Rufus F.

Rufus is a likeable curmudgeon. He has a PhD in History, sang for a decade in a punk band, and recently moved to NYC after nearly two decades in Canada. He wrote the book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (2021).

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63 Responses

  1. gregiank says:

    “It’s interesting that gun control has entered the symbolic realm” and gun ownership has long been massively symbolic. Its the biggest reason why gun laws are almost impossible to discuss since it is all about symbols. Aside from SF, gun control has not been pushed by the O admin or Dem’s in years. SF really isn’t like most of the country.Report

    • Rufus in reply to gregiank says:

      @gregiank, Yeah, I wasn’t sure how to convey that I don’t think of SF as reflecting much of anything about the country or the “nanny state”. Especially since they’ve apparently banned gun images in subway stations but not on city buses.

      I suppose the animus against images that glorify guns is akin to calls to get rid of smoking in movies. I’ve no idea if they work, although I personally can’t think of very much that I’ve done because I saw it in a movie. I did want to be Indiana Jones as a boy, and am probably lucky my parents only gave me a cap gun, considering the damage I did with a bullwhip.Report

    • Rufus in reply to gregiank says:

      @gregiank, I do want to note, however, that polls still show fairly strong support for gun bans among progressive voters. My feeling though is that they’d be a lot better off abandoning that (probably) impossible dream and instead making common cause with gun owners on the issues of individual rights and the need for more gun safety education. At some point, it’s a good idea to cut bait.Report

      • Aaron in reply to Rufus says:

        @Rufus, I agree with you, but I think it’s going to be pretty much impossible for this to happen as long as the NRA and conservative politicians are using this as wedge issue. While it might be popular among progressive voters, I think it would be just about impossible to find a Democratic politician on the national level that would support anything even approaching a gun ban.Report

      • gregiank in reply to Rufus says:

        @Rufus, “gun bans”???

        i guess it depends on how you define gun bans. I think there is support for various gun laws, some of which are controversial and some aren’t. I don’t think its really possible to discuss “gun bans” or “gun control” in general. That is the road to demagoguery, self-righteousness and excessive symbolism. I think we should discuss specific laws.Report

  2. Bo says:

    I just want to take the opportunity to link to this (barely) relevant cartoon.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Raised Evangelical, I am familiar with the comedian Grady Nutt (requiesce in pace, Grady). He’s got a lovely bit about how he went to see movies that were expurgated by the Baylor censors and how they cut out all of the huggy/kissy/leery lookin’ scenes. (“I watched 20 minutees of scotch tape one night.” (laugh) “And that was in Lassie Come Home!” (big laugh))

    The bit goes on to discuss the night that a movie came through that the Censors didn’t get to… and included a “POW! THEY KISSED!” bit.

    All that to say:

    I wonder what they’ll be cutting out of movies in 50 years.Report

  4. Aaron says:

    As Gregiank pointed out, Democrats have pretty much completely surrendered on the gun control front. I personally don’t think that’s a good thing, but it certainly is a done thing. What I don’t understand about it is that id doesn’t seem to have affected anyone’s attitudes towards gun control. The NRA and conservatives in general are still convinced that people are coming to take their guns away from them. Which is absolutely stupid, since they’re not.

    That said, this kind of image banning is stupid — it’s dumb when MTV blurs out guns and cigarettes and alcohol in videos, and it’s dumb when San Francisco institutes this kind of control over it.

    But when you’ve got Andrew Sullivan still complaining about this kind of thing, it just seems absurd to me. I agree, it’s dumb, but it’s also just a billboard — the larger issue — the one that people die from — is the one that isn’t even being contested any more. Don’t we have slightly more important things to do than getting our dander up because San Francisco went and did something stupid and meaningless?Report

    • @Aaron, “The NRA and conservatives in general are still convinced that people are coming to take their guns away from them. Which is absolutely stupid, since they’re not.”

      But guns WERE taken away not too long ago and we just got them back in 2004. That was a prety scary time period for gun owners and one that we fear could be repeated. We also have a President who ishostile towards guns and supported a wide range of proposed bans in Illinois. I agree that this is a non-starter with Congress and Pelosi has already admitted as much, but it’s still on the Left’s wish list. That alone calls for a degree of vigilance.Report

      • gregiank in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

        @Mike at The Big Stick, really, nobody owned guns before 2004? oh please.Report

      • Aaron in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

        @Mike at The Big Stick, That’s odd, I certainly remember owning a gun prior to 2004.Report

      • 62across in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

        @Mike at The Big Stick, just so we are clear, not all guns WERE taken away – only assault weapons.

        Also, the amendment the following year to extend the assault weapons ban was rejected by a vote of 8-90. That would seem to make Aaron’s case that the Democrats are not interested in this fight anymore.

        The “vigilance” is about getting votes and is widely divorced from any potential policy.Report

        • Scott in reply to 62across says:


          What is an assault weapon? It seems to be the term for a weapon the Dems don’t like or has a certain number of scary features. There will always be some Libs that want to take away our 2nd amend rights so we gun owners need to stay vigilant. Just remember that Teddy and his car have killed more people than any of my guns.Report

          • Aaron in reply to Scott says:

            @Scott, Wikipedia defines it as “An automatic firearm is a firearm that fires continuously when the trigger is pulled, rather than firing a single shot per trigger pull,” which seems like a perfectly fine definition.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, was that the definition used by the authors of the Assault Weapons Ban?Report

            • MadRocketScientist in reply to Aaron says:

              Problem is, the AWB did not ban fully automatic weapons, only semi-auto rifles that looked like full auto. And no, they could not be easily converted into full auto (a very small number of models could be converted, but they seem to all have vanished from the open market).Report

            • Scott in reply to Aaron says:


              Then why were semi-automatic weapons that had scary features like fashhiders and bayonet lugs specifically targeted by the AWB? Also, a better definition of an assualt rifle is a rifle that can fire either in a fully automatic mode or a semi-automatic mode (see Sturmgewehr 44 ) As for legally transferable fully automatic weapons, they are fairly rare and rather expensive. Not to mention the paperwork is rather burdensome. If you have the time and money to buy one, I doubt you are going to go out and commit crimes with it.Report

            • Aaron in reply to Aaron says:

              @Jaybird, I have no idea — as I said, I got it from Wikipedia. I’m unfamilar with the particulars of the Assault Rifle Ban, although I have no problem with it in theory. It does seem to me that requiring the registration (not even banning) of “automatic firearm is a firearm that fires continuously when the trigger is pulled, rather than firing a single shot per trigger pull” would be an eminently sensible policy. I mean, my god, it takes more effort to get a driver’s license in this country than to buy a guy.Report

            • Aaron in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, gun, not guy, obviously.Report

            • Mark Thompson in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, The AWB did not ban automatic weapons, which have long been banned and/or tightly regulated by various other laws such as the 1930s-era NFA. Instead, the AWB created a definition of “assault weapons” wherein any semi-automatic weapon that has certain features is banned; a semi-automatic weapon is simply a firearm that does not require reloading after every shot, but does require a separate trigger pull for each shot. The additional features giving rise to an “assault weapons” classification were the following (any two of these features constituted an “assault weapon”): whether it has a bayonet lug, whether it has a folding or telescopic stock, whether it has a pistol grip, whether it has a flash suppressor (different from a silencer), and whether it has the capacity to be used as a grenade launcher (ownership of actual grenades being another issue entirely).

              The ban did not include as essential elements of its definition any features that would arguably enhance the lethality of a firearm, such as muzzle velocity. The definition of an assault pistol was similarly arbitrary, making the classification based on things like the location of the magazine, the capacity to be fit with a flash suppressor or other type of suppressor, barrel shrouds (which exist to keep a barrel cool enough that it doesn’t injure the operator), weight, and whether it has the appearance of a fully automatic weapon.

              The AWB came about primarily as the result of certain scary-looking weapons being used in a handful of high-profile crimes. It did nothing to actually make anyone safer – even to the extent it was fully enforceable – because any run-of-the-mill semi-automatic firearm is just as lethal with or without the above features.Report

            • Mark Thompson in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, Just to clarify a bit more: the AWB did not even touch the issue of automatic weapons. This is actually part of the problem with the law: when people here the term “assault weapon,” they automatically think “machine gun” or “automatic firearm.” But “machine guns” and “automatic firearms” have been tightly regulated for decades (indeed, the number of hoops necessary to get one makes them legally inaccessible to all but a small class of persons). And any automatic firearm manufactured after 1986 is completely banned for all but law enforcement and military use (and demonstrations to prospective law enforcement and military purchasers).Report

          • 62across in reply to Scott says:

            @Scott, it doesn’t matter in the slightest what the definition of an assault weapon is, either as defined by the AWB or a dictionary. Why? Because the AWB expired in 2004 and (as stated before) the attempt to extend it in 2005 got next to no support. So why the need to stay vigilant?

            You’ve got to ask how it is that conservatives are so easily spooked by these boogeymen. Scary pacifists, scary gays, scary Muslims… Seriously, how do you get by?Report

            • Scott in reply to 62across says:


              Both Obama and Holder have spoken about bringing the AWB back. The AWB was a infringement on my constitutional rights and those of every other law abiding gun owner for far too long. It saddens me to see that some people think some parts of the constitution are more important than others.Report

    • Rufus in reply to Aaron says:

      @Aaron, The truth is that organizations like the NRA will never be able to raise money through mailings announcing “You need us less than ever!” I think it’s this way with most advocacy groups. I’ve certainly heard feminist organizations claim that American women have considerably fewer rights now than they did fifty years ago, which seems pretty specious at best. With the NRA, I’d imagine that, even if there were only five people left in the country who supported gun bans, they’d be telling their members the threat is overwhelming. So I do see what you mean about posters in San Francisco not being the front line in the struggle for human freedom.

      Also I share your bewilderment (if that’s accurate) when people are scared by images. It occurs to me that I still have an autographed Cramps poster on my wall, for “Bikini Girls with Machine Guns” that offended my liberal sister at one point. I think that probably had more to do with the ‘bikini’ part than the machine gun though- she asked, “How do you think that poster makes your wife feel?” I pointed out that my wife, who is also quite fond of girls in bikinis, was the one who bought the poster.Report

      • Aaron in reply to Rufus says:

        @Rufus, I think this is actually one of the biggest problems facing the US right now, and of a piece with the discussion of “managed ignorance” that was tearing up the intertubes a week or so ago. We have three main political parties: Republicans, conservative and moderate Democrats, and liberal Democrats. The liberal Democrats would like to see much tighter and more stringent gun laws — bans on fully automatic weapons and stricter controls on handguns, et cetera. That said, the liberal Democrats have other priorities, and realize that the position isn’t popular — and so they dropped it.

        Now, normally, you’d think that the victors in this situation — conservative Democrats and Republicans — would say a few rousing “huzzah!”s, throw themselves a party and move on to cutting more taxes or whatever priority two is. This, of course, did not happen.

        What did happen is like a Beckett play:
        “Bill Clinton is going to take your guns!”
        “Well, only the militarized kind!”
        “They’re going to take your guns!”
        “Alright, forget it — you can have your guns.”
        “They’re going to take your guns!”
        “Really, we’re not going to.”
        “Barack Obama is going to take your guns!”
        “Nope, still not going to.”
        “Glenn Beck says they’re going to take your guns!”
        Ad infinitum.

        How do you have any sort of government when one side wins, but still casts itself as the aggrieved victim of proto-totalitarian aggression? This is a problem!Report

        • North in reply to Aaron says:

          @Aaron, It seems to me, Aaron, that the only way this goes away is for the average voters/supporters to become jaded and cease to believe that there is a movement out there trying to outlaw their guns. At that point the NRA and the like would slowly fizzle out.

          Unfortunately there is an anti-gun contingency within the left that, while dormant and lacking the power to act on its desires, remains active and coherent enough for the NRA and its ilk to hold up as a boogey man.
          So, if the Democrats really wanted to make the NRA and the guns issue go away they’d probably have to not merely drop the subject but actively repudiate the gun control position. Unfortunately that wouldn’t yield them much benefit electorally since it would enrage a portion of their base and their statements would be dismissed out of hand by the conspiracy obsessed right. Best to simply let the issue sit and molder. There’s no upside to touching gun control again. I’ve not seen it work particularly well and even Canada has begun backing off of gun control with the demise of its (unlamented) hunting gun registry system.Report

          • Aaron in reply to North says:

            @North, usually, when someone points out, “Conservatives are incorrect in their assumptions that Democratic politicians are trying to take people’s guns,” the answer isn’t “Well, then the Democrats should just grovel more abjectly, rending more of their garments and begging even further forgiveness for their past sins.”

            The correct answer is, “Responsible conservative opinion leaders should stop misleading their followers.” But I guess that is a lot to expect, especially when there are exactly no progressives in the United States in positions of authority advocating for gun control. But I guess there are some trustifarians in Berkeley who would like to see it happen, so full speed ahead, NRA!

            Personally, I think that there should be some pretty stringent gun control laws in place, although it’s not a hill I’d be personally willing to die on, especially when there are much more pressing issues of public health — which is primarily how I view gun control. I have no interest in being murdered in a workplace shooting or some sort of suicide-by-cop situation, but that’s much less likely than me dying in a car wreck, from cancer or heart disease. That being said, I have never understood why the Bill of Rights for certain types of conservatives begins and ends with the Second Amendment. But the point is, no one is listening to me or interest in enacting my personal political agenda. It’s not going to happen, and it shouldn’t take Harry Reid and Barack Obama going on a thousand city Apology Tour for Gun Control to convince conservatives that the issue is over and done with. As far as I can tell, having 28% of the population roiling in a constant state of aggrieved ignorance hasn’t done any of us any good.Report

            • North in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, Well I’m not advocating that Democrats apologize for gun control. But it’s patently obvious that it either doesn’t work or works so poorly as to be useless and it’s a waste of political powder that should be saved for an issue that is more important and also not staked through the heart by the constitution.Report

            • Rufus in reply to Aaron says:

              @North, That pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject much more precisely than I could manage.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Aaron says:

          @Aaron, let’s treat the First Amendment the way we treat the Second.

          Which of the following do you think would be okay for us to ban:

          Political speech within 2-3 months of an election
          Music albums that contain obscene speech
          Movies that contain obscene imagery
          Movies that contain viewpoints sympathetic to groups such as Nazis, Mormons, or Israel

          So on and so forth.

          Is your immediate inclination to say “I don’t need to see specific examples to know that I’m opposed to censorship”?

          Or is it to say “well, it depends on the standards of the community”?Report

          • Aaron in reply to Jaybird says:

            @Jaybird, Well, since the Supreme Court has already settled that there are several categories of speech that aren’t protected by the First Amendment, your analogy is entirely inapt. As it turns out, speech that creates a clear and present danger to the public may be controlled (shouting “fire” in a movie house), and slander and libelous speech isn’t protected. So, as it turns out, the First Amendment is more restricted than the Second! Weird!

            I would also argue that there’s something of a category difference between an assault rifle — who’s sole purpose is to destroy human lives — and some bluehair getting into a twist because they saw something “obscene.” The interesting things about obscenity is how very, very vague and personal it is. I would point to Bono’s famous (non-sexual) “fuckin'” and Janet Jackson’s innocence-destroying nipple as two examples. There’s nothing vague about an automatic weapon that will be used to murder someone. The person is either dead, or isn’t.

            Your mileage may vary, but there’s a world of difference between whether Billy’s Two Dads or what have you should be in the school library of some Kansas school room and whether or not there should be even as much as trigger locks sold with guns or reasonable laws to deal with guns.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, “shouting “fire” in a movie house” was the example used by the Supreme Court before they threw a pacifist in prison for distributing pamphlets opposing WWI.

              My inclination is to say “I don’t need specific examples to say that I’m opposed to censorship”, myself.

              I can appreciate that your viewpoint is much more mature and nuanced than mine.Report

            • Aaron in reply to Aaron says:

              I am also opposed to censorship. However, comparing guns to freedom of speech is absurd. The two are wholly different things, apples and oranges. There are all sorts of limits on freedom of speech — copyright, libel and slander, you can’t lie about what your products do, limitations on how, what and when people should be advertised to, threats to the president — all sorts of things. Some of that I disagree with, some of it I agree with and some of it I’m largely indifferent towards. But you can’t pretend that the United States represents some sort of free speech absolutist position. No, we save that for guns.

              I do think it’s funny that people who set themselves up as “originalists” regarding the constitution think that assault rifles and other things that couldn’t have possibly been dreamed of by the framers should be okay.

              Beyond that, it’s not as if the constitution is an infalible document. There were all sorts of things wrong with it — slavery for one, but we’ve had a number of amendments to the constitution since it was ratified. Pretending that guns are some sort of involiable, never-to-be-touched special position is absurd. The absolutism regarding this subject is nothing more than conservative spank-book fantasies. No one is coming to take your guns. No one ever will. But politicians keep bringing it back up, and from what I can tell, it seems like conservatives like thinking about what big, strong, tall, awesome defenders of their personal liberties they are while they oil their guns.

              Meanwhile, Yoshihiro Hattori was shot because he tried to ask for directions from the wrong racist, and his murder was aquitted. Thank goodness that man had a gun, otherwise there’d be another perfectly innocent human walking the planet!Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Aaron says:

              @Aaron, you mean the laws against murder didn’t prevent Yoshihiro’s death?

              Surely a law could have prevented the gun from being in the other guy’s hand!

              Have you ever googled “King Cnut” and “tide”?Report

  5. Robert Cheeks says:

    Thanks fellas, you made my day, I’d forgotten just how bad the commie-dems took in the shorts over gun control..ha,ha,ha.
    Me, I’m sittin’ here with a Berretta in my pocket, loaded and hot. When I go out I stick a Bersa, seven shot, 38 on my hip, with a .45 Colt under the seat. Nearby my old faithful Chi-Com SKS, with thirty round mags, taped together, and in the bedroom the Kalisnakov, and a single shot 12 gauge Remington under the bed. If the bad guys make it into the bedroom, it’ll look like the Alamo in a few seconds…ha,ha, ha.
    The county sheriff, from way back in the day, told me, “Cheeks, you live so far out, just shoot ’em, call me, and I’ll hep you drag the bodies back into the house.” That was back in the day when we had American sheriffs.
    I’m sort of the ‘librul’ out here. My neighbor has a room in the basement where he reloads and has over thirty very serious military rifles of sundry types and calibers, and a couple dozen pistols. Some years ago I heard the sound of automatic fire in the middle of the night at his place. Because the firing went on for half a minute or so, I decided to call him and not walk into God knows what…he told me he’d seen intruders by his machine shed, gathered up his M-14 and opened with a sustained fire…no bodies were found, the blood trail gave out about a half mile into the woods.Report

  6. Katherine says:

    Jaybird – I just wanted to point out that Canada requires the registration of handguns (and of long guns, but the Conservatives want to get rid of that and I’m fine with getting rid of it too). Somehow, we’ve managed to avoid becoming a tyrannical dystopia. Strangely, many other rights (habeus corpus and privacy, to name two) are actually doing better here than in the US.

    So it doesn’t look to me like limits on the right to own a gun are necessarily harmful to freedoms generally. And we’ve got a lower homicide rate than the US, which is also nice.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Katherine says:

      @Katherine, do you think those things are related?Report

      • Katherine in reply to Jaybird says:

        Gun restrictions and registration and the level of other freedoms? No.

        Gun restrictions and registration and a lower homicide rate? Yes.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Katherine says:

          @Katherine, hrm, it seems that you have more violent crime and more property crime despite having a lower homicide rate.

          Are those related as well?

          • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Jaybird says:


            Violent crime
            The burglary rates of selected developed countries as published by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics

            The reported US violent crime rate includes only Aggravated Assault, whereas the Canadian violent crime rate includes all categories of assault, including the much-more-numerous Assault level 1 (i.e., assault not using a weapon and not resulting in serious bodily harm).[32][33] A government study concluded that direct comparison of the 2 countries’ violent crime totals or rates was “inappropriate”.[42]

            From the link you provided when I clicked read about inter-country comparisons.

            Disclaimer: I don’t support gun banning or registration. Just make sure people don’t get ordinance and I’m cool.

            Jaybird isn’t it better(in general) to be violently attacked and live than to be murdered? So even if the comparison was legit I’d still rather have the Canada situation. Especially knowing that the treatment for my wounds would be paid for. 😉Report

            • Jaybird in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              @ThatPirateGuy, “A government study concluded that direct comparison of the 2 countries’ violent crime totals or rates was “inappropriate””

              Why in the hell would it be inappropriate?

              What the hell does that even mean?Report

            • ThatPirateGuy in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:


              It means that the two measures are not using the same definition. See the first sentence. They are only counting aggravated assault for the US they count all assaults in Canada.

              It is like saying Canada has more fruit than America and only counting apples for the US to prove it.


            • Katherine in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              It seems kind of obvious why from Pirate Guy’s post: because Canada has a broader definition of “violent” than the US so more crimes fall under the rubric of “violent crime” here than in the US.Report

            • Katherine in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              Apples-to-apples comparison (well, almost: US 2008 data b/c 2009 data isn’t complete; Canada 2009 data):

              US Violent Crime Rate (comprising murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, and aggravated assault): 454 per 100,000 people

              Canada Violent Crime Rate (if counted as comprising the same crimes as above): 110 per 100,000 people.



            • @Katherine, I’m not trying to be fasicious here but I think there’s probably a direct correlation between violent crime and military spending. What I mean is, maybe the US is just a slightly more violent populace which means more domestic crime but we also kick ass on the battlefield.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              @ThatPirateGuy, I probably misread that, then.

              I thought that the argument was that even if we used the same measurement, it would not be appropriate to compare the rates between the two countries.

              Like saying that it wouldn’t be appropriate to compare domestic violence in the US to domestic violence in Canada.

              If we are, in fact, comparing apples to oranges, it makes sense to point that out…

              What’s the deal with property crime?

              Or is that apples/oranges too?Report

            • ThatPirateGuy in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:


              I don’t know. I don’t even know if Canada or the US has higher violent crime. I just know that I haven’t seen an apples to apples comparison.

              My question is assuming that Canada has higher crime but less murder which would you feel safer in?

              Second if you had a magic wand that would cause the US to have both Canada’s Murder, Property, and violent crime rate without getting rid of guns would you use it?

              I think I would.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              @ThatPirateGuy, I got into an argument a few years back (around 2005, actually) with a Canadian dude over the whole gun control thing.

              We discussed the crime rate in Toronto and he pointed out that the biggest problem was gangs having guns *BUT*, he wanted to point out, he felt perfectly safe when he went to Toronto despite the gangs there.

              When I asked about whether he trusted the guy down the street to own a handgun, he explained that he did not.

              It struck me as odd that he felt safe with the gangs having guns but Wade not having one.

              It seems to me that the question is one of the gangs being armed and Wade not being armed vs. the gangs being armed as well as Wade being armed.

              It still strikes me as being the same question.Report

          • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Jaybird says:


            Statistically isn’t he more likely to be shot by his good neighbor wade than a gang member he doesn’t know? Don’t most gang members end up shooting other gang members?

            Maybe wade has a dark-side you don’t know about? I think it is more common and more disturbing that so-called nice wade get into a domestic dispute and either offs his partner or his neighbor who gets caught in the cross-fire.

            I’ve knew a man who was shot in the back by a stranger, some 17 year-old kid who crashed his car and died trying to escape. I also know a man who died when his teenage daughter accidentally shot him while they were trying to protect themselves from some noises they heard outside.

            I don’t oppose other people having their guns, I know what the constitution says. I just think we should acknowledge that a lot of people die for dumb reasons because it says that.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              @ThatPirateGuy, I acknowledge that. But whenever I start thinking about giving the government the power to start confiscating particular things, I start weighing the downsides of the worst excesses of the worst cases to the upsides of the best outcomes of the best cases…

              And I’m stuck thinking that there are roads we don’t want to go down.

              It’s like censorship, to some degree.

              Wouldn’t we all be better off if we were able to censor truly vile pr0n? How about furries? Do the writers of Harry Potter slashfic know that Harry is not yet 18 in the majority of the 7 books?

              So on and so forth… and that’s without getting into the whole “do you identify with the people kicking down doors or with the people getting their doors kicked down?” issue.Report

            • ThatPirateGuy in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:


              I totally get you. I get the gun control advocates too. They are totally wrong on the constitution bit I think. Probably right on the effects on society for having or not having so many readily accessible guns.

              Despite the cost it isn’t worth it to start putting removing or changing pieces of the bill of rights up for serious debate.
              I’m a first amendment extremist too. I also don’t like kicking peoples doors down without a darn good reason.Report

  7. Trumwill says:

    Seems to me that the clearest analog to the gun control debate is the abortion debate. Because of Roe and Casey, there is little reason to believe that women are going to lose the legal right to have an abortion. There is the threat of a lot of nibbling around the edges, but that’s true of the gun debate, too. The whens and wheres and so on are the main battlefield, but referring to it as such isn’t nearly as sexy as imagery of your rights being taken away from you by people you really, really don’t like.Report

    • @Trumwill, I don’t think that analogy is completely accurate. R v W was a Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. In that sense pro-lifers have a steep uphill climb to see any of that rolled back. They would have to fight heir battle in the courts, which is pretty difficult.

      On the other hand, bans on certain types of guns or more restrictions on general ownership only require Congress to act. Yes, these laws can be challenged, but as we saw with the AWB, Congress generally has some lattitude in this area.

      Yes, the social climate has changed that would make a gun ban very hard. However, social attitudes can change quickly and if Democrats thought they had the green light, I think anti-gun legislation is definitely on many of their radars.Report

      • @Mike at The Big Stick, there are inconsistencies in the analogy either way. A liberal could say that the crucial difference is that conservatives want to overturn Roe and illegalize abortion and are trying (however in vain) to do so while Democrats aren’t really even pursuing gun control anymore.

        But take your point and mine and I think we’re back to square one. In both cases what the activist saying (“Our fundamental freedom is under threat!”) is hyperbolic on the whole while the threat of losing some ground somewhere is quite real.Report