side will give them props by OCing an AR at starbucks. She typifies the person who lost a family member and can’t get over it and is in need of serious psycologically help and therapy.

    But her biggest problem is she can’t understand normal thinking.

  8. So they start their “conversation” by poisoning the well and dragging in a completely unrelated subject, namely the president.

    Sorry, no discussion. It’s not worth it. No matter what I say, I know they’ll claim it’s racist.

    1. You nailed it in one, Rob Crawford.

      Her position is that if I have negative views about the POTUS then all of them are based on misinformation and lies (and I’m a racist to boot). Wow!

      I guess what is supposed to follow in this “discussion” is that our stupid desire to own guns is from paranoia and ramped up fear; and not anything to do with our recognition of evil and crime.

      Seems like she set it up to have a straw man argument and to poison the well at the same time.

  9. Joan Peterson is the epitome of incorrigible.

    If I had a dollar for every time one of these gun control types called for a “discussion” or “conversation” on guns. To them, “having a discussion” translates to “getting the restrictions we want passing into law.” Every time. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I am tired of those kinds of “discussions”, and frankly, I am tired of second amendment types still giving them the benefit of any doubt that may amazingly remain.

    1. Oh yeah. I think the last serious shot the enemy side took was that laughable fraud of a book, “Arming America” by Michael Bellesiles. And we all know how that turned out.

      Of course when they say there needs to be a national discussion about guns, what they really mean is a new national propaganda campaign against us and against the right to keep and bear arms. Well since Newton the enemy got what they wanted. Yet despite that orgy of abuse and vilification from a hysterical press, the enemy still hasn’t swayed the majority of Americans.

      Game over.

      1. Hah! She has reacted to this thread with a new post. It mostly is a aimless regurgitation of every anti-gun myth and foolishness ever said. But buried down in there is a confirmation of exactly what I thought when people like her talk about wanting a “national conversation about guns”.

        “So when the “gun guys” on my blog want me to come to their sites to have a “discussion” while calling me names and demeaning me on their sites, it’s really not too possible to have a “discussion” with them. And what they have failed to understand is that what I, and others like me want, is for Congress and our legislators to have the discussions Americans deserve in order to pass common sense gun laws.”

        [I thought about posting a link, but why give her the hits?]

  10. Its been 3 years since I wrote this about japete.

    >It’s impossible to argue with an irrational person.

    She was disingenuous then and proven so since.

    Nothing new here, move along.


  11. Can we get some people on the other side to comment here? Or, I don’t know, have a post-and-response thing on their own blog? Or even a guest post here?

    It’d be good to actually see opposing arguments by people who aren’t totally insane.

    1. At least one anti-gunner used to comment here – Laci the Dog. We’ve always allowed their comments here.

      1. Oh, I know you guys don’t use Rational Debate, it’s just that it’s hard to get rational people to talk to a hostile audience. It usually ends up decaying into trolling, like that guy… mikeb(?) who used to be active on lots of firearm blogs.

        Made me wonder if some sort of proper, structured or even moderated discussion could be arranged between opposing bloggers… probably because I’m a debate nerd. :D

        1. Well I could make a joke about them not being rational…

          The problem is they rarely stay around to debate. Its usually a drive by posting “YOU HAVE THE BLOOD OF KIDS ON YOUR HANDS YOU SICKOS!”

          It can be tough in a hostile crowd, but I regularly post on TPM just to engage with them. I’m civil and I just to back up my points with data and links. Most will just call me names, but I’ve reached a few people here and there.

      2. To be fair the only anti-gun people to leave comments on my blog have NEVER left more than one comment per post.

        Essentially they were using my comments section as an extension of their blog. I mentioned that if they wanted to engage in a debate they’d actually need to debate, and given that for every anti-gun post on my blog there were several pro-gun rebuttals that were completely ignored.

        If they wanted an honest debate they would have had it ages ago.

    2. “It’d be good to actually see opposing arguments by people who aren’t totally insane.”


    3. It’d be good to actually see opposing arguments by people who aren’t totally insane.

      That’s a mutually exclusive statement……

      Or are you implying that partially insane would be ok?

      1. The issue is that most of them make poor arguments. At this point I could make their arguments for them better than they could.

  12. I posted my first articulate response last night and the comment never got approved. Oh well, so much for serious discussion…

  13. OK – I’m game to debate. If I can get a promise from Sebastian and Bitter that they won’t look up my ISP or publish my personal information, I’ll have a go at clearly articulating and defending the ‘well regulated’ side of the argument.

    [says the guy using a pseudonym. Not that I doubt your integrity or good faith in any way, but if we’re going to try to have an honest debate, people’s feelings are going to get hurt]

    1. Having prepared a “well-regulated” argument in the event of a loss at Heller, I’m not sure anti-gun folks want to go there. The militia arguments can make for some interesting “what if” scenarios that could have led to widespread Constitutional gun bans but also provided Constitutional protections to certain classes of militia weaponry. And I am quite certain that is not the outcome anti-gun people have in mind when they talk about “well-regulated”.

      And that, in my opinion, was the most cogent of their arguments. Even if it did depend on the living Constitution theory and a layman’s use of the term. But it at least had the view of rationality. But even that is disingenuous as the desired outcome of the “well-regulated” is “well-banned”, not gun safety training, ownership under control or reduction in gun violence.

      There can be no discussion because there is no place to meet in the middle. They want us in a swamp, alone and covered in scum while they sit on leather in an ivory tower, smug and satisfied. Tough to have common ground when both sides can’t even agree on the field to play on.

      1. Isn’t the Anti’s “arguments” kind of like a burglar wanting a ‘discussion’ with the police on how many homes he can rob?

      2. Even if it did depend on … a layman’s use of the term.

        More seriously, it depends on an *anachronistic* use of several terms.

    2. Well, just post a ‘no guns or violence allowed’ sign on your door and it will magically protect you from any harm when they post your name and address, along with google mapping right to your doorstep……

      But really, even if they trace your IP address best you can get is within a 10 mile radius of where you live, if that. Usually you can trust the state and country are right, after that it’s a crap shoot.

      1. If you’re really worried use a throw away Email address, yahoo or gmail, something like that. I have a couple I use for sites I don’t trust. And they just fill up with spam……

    3. Okay then, DD, I have three questions. You might begin the debate by answering any one of them.

      1)What do you want? IOW what is your end game? Regardless of exactly what process is used, what is the final policy position you hope the United States takes on guns? One frequent response I’ve seen lately from the other side is adapting Australian gun policy as an outcome. Is that what you want for America?

      2)Name one actual law (or actual bill) in the United States (or state or locality) that you think went too far in “regulating” guns? Or do you think there isn’t such a law?

      3)Are you willing to compromise? A real compromise? As in you give in on something from the current legal status quo in exchange for the pro-gun side giving in on something you want? For example lately the anti-gun side has wanted to outlaw all private firearm transactions that do not involve a paper trail and background check as in California, but to get that would you be willing to have a Vermont type concealed carry handgun law in exchange?

      Most anti-gunners would answer my three questions as: 1)Australia is a step in the right direction. 2)I don’t know? 3)No.

    4. I’d welcome it, but out opening with “don’t dox me bro” isn’t exactly a great start on the relationship front.

      It’s probably best not to get drawn in to answering questions from all comers. Debating without a clear framework and set of ground rules is like wrestling in quicksand. But it really would be great to hear from you.

      One question I had, though, is how you ended up finding and following this blog. Part of a deliberate attempt to expose yourself to ideas you disagree with?

  14. I’m still not sure why you take Joan seriously. It is clear she has some sort of mental issue. That is not name calling, just honest observation. I don’t think her level of impairment crosses into MR territory, but it is obvious it rises to the level of being “diagnosable” as my psychologist friends say. If you gave her a Wechsler I believe you would be looking at a result south of Borderline.

  15. Pot? Kettle calling. Something about pigmentation?

    Actually, worse than that – more like a broken clay pot calling a new piece of All-Clad “bad for cooking”.

    I’ve seen about an order of magnitude more lies and fearmongering coming from “Their Side” than ours.

    Two orders of magnitude if you cut off the fringie idiots on both sides; their fearmongering paranoia is much more mainstream.

    (God knows we have some, of course; every time the US government bids for some ammunition or – most recently – AK magazines, people have fainting spells about how it’s a conspiracy for a new police state or to disarm us all…

    But the difference is that our mainstream groups doesn’t push such lies. Hell, the NRA went out of its was to rebut them around the ammo thing, if I recall.

    Wheras theirs?

    Has there even ever been a VPC or MAIG press release that wasn’t full of deceit and fearmongering?)

    1. I don’t know, man, our fear-mongering is pretty darn bad. Most of the subjects in my X-daily NRA emails make me headdesk, and that’s pretty mainstream.

        1. And let’s face it, most of it is TRUE!

          They don’t want “Compromise” they want Surrender.

          They don’t care a wit about “Public safety” they want to ban guns (see also not caring about background checks unless it has a backdoor that can be used for gun bans)

          Also they ARE coming for your hunting and sporting guns. Further the 2A is NOT about shooting ducks, deer, or paper. They don’t believe in justifiable self defense and will do anything to strike it from the books…at the least defense with guns.

          Its all well documented on my blog, and I can call up any of them in question for those who aren’t willing to search for it.

          There is fear mongering from the pro-gun side because we SHOULD be afraid of what they plan for us.

          The fact that Joan is calling for a “Dialog” yet hasn’t commented to this post, nor allowed 90% of the comments submitted to her blog tells that in great detail.

  16. Is it just me, or is she just plain becoming incoherent lately? I honestly can’t make it through very many posts.

    Her remarks meander from chastising pro-gun people for being so insulting and demeaning to insulting and demeaning us. And from proclaiming we have to “have a conversation” to telling us we need to shut up and quit trying to get our politicians to vote against policies she wants. And she will make all 4 points in the same 2500 word post (2500 not counting the entire articles she pastes in).

  17. I had family members engage me in a discussion last week on the very topic of guns and gun owners.

    Their position was:
    – Civilians should not be allowed to own firearms.
    – Support for any police effort to enforce gun laws, including complete civilian disarmament, including SWAT raids, “stop and frisk” on the streets, and “collateral damage.”
    – Civil disobedience is wrong under all cases. I brought up MLK JR given the anniversary of the March on Washington and their heads exploded. They initially denied that he was jailed in Birmingham by Bull Connor. They must live in a fact free world.
    – Any civilian who uses any degree of force under any circumstances including in self-defense in any case should go to jail.
    – Nobody is saying there should be a ban on firearms; AR-15s should be legal–civilians just shouldn’t be allowed to own any firearms. Somehow they don’t see this as a “ban” on firearms.
    – There is no such thing as a “natural” right. There are no such thing as “constitutional” rights as the constitution means whatever we say it does at the moment, so nobody can really say what it means on any subject. They did however argue that they have a right to not be afraid, which is funny as they denied the existence of natural rights and could not identify where this “right” comes from.
    – Facts or data are irrelevant. I actually kind of agree here in that my natural rights are not subject to “data,” but at the same time public policy should be guided by reason and informed decision making.
    – They were completely uninformed on current law and did not want to be informed. They described a straw sale scenario which I highlighted is already a crime, to which they angrily argued that it was not.
    – They believe the CDC and FBI fabricate data on a routine basis and that thousands or millions of Americans die from negligent discharges every year.
    – They themselves would go postal and shoot people over parking spots and cannot understand how gun owners don’t.
    – They refuse to believe that they are surrounded by gun owners and CCWers, each and every day.

    Lots of bullshit comments about gun owners being mentally ill, Trayvon, etc etc. They could not fathom that some people will not obey and must be forced to comply, and that will mean collateral damage. It was all about emotion and feeling, so when I pulled out the emotional rhetoric about victims who are disarmed like women who have been raped, etc they got angry and scared because they live in a world where rape and crime can’t occur because there are rules against it.

    The bottom line of the “conversation” boils down to Molon Labe in some cases. A lot of these people advocate policies that would basically lead to SWAT teams targeting millions of Americans.

    When the opposition actively denies data/reason, does not believe in remotely similar “first principles” (like the concept that people share an inalienable right to, say, life), feels that discussion of legal or policy details is offensive, literally lives in an alternate reality and wants me dead or in prison there isn’t much room for debate.

    The people with Peterson Syndrome need a conversation, alright… with a therapist, to get over their own issues.

    1. Scary. I don’t want to insult you, Chris from AK, but the attitudes of your family members that you described is frankly dangerous. Let’s say about a third of Americans own firearms. If only a small portion would actively and violently refuse to surrender them because of a ban, can you imagine the bloodbath?

      On my side, I have a more pacifist type wife and mother-in-law who are afraid of firearms, but would not send in the SWAT team to take mine. So, my own household is not totally in sync with the Constitution.

      1. Gallup says its in the mid 40%s.

        Remember, many of the antis are people who try to follow ALL the rules ALL the time. To not follow a rule is simply unfathomable for them. Ask a hard core anti sometime… “Ok, so you ban all firearms tomorrow and require them to be turned in. I will not comply. What now?”

        Large numbers of people simply cannot understand not complying with an authority figure. It isn’t an option for them, personally, so they don’t think it is an option for anyone. We are programming kids from a very young age to think that compliance is mandatory.

        It was very interesting to me to see their reaction to MLK JR… I guess if you live in a universe where (A) civil disobedience is always unethical and immoral and (B) MLK JR is a hero then the result must be that (C) MLK JR did not ever spend a night in jail. They really were extremely resistant to admit that MLK JR was convicted and jailed.

        Honestly, I think such a perspective, in addition to being fact-free, cheapens the man. Someone who so strongly believes in their cause that they’re willing to go to jail for their ideas earns respect, not scorn, in my book.

        1. If you reject authority for a Righteous Cause, then your actions deserve respect.

          If you reject authority for the sake of anarchy or crime then your deserve punishment.

          It’s that simple…

        2. Chris from AK, is the stat of 40% the number that would turn in their guns if the government banned them or is it the number that would send in SWAT team to kill me (and my dog if I had one) for daring to not comply?

          1. From his post, I took that figure to be the number of gun owners (most likely legal ones) in the US.

            1. Yep.

              I suspect the number that “would not comply” is significantly lower. Still, we’re talking on the order of millions of people here.

    2. Wow. I’ve run into similar anti-gun people in the sense of they live in a bubble-world of illusion and complete immunity to facts presented from outside their bubble.

      People like that are moral children but sadly their vote counts just as much as ours. Which explains the politics of places like Detroit and California.

      Fortunately I can still vote with my feet!

    3. Wow, I thought it was bad here, with a wife that will not shoot a gun but doesn’t have a big problem with me having them, and one of 4 kids who likes shooting but won’t hunt because she doesn’t want to kill animals.

      I dunno man, get a new family???
      Good luck getting thru to them, at least they have a chance of finding reality and common sense if you keep trying to educate them.

  18. I tried to post the following, but having had every other comment I’ve ever tried to post there disappear into oblivion, I am not holding my breath.

    “You have an interesting perspective, that seems immune to the idea that there is an inherent, inalienable, individual right to self defense, and that exercise of that right means there is a right to use tools specifically designed for self defense.”

    “Am I wrong? If so, please tell me that you do support the right of self defense.”

  19. Its still arguing with a totem.

    I’d gladly go one on one or it they think it favors them
    Five of theirs to one (me). I know they will not, ever.
    Their goal to to alter my stance, make me believe in nothing factual or verifiable as fact. Not going to happen. What they fear is that I will be on the other side, rightly so, trying to convince them of verifiable facts not rhetoric or some corrupt study that has been long misquoted. I would challenge them on
    only one thing, critical thinking. That fear runs to their core as it would violate all they hold dear to even consider.

    Discussion is welcome. I’d love a dialog. What I keep hearing is a monologue, diatribe or rhetoric. They can not take the first step of allowing others to be heard as that would diminish their message.

    Such is their way of propaganda. Because of that they must be challenged publicly where they do not control the medium. They must answer question that are not allowed in their controlled media.


  20. Broadly speaking, it seems like there are two categories of antis: the dyed-in-the-wool nutcases like Joan and the no-information anti-gun hipsters that reflexively associate 2A with redneck racists. The former cannot, and will not, be bothered with facts, data and reason. The latter, on the other hand, have only the most superficial understanding of the relevant issues and seem to be most amenable to a real discussion. In my travels through the intertubewebs I have stopped trying to debate the Joans of the world but have found some success with the low information types. Once you get past their bumper sticker anti-gun arguments they are often willing to consider our viewpoints.

    While the cognitively challenged, like Joan, are busy foaming at the mouth and bleating about “the children! ™” we are having a discussion with reasonable people that will likely never end up wholly on our side but are amenable to actual compromise. In the end, we win and Joan’s paltry tribe of fearmongers loses and ends up a pathetic footnote alongside the likes of Mary Hunt, the KKK and Carry Nation.

    1. The second type is why I ended up redirecting my blogging energy to Facebook. They tend to stop and think when they have someone who they know to be reasonable drop facts and figures on their heads. It often takes repeating, but I’ve had some successes there

    2. Agreed- the low information person is the one we can reach. Just like Joan’s antics can turn them off, our antics (like Kessler) can turn them off. We have to be polite, reasonable, calm, and logical. We may not win them over the first time, but that seed of doubt can grow.

  21. Notice….JOAN won’t come here because of her persecution complex.

    But neither has any of those “thousands?” that supposedly read her blog, including her hard core supporters.


  22. Just saw this on Joan’s post about the Starbuck’s “boycott.”

    Max ByronAugust 24, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Our group gas been monitoring activities at Starbucks throughout New England and buying their coffee, supporting commerce. Nary a single anti gunner spotted yet.

    I’ve had 3 venti espressos at 3 locations- met some wonderful people, passed out some pro 2a literature, so it was a net win for us.

    japeteAugust 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Since you are the one who hates being put into one big group, Max- I am not an “anti-gunner.”

    NOT an “anti-gunner.”


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