What Passes For A Profile In Courage These Days

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Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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205 Responses

  1. Avatar veronica d says:

    It’s a nice sentiment, and certainly by the time a conversation has reached the name-calling stage, then the chances of productive discourse are long gone. But all the same, I insist that politeness can also be weaponized, when terrible ideas are wrapped in a courteous facade. People can maintain impeccable decorum while annihilating your dignity.

    For some groups, our best tool is our anger. Sometimes our anger is the only response to some smiling man-in-power who tut-tuts when we dare speak up.

    I think this is difficult to understand if you are not the target of relentless social hate. When my dignity is the topic of conversation, things change.

    But sure, I hope Dr-Ben-fucking-Carson stays entirely polite. I’d hate for him to be rude.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      No tactic, no emotion is always the best approach or most productive feeling. The trick is to know when anger gives you needed energy and resilience, and when it makes you out of control and harmful.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        Right. I fight back not because I expect that fighting is socially optimal, in the sense that a perfectly rational robot-person would choose that path. Instead, I fight back because I fucking need to. It’s what lets me look in the mirror and like what I see. It’s not being craven. Honestly, it might get me killed me some day. But in the meanwhile I’ll like myself.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          v,
          “Honestly, it might get me killed me some day”
          … depends on who you pick fights with, I suppose.
          Tip-o-the-week: Some trolls are worse in person than online.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I think he is probably severely understating it when he talks about disagreeing on some things.

    Glyph made fun of me for it but I was serious in Tod’s thread when I wondered whether we inhabit the same physical universe but different moral universes. I am, more or less, an agnostic-atheist even though I identify as ethnically, culturally, and philosophically Jewish. To me, all the evidence indicates that the universe is billions of years old and so is life on Earth, etc.

    But there are people who really and sincerely believe in the Bible. Tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of them. I am not convinced that I will be able to tell said people that they are wrong. So they believe the Bible is the word of God and allowing SSM is inviting God’s wrath or whatever. Let’s say that 20 million people truly and sincerely believe that they will burn in hell because the United States Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. How is this a little difference?

    On more non-religious grounds, how about the fights over whether universal healthcare is Constitutional or not (or just good policy or not?), the fights over guns (which are really culture war fights about our deepest identities), etc.? These are not little fights to me but people fighting over opposing cores of identity and existence.

    In short, we are not involved in hair-splitting disagreement over the details. We are fighting over core identity issues and first principles. That is why we fight.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      Who on earth are you fighting?

      I would think that most Americans value separation of church & state.
      Other than that, I’m not so sure God respects the territorial boundaries of nations.
      I’m not so sure He respects U.N. resolutions either

      But seriously, who are these people that you are fighting?

      In a place chock full of conservatives, I’ve met about three of them that could be said to hold those views.
      A handful of others in other locales, granted.

      But I think you’re shadowboxing more than fighting.Report

      • Avatar Zac says:

        Will H.:
        I would think that most Americans value separation of church & state.

        That appears to be the case, yes, at least going by the more recent polls I can find. About 66-67% of Americans believe the First Amendment mandates the separation of church and state.

        However, that also means a third of Americans don’t (which is not nothing, especially given how the structures of our country disproportionately empower rural, low-population regions over the converse, and also given that most of that third likely lives in said regions). So that, presumably, is who Saul is fighting.Report

        • Avatar Will H. says:

          I have difficulty accepting that such a strong showing is anything more than a knee-jerk response based entirely on heuristics, the way the question is phrased.

          Other than that, I would be interested in what underlying assumptions could drive such a decision.
          I really don’t see anyone trying to enforce Catholicism on all people, or trying to prohibit Catholicism for any people.

          I read the results cited as: “A great many Americans are too ignorant to understand a simple question,” a position which has been substantively confirmed by other experiences.Report

          • Avatar Zac says:

            Will H.:
            I read the results cited as: “A great many Americans are too ignorant to understand a simple question,” a position which has been substantively confirmed by other experiences.

            Heh, yes, I will admit that that is a very reasonable interpretation. 😉Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            “A great many Americans are too ignorant to understand a simple question,” a position which has been substantively confirmed by other experiences.

            Except! …. there are manymany very intelligent people who sort into the same camps as the ignrents. Sometimes for very sophisticated reasons, sometimes for reactionary reasons, sometimes for purely partisan-political reasons, etc and so on.

            Personally, I don’t think intelligence level accounts for the differing views on this stuff.Report

            • Avatar Guy says:

              Never underestimate an intelligent man’s ability to confuse himself into a nonsensical position.

              (You may freely underestimate the ability of an intelligent woman to confuse him – it will help correct for other errors you might make)Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          What on Earth does the 1/3 think the First Amendment does mandate?Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Your first problem is you assume they think at all.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            What on Earth does the 1/3 think the First Amendment does mandate?

            My guess (more than a guess actually…) is they think things like teaching evolution in school and banning gay marriage bans constitute restrictions on “free exercise”.Report

          • Avatar Yhwh says:

            @dragonfrog, They think that it applies only to Congress, forgetting the 14th Amendment’s incorporation to the states and local governments, and they therefore think that they can use local and state elections to create their own little theocracies.Report

          • Avatar gingergene says:

            @dragonfrog For one thing, “separation of church and state” is seen by some as a Liberal thing, so they oppose it reflexively.

            But also, based on what I’ve heard from people (all Christians; I haven’t met any non-Christians with this view), they would say it’s a one way street: government may not interfere with religion, but religion may get as involved in government as it wants.

            In practice, it works out to mean that it’s ok to mix my religion into government, but not yours. I’m sure this is because everyone I know with this idea is Christian, and when you’re the majority and have been since the beginning of the country, it becomes an appeal to tradition as much as a discussion about religion. “We should pray in schools because prayer is good, and because we did when I was a kid and nothing bad ever happened to me because of it and look how good it was back then.”Report

            • Avatar Yhwh says:

              gingergene: For one thing, “separation of church and state” is seen by some as a Liberal thing, so they oppose it reflexively.

              The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’?” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time. – Judges 12:5-6Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW says:

          It depends how a person defines “separation of church and state”. The first amendment specifically says that the government cannot 1) prohibit the free exercise of religion or 2) establish a state church.

          It does not state that religious principles cannot play any role in the government’s decisions.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I was speaking in more general terms but Zac is right. One-third of a nation is not nothing. This also goes beyond church and state issues. I also mentioned it goes to welfare state programs like healthcare.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Gun ownership. I mean we had a guy on another thread explaining that his ideal America is every citizen armed to protect themselves, because you can’t wait on the cops and also that the strong always rule anyways, so 2 pounds of pistol make you strong otherwise you’re just a victim.

          He thinks up to 10% of people in the cities need to carry just to be safe.

          This is in an America where, despite all the mass shootings, the homicide rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            This is in an America where, despite all the mass shootings, the homicide rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years.

            What has gun ownership been doing in those 50 years?

            Or is there no real connection between the gun ownership number and the homicide number?Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Clearly there is no connection but guns still need to be banned for the children’s sake.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

              I think that if you define “gun ownership” as the percentage of people who own at least one gun, it has declined over that time. The total number of guns per capita gives you a different result.

              I’m inclined to think that the decline in crime is not driven by a decline in gun ownership, but it doesn’t look like they’re uncorrelated.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Surely we have those numbers somewhere…

                A quick google gets me here. An ideological site but here’s what it says:

                Survey data shows self-reported gun ownership peaked at 53 percent in 1973 before seeing a fairly steady decline to 32 percent in 2010, the most recent year available. He cautioned singling any one year out, saying the numbers are better judged in the context of a whole: the 1970s averaged about 50 percent, the 1980s averaged 48 percent, the 1990s at 43 percent and 35 percent in the 2000s.

                From one outta two to one outta three.

                If the gun crime numbers are down more than one-sixth, maybe we should look at the demographics of those who would have had guns in the 70’s but don’t today?Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I think there are even more important indicators to look at. Violent crime numbers across the board are down, which is a strong indicator that gun crime (and perhaps gun ownership) is going along for the ride. I suppose there could be something about the presence of guns that makes other types of violent crime more probable, but I seriously doubt that it’s a big enough effect to drive the statistics.

                My take on the gun/murder thing is this: Yes, they should be correlated. Removing all guns with 100% effectiveness will eliminate gun crime and reduce the murder rate. But I think it’s very unlikely to be a constant coefficient for all gun ownership rates. If you removed half of the guns in circulation today, you’d most likely take away mostly guns that would never be used for violence. You’d get some of the “bad” guns, but as a rule, it’s a good bet that the last people to give up their guns will be the ones committing most of the crime with them. The next half would probably get you a few more, but you probably have to go pretty far down the rabbit hole to get the guns we’re really concerned about.

                All of this is why I nod my head when I hear “guns enable gun crime” and roll my eyes whenever somebody proposes a gun control measure that will supposedly massively reduce the murder rate. They’d have to turn that knob *really* far–much farther than they’ll likely ever be able to turn it in the US–to get the results they’re expecting.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 says:

              What has gun ownership been doing in those 50 years?

              Concentrated.

              Far fewer households own guns, but those that do own many, many more.

              Can’t help but wonder how much lower the homicide stats would be without all those mass shootings, eh? (As for the drop itself, I tend to like Drum’s thesis about lead. There’s good data and a solid biochemical explanation that’s independent of the data. Not all of the drop, but probably up to half is just lead abatement).

              Anyways, I point out the homicide part to counteract the “OMG, I need guns to defend myself!” fear that seems to drive so many owners. Crime’s been going down for decades, so why do you need more guns than your father did? Although to be honest, a mass shooting appears to be the best PR for gun manufacturers here, second only to a Democratic President — but that’s only once every 4 years, but those big mass shootings are regular spikes. Although I wonder how many guns these people actually think they can use at once. You only have two hands.

              So I don’t get the fear. I especially don’t get the fear of the non-hunting gun-owners I know. They live in quiet suburbs. They’ve never been the victim of a crime. Their suburbs have LESS crime than 10 years ago, than 20 years ago, than 30 years ago — and even 20 or 30 years ago, it was quiet.

              So why are they so scared? Why do they need to carry a gun — or two, in some cases — at all times? Why do they need a half dozen or more in their home? What are they so terrified of?

              That’s the “alternative world”. Statistically, they should be more terrified of their car. Statistically, they should be more terrified that their gun ownership will lead to an impulsive suicide, or an accidental spouse shooting. Statistically, that gun is far more a danger to themselves or to innocents than anyone committing a crime against them, even if they actually lived somewhere were being the victim of a crime was even vaguely likely.

              I live in an America with a homicide rate that is as low as it’s been for my entire life. My father might recall a time when it was lower, but he’d have been a teenager.

              Honestly, if I was the NRA I’d be trying to get on top of this mass shooting thing. “BUY MOAR GUNS TO PROTECT YOURSELF” is a message that resonates with that tiny and shrinking number of gun-owning households, but doesn’t seem to be growing the brand — so much as making it look insane.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Getcher Guns and Cigarettes!

                It’s called planning.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Just b/c you don’t understand why I and others choose to own guns is irrelevant in regard to my 2nd amend right to own them. You can’t even put forth a cogent argument why guns should be banned after your own admission that homicide rates are falling.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                I want to ban guns because they’re stupid for self-defense. They’re a sound offensive weapon, but try and get anyone to understand that.

                If you need to defend yourself, find something better.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                You are entitled to your opinion, however silly, but once again it has no bearing on my rights.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Tell me that again when you want to argue the right to privacy. Or shall I go right ahead and name you Luddite?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Last time I checked, there isn’t an explicit right to privacy in the constitution.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                So much of what America is founded upon comes from English Common Law.
                “My home is my castle” is a great phrase, but rather out of date, don’t you think?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                This argument again. Read the Ninth Amendment until it sinks in.

                When you, YES YOU, use the absence of an explicitly enumerated right to deny or disparage that same right, you, YES YOU, are violating the 9th Amendment.

                If you’re going to argue that there is no Right to Privacy, you have to use something other than “I don’t see it in there.”

                Instead, why don’t you try arguing that you’re just reading the Bill of Rights narrowly?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Sure, now if we can only divine what the unremunerated “residuum” of rights which the federal government was never empowered to violate actually consists of.Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                @notme

                The only problem with you and I having a debate over the nature of the Constitution and privacy rights is that kicking your ass would bore the hell out of me.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Whatever Dave, the surest way to to be right is to to declare yourself the victor even if its in you own mind. Do you really think your prouncement impresses anyone here?Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                @notme

                Whatever Dave, the surest way to to be right is to to declare yourself the victor even if its in you own mind.

                I guess we’re both legends in our own minds.

                Do you really think your prouncement impresses anyone here?

                Since I’m telling people something they already know, no.

                If you want to keep going by all means. You’d make a great Ronda Rousey to my Holly Holm, especially with the right wing talking points you spew. I”m going to force you to think on the subject.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                I wont bow to your imagined intellectual superiority but i will bow to your superior arrogance. Its the only place you have me beat.Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                @notme

                Its the only place you have me beat.

                Dude, I love gun rights. Have you seen my biceps lately?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                Let the record state the only thing both left and pro-gun on this date was Daves left bicep.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                if we can only divine what the unremunerated “residuum” of rights

                It’s remunerated. And the price paid is lost Freedom!, amirite?

                Do you really think your prouncement impresses anyone here?

                What impressed me is that Dave didn’t make a pronouncement, but rather an argument for a view. Which makes me wonder what your argument is for a presumably different conclusion regarding gun rights and the meaning of the second amendment. ??Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                @stillwater

                I’ve already made my case. I made it yesterday and linked it in one of the comments above. There’s enough in there to make everyone upset. 😉Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Yes, I saw that! And I don’t disagree with what you wrote.Report

              • Avatar Dave Regio says:

                @stillwater

                I’ve turned against the Heller decision in the same way I turned against Griswold v Connecticut years ago. I agreed with the outcome but found significant flaws in the reasoning in the majority opinions.

                I don’t disagree with Scalia’s opinion when he mentions that several state constitution recognized an individual right to bear arms; however, I don’t see how that in of itself conferred a right at the federal level. Remove the text of the Second Amendment from the Constitution and the federal courts would have still had the authority to strike down state gun bans that interfered with the government’s power under the Militia Clause. That’s just Supremacy Clause 101.

                Oddly enough, my views on gun control are more in line with conservatives and libertarians (notme and I may have a lot in common despite my punches in his(?) general direction). That said, I’m not going to hide behind the Second Amendment if I’m challenged and I’m more than capable of drilling into the details.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Your Second Amendment right isn’t what you think it is, for starters.

                I understand why plenty of people own guns. I know a number of hunters, for instance. Their reasons for owning guns are clear.

                I know people who enjoy target shooting. Their reasons for owning guns are clear.

                I know people who carry concealed in a safe suburb, who have never been the victim of a crime, and who speak constantly of how they need it for “defense”. Their reasons are…not clear. They are not actually in any danger. They have never been in any danger. Statistically speaking, they will never BE in any danger — but by owning a gun, they have dramatically increased the danger of them or someone in their household being shot.

                I’m afraid that the only descriptors for someone who increases their own danger in the name of safety is either “deeply confused” or “mentally ill”.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                “Your Second Amendment right isn’t what you think it is, for starters.”

                All I see is you telling me what you think the 2nd isn’t. I don’t see anything about what it is. Once again you resort to your “fear argument” as a reason to ban guns. Sorry that is a “feel good” argument but isn’t a legal argument.

                “I’m afraid that the only descriptors for someone who increases their own danger in the name of safety is either “deeply confused” or “mentally ill”.”

                Is this your medical opinion? Do you have any medical training or is this just your uniformed opinion?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                What to you call someone who, in the name of safety, does something that increases their personal danger? And insist, despite all evidence, that it DOES make them safer.

                Confused seems apt. Wrong seems apt. Mentally ill seems apt. Innumerate seems apt. (I mean, maybe they don’t understand statistics).

                And no, fear has nothing to do with banning guns. I don’t even want them banned. I’ve said many times — I know quite a few hunters, and goodness I’d never want to get in the way of that.

                I want them regulated, as if they were the dangerously lethal tools they are. I’d like that owners be trained with them. I’d like that owners be forced to be responsible with them in the form of insurance. And I’d like for owners to be linked with them.

                In short, I want guns to be treated like cars. Regulated, licensed, insured, and with the owner forced to actually fufill his responsibilities.

                And like with cars, there’s certain classes of gun that simply don’t need to be street legal. You can own them, but there’s no reason to let them on public roadways — so to speak.

                Apparently, that’s “banning” to you.Report

              • Avatar Yhwh says:

                The inability to discuss on the same terms is a major impediment to the debate on guns. When one side says the word regulation and the other side hears the word ban, what we have is an utter breakdown in communication.Report

              • Avatar Dand says:

                First you say

                In short, I want guns to be treated like cars.

                Then you say

                Regulated, licensed, insured,

                There is no law mandating any of that so long as the car remains on private property. Are you prepared to treat guns the same way?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Sure. Subject to confiscation if it leaves your property. That includes transport between properties, unless you properly license and bond it.Report

              • Avatar Dand says:

                Sure. Subject to confiscation if it leaves your property. That includes transport between properties, unless you properly license and bond it.

                But that’s not required for cars, so you still want guns to be more regulated than cars.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                If you don’t have a street legal car, you can’t drive it anywhere. You have to tow it via trailer (or store it at the track or other facility for driving it). You can’t drive it from your garage to the track.

                So if you want to transport your firearm from your home to a shooting range, you need to do so properly. Which means assurances you won’t just toss it in the back seat.

                Not that it matters, really. You’re just nitpicking for the sake of argument, not in an attempt to thrash out a workable solution for a society awash in guns.Report

              • Avatar Dand says:

                If you don’t have a street legal car, you can’t drive it anywhere. You have to tow it via trailer (or store it at the track or other facility for driving it). You can’t drive it from your garage to the track.

                But you can still transport it without it being licensed or insured you want to require more of gun owners than you do of car owners.

                Not that it matters, really. You’re just nitpicking for the sake of argument, not in an attempt to thrash out a workable solution for a society awash in guns.

                No I’m demonstrating that the “guns should be as regulated as car argument is fundamentally dishonest”; everyone who makes it wants restrictions on guns that don’t apply to cars.

                But for gun controlling yuppies it’s not about guns it’s about identifying with the cultural elites more than working class Americans. Support for gun control is primarily motivated by class and regional bias.

                Gun control is part of the much largre war by the cultural elites against anything the middle and working classes find enjoyable.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                What working class you talking about?
                I’ve known former prostitutes who were pro-guncontrol. Plenty of other working class people too.

                Guns are a rural issue, and a “we absolutely fucking can’t call the cops” city issue — aka real, honest to goodness, criminals.

                At least those are the two sane groups that care about guns.Report

              • Avatar Dand says:

                I’d be willing to bet that, in comparison to the general population gun controllers are more likely to drink craft beer vs. mass market beer, more likely to watch Trumbo than Furious 7 or Game of Thrones vs. American Idol.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                I read calculated risk. I’m not going to bet either way on that one. I’m willing to bet that both people who really like guns, and people who are pro-gun control, like Game of Thrones and craft beer.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I’d be willing to bet that, in comparison to the general population gun controllers are…

                I just want to point out that not too long ago, in a cultural place far, far away, the majority of US gun owners would have probably viewed various restrictions on assault rifles and related paraphernalia for “home defense” as both reasonable and NOT a form of gun control.

                But in the current debate, anyone who merely expresses curiosity – perhaps genuine! – as to why US citizens ought to be allowed to purchase 50 round magazines for military-grade semi-auto weapons is identified as a “gun controller”.

                Also too, from Wiki:

                72.5% [of NRA members polled] agreed that President Obama’s ultimate goal is the confiscation of many firearms that are currently legal.

                That’s just f***ing insane!Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Insanity

                Profit!

                Really, these folks will buy ANYTHING if you tell them Obama is coming to take it away. From anyone too. Good profitcenter, those jackbooted thugs! But… better yet… you get their addresses.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                As I’ve noted elsewhere — I fired my first gun before the age of ten. I’ve hunted, I’ve shot skeet, and basically put holes in targets at least a few times a year with family.

                I don’t know when things changed, but I was raised to treat a gun like…it was a gun. You know, a highly optimized, really efficient machine for killing something?

                Always treat it like it’s loaded, don’t fool around with it, lock it away if you’re not using it, don’t aim it at anything you’re not planning to kill, don’t get it out unless you’re cleaning it our about to fire it….

                Open carry in a city or suburb? The people who taught me would have been aghast. WHY would you do that? Someone’s likely to get hurt. Sure, the woods or wilderness, having a gun might be a sensible thing. But why would you need one to go to a Denny’s? You a cop?

                They owned hunting rifles, maybe a pistol for target shooting or hobby shooting. Maybe home defense, but if they did — that’s where it stayed.

                Where did all the fear and paranoia come from? And where did the basic common sense on guns and gun safety go?

                I’m more on the side of gun-control now because the idiots prancing around with guns are freakin’ insane. 20 or 30 years ago, sheer peer pressure from other gun owners would have made them stop their idiocy or ostracized them.

                Can’t police yourself, stuff changes. Fact of life.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                morat20,
                This is easy for you to say.
                You weren’t sent out before the age of 10 with a shotgun to discourage a bear from going after the honeybees.
                Your grandfather didn’t have AK-47’s in the basement.
                [not me, a friend of mine.]

                It has been twenty years since a friend of mine got his car shot up for driving up the wrong mountain (granted, the mountain road had an illegal still at the top, which was probably why the shooting).

                There were always crazy people out there. It just wasn’t everyone.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Support for gun control is primarily motivated by class and regional bias.

                Does it work the other way, that support for guns is some sort of tribal signaling in opposition to the elites?

                How would a gun control supporter defy the charge, and demonstrate that their desire to control guns is sincere?

                I mean, I have seen a hundred “I’m a hunter and a card carrying redneck, and still want to enact gun control” type of essays, and every single politician has contorted themselves into knots to begin every conversation with “I don’t want to ban guns, but …” and everyone wants to pepper the conversation with references to “sensible” gun control.

                For Christ sake, we are now witnessing gun proponents fiercely demanding that we allow unrestricted access to guns by people identified as potential terrorists, on the TSA watchlist.
                There’s that politician that proudly posts a picture of the entire family carrying guns, right down to the preschool age children.
                We have guys demanding that they carry guns into church, I guess on the offhand chance that the organist will pop a cap in their ass.

                It just seems like there isn’t any placating the gun crowd. There isn’t anything short of “all guns all the time everywhere”. They really do seem to have gone unhinged, guns just for the sake of guns.

                The whole argument of “its Yuppie snobs” seems like a smokescreen to me.Report

              • Avatar Dand says:

                Does it work the other way, that support for guns is some sort of tribal signaling in opposition to the elites?

                So you mean the whole punching up vs. punching down thing wasn’t sincere?

                every single politician has contorted themselves into knots to begin every conversation with “I don’t want to ban guns, but …”

                How do you react when some starts a conversation with “I’m not a racist but…”?

                For Christ sake, we are now witnessing gun proponents fiercely demanding that we allow unrestricted access to guns by people identified as potential terrorists, on the TSA watchlist.

                There is no due process to get on or off of the watch list.

                The whole argument of “its Yuppie snobs” seems like a smokescreen to me.

                That’s the reaction I get here whenever I bring up the issue of snobbery.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Gun control in this country doesn’t exist.
                It really, really doesn’t fucking exist.
                When Gun smugglers can’t even be taken down by existing laws…
                Gun control doesn’t exist.

                (Say hello to the secret service, you idiots).Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                We have guys demanding that they carry guns into church, I guess on the offhand chance that the organist will pop a cap in their ass.

                We did have a case here of a shooter entering one of the megachurches, killing two and wounding three as he did so, who was stopped by a church member acting as a volunteer security guard using her privately-owned handgun. Still, the risk of getting killed in traffic is almost certainly higher.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                -not appropriate with Cains comment-deletedReport

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Plenty of regs apply even if they’re still on private property. (mostly when you’re buying them. emissions etc).Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Yes, we are just poor deluded folks that want to cling to our guns and religion. Unlike you, I don’t pretend to be a doctor and diagnose people. As for the regulations you described below they seem tantamount to banning guns to me.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Of course it does. As I recall, you want to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Except without any mechanism to do so.

                How do we know a mentally ill person has a gun already? We don’t. How do we define “mentally ill” sufficient to deny a firearm purchase? We don’t. How to we register mentally ill people so they’ll get denied? We don’t. How to we make sure they don’t take advantage of the many, many loopholes in background checks? We don’t.

                When you have answers to THOSE, we can talk. Until then, you’re just blowing smoke. Empty platitudes.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                The answers are already there

                “How do we know a mentally ill person has a gun already?

                Many times friends and family will inform the cops or other authorities.

                ” How do we define “mentally ill” sufficient to deny a firearm purchase?”

                We do it via a medical diagnosis and adjudication by a judge or other official depending on that states’ laws.

                How to we register mentally ill people so they’ll get denied?

                If the state send their records to the NICS they will be rejected from purchasing a firearm by an FFL. If VA had done so the Tech shooter wouldn’t have been sold the guns. It’s already in place if states send their records.

                How to we make sure they don’t take advantage of the many, many loopholes in background checks?

                I’m not sure what loopholes you are referring to.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                The fact that you think that’s a solution is hilarious.

                The first is “self-deportation”. We’re just hoping someone informs the police.

                The second lacks any detail. “I’m sure doctors and judges can sort it out”. That’s not how laws are made. That’s not even how proposals for laws are made. That’s hand-waving.

                Not even getting into the hysterical fit you’d see from the NRA about having to submit medical records to the federal government AND have them review such records before allowing a gun sale. (The NRA successfully blocked universal registration, which had a large majority support in the US. You’re dreaming).

                And what loopholes? Straw purchases? Private sales? Inheritance? Just off the top of my head.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                And notme doesn’t UNDERSTAND paranoid schizophrenics.
                These people don’t have friends, because they don’t leave their house, because they’re convinced that their next door neighbor is spying on them.

                They also don’t go see doctors, for the above reasons.

                (and paranoid schizophrenics are high functioning schizophrenics. we’re not talking about the ones that hear squirrels telling them to do things!)Report

              • And notme doesn’t UNDERSTAND paranoid schizophrenics.

                That’s what we have you for.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Naw, ask Chris about that. My schooling’s in physics, remember?Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Are we REALLY going to ban all paranoid schizophrenics from having guns? Do you really want that??

                How about all the psychopaths? The Sadists? (ooh! you like tickling other people! let’s ban you from having guns!)Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                Well, I say there is straight jacket worthy insanity in ‘assume functionality’ when todays written laws are presumed to be anything other than ink and paper.

                It’s the chuckle I reach for when Morat climbs his soap box and starts in about ‘this is the way it works’ spiel.

                And when that table is turned we get this:
                “The fact that you think that’s a solution is hilarious.”

                Turtles ROFL all the way down.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Last I checked, your solution was “more guns” because guns=strength and strong men rule.

                After all, what works for Somalia is good for everyone, right?Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                I think your projection was MOAR GUNS. I didn’t say guns=strength, that’s a further attribute of the card board cut out you create.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                There will always be arms, there will always be ‘strong man’, the only societal changes in time is how they are met.

                and

                Some percentage, maybe 5-15% of regular urban, cool headed folks need to gun* up. They need the capacity to use arms safely but effectively against those who have lethal ill will against the peaceful procession of life in urban areas.

                Not out of fear, but out of understanding that the mechanics of liberalism requires equal and opposite immediate force against those willing to kill commoners for whatever biochemical brain misfire that occurs on whatever random minute, of whatever random day.

                Until the irrational fear of domestic arms is overcome, I will attribute a significant percentage of the body count of these urban events to the unprepared.

                Did someone hack your name?Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Didn’t think so.Report

              • Avatar Dave Regio says:

                @notme

                All I see is you telling me what you think the 2nd isn’t. I don’t see anything about what it is. Once again you resort to your “fear argument” as a reason to ban guns. Sorry that is a “feel good” argument but isn’t a legal argument.

                @morat20 doesn’t have to do any heavy lifting here because I already did it. Had I had the time, I would have comment rescued myself and written an even longer post:

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2015/12/06/so-many-terrorists/#comment-1099747

                Long story short:

                1. The Second Amendment fetishism is grossly misplaced.

                2. It takes a certain kind of profound ignorance to suggest that private rights of gun ownership were a federal constitutional concern to the extent beyond the federal government’s power to regulate the militia for reasons I meticulously explained in a two-part series.

                3. Private rights of gun ownership, once the purview of the state police power, were subject to constitutional scrutiny under the 14th Amendment like any other state law.

                4. While I think Heller and McDonald were correctly decided on the grounds that banning weapons that can be used for home defense serves no valid purpose under the state police power, many other kinds of regulations are completely reasonable. To the extent that are argued to serve a valid purpose, they should withstand constitutional scrutiny.

                5. The private right to gun ownership is in effect something akin to a privacy right like any right to acquire personal property. Of course, conservatives won’t like that because we know how they get if they can’t find rights on the document itself.

                Simple as that…Report

        • Avatar Will H. says:

          Yes, I caught that.
          And granted, there are some rather unfortunate correlations out there.
          And I don’t mean “Both sides do it!” but rather “It’s ubiquitous.”
          And many of them are incongruous with other positions.
          But that has already been studied to death, that the vast majority of Americans are fairly unsophisticated in their voting.

          The health care thing would come out differently if people were asked to identify which kids in whatever school should be denied basic health care.
          For one, I think there would be significantly less advocating for denying health care to children, and I believe the vast majority of the remainder would break down along racial lines.

          Now, I have noted before that, according to the bell curve, roughly one sixth of all people have an IQ of 60.
          Are these the enemy?
          Let’s say that yellow journalism would be less effective on a well-educated public.

          How many of those people populating the parades during the First Iraq Invasion actually had some understanding of U.S. Middle East policy, or were they just mindlessly rooting for the home team?

          There are a few other key factors missing from the analysis.
          Most of it isn’t comfortable to think about.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            I would not say that people with below 60 are the enemy. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on the other hand….

            I still think there is something to my different moral universe thought.Report

          • Avatar Zac says:

            Will H.:
            Now, I have noted before that, according to the bell curve, roughly one sixth of all people have an IQ of 60.

            Out of curiosity, does this hypothesis take the Flynn effect into account?Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

            @morat20

            I think Popehat is right with his theory on how guns are basically stand-ins for culture. In this case, “pro-gun” generally is a stand-in for rural, Republican, socially traditional, probably blue-collar, etc. “Pro gun-control” is a stand-in for urban, educated, liberal, secular, etc.

            Where I part ways with Popehat is in his belief that Americans don’t know how to talk about rights. Again this is a difference in moral universes. It seems to me that the libertarian notion is that security is a myth, a luxury, and an impossibility and we should just be at home in a always chaotic and risky universe for all things: physical safety, economics, etc. This is based on their First Principles.

            I certainly think civil liberty is important but I disagree with the concept that security is a myth and a luxury. I was just arguing with Hanley on FB about whether a grace-period for rent is luxury or not when it comes to landlord positions. His basic position is “property rights uber allies” and states should not mandate grace periods for rent.*

            *The linked to Slate article stated that Maryland is one of nine states that does not mandate grace periods for rent. If Maryland had a grace period, the number of cases in rent court for eviction would drop in half. In my mind, this is a good. In Hanley’s mind, this is just a burden that will limit the rent market.

            I can buy the argument that homeownership might not be good policy but I think mass rental is going to require renter’s rights. A balance. The libertarians seem to disagree.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              Grace periods are generally used for anything that can “through no fault of your own” fail to get to where it’s going. You get a good, solid grace period for anything coming through the mail, as the bill needs to get to you, and then get back to your creditor.

              Grace periods, seen this way, only make sense for a renter if they’re paying via mail (as opposed to dropping it off at the front office).

              In general, grace periods seem to be a shitty idea for renting, as it incentivizes people acting badly (“I don’t have the money to pay, so I’m not going to bother cleaning up after the cat’s pee, because I won’t be there next month anyway. And since I can’t afford to pay damages…”)Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              I think you’re a bit too accepting of archetypes as controlling.

              Gun-toters include: Inner-city black youth drug dealers; suburban ex-military white cops; etc.

              I would, however, agree that most Americans don’t know how to talk about rights (see Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld).

              Security I see as a broad continuum, while some necessary minimum exists, that point is likely so heavily influenced by personal histories as to be largely arbitrary except over the aggregate.

              I see no harm in mandated grace periods.
              I believe the market would quite quickly absorb this cost.

              Generally, the solution to market failures involves government action, and the solution to governmental failures involves action from some other institution.
              I believe the first part of that statement describes the general failures in libertarian thought (together with the presumption of perfect competition), and the latter part describes the failure of the Left generally.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

            @will-h
            Now, I have noted before that, according to the bell curve, roughly one sixth of all people have an IQ of 60.

            This is way off. IQ is a normal distribution with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 (16 on some scales). In a normal distribution, roughly one-sixth will be one or more standard deviations below the mean, so one-sixth of people have an IQ below 85. 60 is 2.67 standard deviations below the mean, so about 0.4% of the population will be at or below that level.

            Also, “x% of people have an IQ below y” is a tautology and therefore vacuous. Being in the bottom sixth of the population in terms of cognitive ability is literally the definition of having an IQ of 85 or less. This is true regardless of what level of cognitive ability that threshold actually corresponds to.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Separation of church and state, like free speech and freely keeping and bearing arms, and all of the other freedoms we vest with constitutional importance, are ideals towards which our laws, government, and culture strive. Only rarely will we attain them perfectly and completely. Not because of evil, but because of good: other rights and ideals and goals get in the way. We want guns. We want safety, too. We want to worship freely. We want to have a social service network, too. And so on.

        A poll that goes only to the level of asking whether someone agrees with a particular broad social goal is likely not telling us much that is useful. “Do you agree with Mother’s Day?” A “no” answer is perhaps more interesting than a “yes” but only if we then drill down to find out why.Report

        • Avatar Will H. says:

          I do believe there is something to the prioritization aspect of it, but there is also a distinct difference in idealization (which, I believe, is what Saul is getting at).

          For example: Guns.
          There are actually three things to consider here: Pistols, rifles, and shotguns.
          Were the Second Amendment crowd talking about everyone having a shotgun behind the front door as a means of home security (the way it was when I was growing up), I might agree with them.
          Carrying a snub-nose into a steak house? Not so much.

          That is, what constitutes full realization of a right is a prescient factor in determining its prominence in priority-setting situations.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            Guns tend to work pretty well when you have cover and enough viewing distance to get a decent sight on the other guy.

            I hear all these bold-as-brass “protectors” saying “I carry a gun to defend myself and others in the street” and my blood runs cold. Most of these people are too ignorant to get to cover first, and then look for the shooter.

            I’d be far more supportive of people if we actually got people the training necessary to handle a gun in an urban combat situation.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            As a card-carrying member of the Dreaded Liberal Socialist Gun Control Lovers and General Haters of Freedom, I can state the following:

            Screw open carry, and screw concealed carry. Licenses for the latter should require lengthy, rigorous training, and very solid documented reasons.

            Universal registration, mandatory liability insurance, and screw “Stand your Ground” laws.

            I’d probably require stricter licenses for guns that aren’t fit for hunting (shotguns with magazines too large, rifles that fire too fast, etc) — but that can be waived for guns stored at and used solely at licenses ranges. I don’t want to get in the way of your hobby of playing solider or maintaining your hunting skills, but honestly there’s too many idiots playing with lethal weaponry so do it someplace safe. And away from me.

            In your house — handguns, shotguns, and rifles. If you can’t defend yourself with that, you’re screwed, so what’s the point?

            Mandatory insurance so you can make whole anyone you’ve hurt (and compensate the family of anyone you’ve killed, and a revamp of the self-defense laws so there’s no more stupid “Everyone was standing their ground from everyone else”. You want a lethal weapon? Be prepared for responsibility commiserate with your firepower.

            In other words: Gun owners need to grow up, act like adults. If it’s a toy, keep it at the toy store. If it’s a tool, use it responsibly. And if you shoot someone, you better be prepared for hard questions from the law, not label it a “tragic accident” when you screwed up.

            Hunters are…by and large fine, at least the ones I know. Gun safes, trigger discipline, serious safety rules, and incredibly conscious about the fact that what they’re carrying it designed to put a large hole in living things, with disastrous consequences for their ability to continue living. I wouldn’t give a flip about gun control if all gun owners were like that.

            Instead, I get to read about a toddler shooting someone on a weekly basis.Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              It looks as if you have some strong opinions about firearms.

              My own reading of the Second Amendment suggests that any U.S. Attorney bringing charges for a firearm offense need necessarily do so under state law, as subject-matter jurisdiction for the federal government is summarily foreclosed.

              But firearms are merely an example here.
              Let’s try not to get caught up in examples.

              Here are a couple more that might not carry so much baggage:
              Education
              Health Care

              Sure, these are good things, but what is the minimum to which a person might properly lay claim?
              Where do we hit the point where a negative liberty becomes a positive liberty?

              Those are idealizations.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                I didn’t used to. Unfortunately reality is making me care.

                As I just said to notme, I’d happily settle for something similar to cars.

                Registration, required responsibility (insurance and legal liability), required training, and restriction — certain classes of firearms don’t need to be available unless you jump through hoops proving you can handle them — and use them only in the right places (you can own quite a number of cars that aren’t street legal. You just can’t drive them except on dedicated tracks).

                Gun’s aren’t toys and aren’t security blankets and aren’t artificial penises. They’re lethal tools and should be treated that way. There’s no reason for 99% of Americans to tote them around in public, or carry them concealed.

                Hunters on a deer lease, people in their own homes, shooting ranges — there’s plenty of room for people who have hobbies to indulge.

                In the end, all I want is that gun owners be forced to be responsible for their guns. Just like we force drivers to be responsible for their driving.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                “In the end, all I want is that gun owners be forced to be responsible for their guns. Just like we force drivers to be responsible for their driving.”

                You would really have us believe that gun owners aren’t currently subject to criminal charges or civil suits for use of their firearms? You are clearly fantasizing.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                EAT THE RICH

                … that’s a reference, by the way. To a lawyer in panhandle Florida. She’s not the one shooting, but she does have the references. She lives down there, after all.

                Oh! and nemo’s back. This makes me happy.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 says:

                Considering how many “toddlers shoot someone” news articles I’ve read that didn’t end in “criminal charges pressed against gun owner”, um..yeah.

                If ANYONE gets ahold of my firearm and shoots someone with it, I should be somewhat liable. Reported stolen? Off the hook. Person living in my home took it? Partially liable due to failure to secure my firearm.

                Toddler got his hands on it? Fully liable.

                Criminally and civilly.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                “Considering how many “toddlers shoot someone” news articles I’ve read that didn’t end in “criminal charges pressed against gun owner”, um..yeah.”

                Just b/c a newspaper doesn’t immediately say that charges were filed in the very first story doesn’t prove that no charges were ever filed. Come on, this is simple logic here. You really should do better.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Just like we force drivers to be responsible for their driving.”

                Uh yeah so about that maybe it doesn’t work out the way you think it doesReport

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            When I get back from paradise, I have a post planned that addresses this & has me taking something of a right turn from previous positions.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @will-h — I’m transgender. Who am I fighting? That’s literally a stupid question. Like, come on.Report

        • Avatar Will H. says:

          If you feel that asserting yourself to be one-dimensional somehow weighs in your favor, welcome to it.Report

          • Avatar Yhwh says:

            When your basic civil rights and liberties to so much as pee in a public restroom are under direct attack by true bigots on the basis of a single binary test of one dimension of your person, it’s probably ok to be a tad one-dimensional in response.Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              I’ve never had anyone actually test my gender before permitting me to use a public restroom.
              In fact, I’m not sure what the penalty is for using the restroom of the opposite gender.
              Or peeing in the sink, for that matter.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @will-h I’ve had people question and even demand proof of my gender before permitting me to use a public restroom. Fortunately enough for me I prefer to use the restroom that my body parts imply I should be using*, so it went… okay. Except for the public humiliation and shaming part, and the anxiety-about-what-if-this-goes-wrong part.

                As for what the potential penalty is, it doesn’t take a lot of digging to educate yourself about the disproportionate level of violence suffered by trans women. Some of that is even related to being chased out of bathrooms. Legally, the penalties being proposed include fines and jail time.

                *actually I strongly prefer to use a single bathroom stall where no one is going to question my right to be in the bathroom, so gender-neutral bathrooms are a big plus for me. Didn’t used to care so much until about the 20th time some lady challenged my right to be in the bathroom they were using.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                (To clarify, I didn’t actually prove anything to the one person who outright demanded proof. I just shamed them back until they conceded the point (or, I guess, looked me over enough to change their assumption *grumpy face*). But having the legal standing to do that made it a lot easier to get in their face (even if I was upset and shaking once I was actually in the stall) – I had no doubt that any authority they appealed to would believe me, or if not the next one up would…)Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @will honestly man, you’re stepping into the jackass zone here. I don’t have a choice about how others see me. I don’t get to be “three dimensional” IN THEIR EYES. Do you get that?

            It’s like OMFG how fucking clueless are you?Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              You are quite mistaken.
              I have been way out into the jackass zone for quite some time.

              I really don’t care how others see you.
              Just. Don’t. Care.
              Not surprising, because I really don’t care all that much about how others see *ME*. (The result of being bi-racial, spending many long years, i.e., my twenties, questioning who I am, before finally deciding: I *AM* whatever the fish I am, whatever the fish that might be, and I’m ok with it.)

              As to where TG people might pee, I really don’t care.
              My own view is more along the lines of “Do as the Romans.”
              If someone doesn’t want you in their restroom, I’m ok with that.
              If someone is ok with you being in their restroom, I’m ok with that too.

              I really don’t care if you pee in the middle of the street.

              There are only a handful of issues that are really pertinent here:
              How long have TG people been around? And have they been holding it all this time?
              Where is the typical place where TG people go to pee?

              The other *HUGE* thing is:
              If concerning myself where TG people go pee is the biggest thing I’ve got going on in my life, then I must be pretty pathetic.
              Pro or con.

              Now, there are relevant issues which can be discussed.
              Chief among them (as far as rights go) is the duty which is owed to you.
              The other big thing is the concept of personhood, or individuality, and the relation of gender to the person.
              Is gender a biological trait, universally? Or does clothing really make the man, so to speak?
              I do see a value is parsing through those things, because they might reveal insights which increase our understanding.

              However, to begin the dialogue with an announcement that everyone who holds a different view need necessarily be bigoted is a very, very toxic beginning.

              Again, if your sexuality is so overarchingly important to you so as to sacrifice all other aspects of your individuality to that one, then you have made your decision, and you have no right to claim personhood with such an enlarged sexuality that would not allow space for other aspects of the person to thrive.
              If you are nothing but a [sex organ], then a [sex organ] is who you are.
              When you get over being a [sex organ], then I might actually care what you have to say– no guarantees though.
              I do not ordinarily converse with sex organs, though admittedly, I have on occasion whispered sweet nothings to a choice few.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @will-h Equating transgender identity with identifying with one’s sex organ is …. illogical at best. It’s not a sexual identity. It’s a gender identity. Those aren’t the same thing. Transgender identity is about a lot of things, but who you fish, and what organs you fish with, is not one of them.

                Please read a book, or something. (I’d be happy to provide recommendations.) I normally enjoy your comments but on this topic you sound like a person who only listens to classical music spouting off about why one steel guitarist is obviously head and shoulders a better country musician than another. Or, you know, pick your analogy.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I do sincerely appreciate your generous offer, and am humbled by the kindness in which it is made.
                However, I truly do not care how far it goes between one person and another.
                It’s just that I really don’t care.
                I find it incongruous to tell myself that it’s none of my business on the one occasion, and then say the exact opposite immediately after.
                I have no concern whatever for persons whose gender is wholly removed from their sexuality.

                A very wise person I knew at one time had a saying she used to use a lot:
                Double mind, forked tongue.

                A person cannot be of two minds. The result is chaos.

                When a thing rejects its own self, my own understanding as to the particulars of the mechanism are immaterial.
                It is sufficient to confine my understanding to recognizing the dynamic, that I may be better able to avoid those with forked tongues.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @will-h I misspoke a bit out of frustration. I should’ve said it is far from primary among them.

                It’s pretty hard to believe you’re not a bigot when you talk about people as things. I do believe it, but you make it hard.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I certainly wish it were true that a limited vocabulary was the worst of my failings.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @will-h — Okay, let me see if I can lay this out. I don’t necessarily care what people think of me, insofar as someone quietly hating me is pretty irrelevant. However, I care if they get in my face about it. So do you. If someone starts harassing you, you’ll notice. If it happens a lot, after a while, it will start to get old.

                But more! Even if I don’t care what people think, I care very much what they do. Being trans affects that enormously.

                Okay, so something happened tonight related to this. I mean, I didn’t plan this, and if it seems “convenient,” all I can say is I hope my life in the future has less of this kind of convenience.

                There was a dude on the subway. He was big and violent looking. In fact, he looked a little unhinged. He got in my face and threatened to murder me.

                I repeat, he got in my face and threatened to murder me, to cut my throat to be specific.

                I didn’t do shit to this guy. He was pissed off about something — I dunno what — and ranting about the “flamers,” and then he noticed me. So he came at me, started ranting about killing me.

                I actually wasn’t that scared. The reason I was not scared has nothing to do with being brave. Instead, I’m just so used to this. It happens maybe one a month.

                I mean, not this exact thing. But at least once a month someone fucks with me somehow, in a way that is hard to ignore. Actually maybe this happens once a week. It’s complicated. It depends on where you draw the line. I’ve had nights were multiple people mess with me multiple times. Maybe it’s something in the air. I dunno.

                I bet things like this are like super rare in your life. There is a reason for this.

                I don’t care what they think. But still, he threatened to kill me. He looked capable.

                Do you have a shred of empathy?

                Look, there were many people on the train. Do you suppose there is a reason this guy, ranting about “flamers,” chose to mess with me?

                I care what people do. Because I’m trans, a large number of them want to hurt me. They want to do this individually. They want to do it politically. Most people are not libertarian types who want to leave each other alone. They want to get into my business and hurt me.

                It doesn’t matter how I feel. Merely existing as trans, and being open about it, is enough. Merely walking through the world, with a woman’s body, but six-foot with a strong jaw, that’s enough for them to hate me. Just that. They often, some of them, act on that hate.

                I care what they do. So do you. However, they treat me differently from you, for very bad reasons.

                I don’t care what people think, but I do care what they say. I care what they do. I care what they do when they have power.

                You’re naïve.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                Please do not mistake my stalwart uncaring for naiveté.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                You really don’t care about people committing simple assault on bystanders like v?

                Fer christ’s sake, it’s one thing to say ‘i really couldn’t care less what you think about yourself, just try to get along’. It’s another to say that when there’s actual violence going down.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I never said that I don’t care what V. think s of herself.
                I believe my message was more along the lines of, “It’s ok to be who you are, regardless of what others may think.”

                I do not approve of the violence enacted against V. as described.
                However, I do recognize that those persons doing so aren’t doing it because they feel good about themselves, but rather because there is something within them that is deeply troubled.
                That is sad.
                But I really doubt my ability to do anything about it.
                There are so many people in this world that are really messed up.
                You still have to deal with them on their own terms.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                All’s the same to you, I prefer NOT dealing with a goodly portion of humanity, and particularly not on their terms.

                Dealing with some of them on their own terms comes with random, unprovoked stabbings. Which, all’s the same to you, I’d rather avoid.Report

              • Avatar Yhwh says:

                It’s more than stalwart uncaring. You’re deliberately ignoring a pattern of harassment, violence, and targeting of a vulnerable population. In several of your comments you’ve claimed it doesn’t exist @will-h.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist.
                I’m saying that it is outside of the scope of my concern.
                Not two weeks ago, I sat and listened to a young man talking about police officers grabbing him off of the street, throwing him up against their squad car, and sticking a gun in his face to frisk him, for no reason other than walking down the street. He said this has happened on numerous occasions. It even happened while he was walking down the street with his mother.
                And this is a clean-cut young kid.

                This concerns me a great deal.

                For one, it is not the act of a private actor, but an official act of the government.
                Secondly, it involves endangering the life of an innocent person.

                Now, a few things don’t add up with V.’s story above.
                First, the frequency of the violence.
                How is it exactly that other persons are violent toward an individual who is dressed in female clothing, supposedly female for all purposes, other than some red flag saying, “This is not a female?”
                How does that happen?

                Secondly, “vulnerable populations” per se (“deviant” class within the social framework of target populations construction) are not my concern.
                It would be futile to make every single group the most imminent of concerns.
                My energies would then be so spread, I could hardly be effective at any given thing.

                Thirdly, as Mill specifically stated, others are entitled to their disapproval, provided this is on the basis of self-determination and does not amount to punishment.
                I do not approve of violence enacted against a person, male or female, who happens to be a cross-dresser.
                FWIW, I have known two such men in my life, both of whom engaged in competitions of some sort (though I’m really not sure what it is that cross-dressers are judged on for competitive purposes).
                I knew the one to be subject to acts of violence, but it was for things other than cross-dressing. The other I never knew to be subject to violence.
                If this one person, apart from all others, is being subjected to acts of violence on a monthly basis, then something is much, much different regarding the circumstances of this one person than the circumstances of the two cross-dressers whom I have known personally.
                As to what that might be, I have not sufficient information to make even a cursory judgment.
                Further, the matter is outside of the scope of my concern, and I have no interest in gathering additional information.

                But I’m not denying anything, other than I have some manner of compulsory duty to hand-wring in excess.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                We can assume for the purposes of discussion that v’s describing violence along the lines of simple assault, rather than aggravated. She takes public transit, and runs into a good deal more people than she would taking a car.

                But if you must look at state actors (and there’s various reasons for that, amongst which “I can affect them more easily” might be at the fore), then v’s undoubtedly got thousands of stories about transsexual sex workers getting unwarrantedly beaten/raped/abused by cops.

                Not asking you to handwring. Asking you to do what you can, where you can be effective.Report

              • Avatar Yhwh says:

                Didn’t Texas just have an entire election where the right wing demonized a state equal rights in housing and employment ordinance with fearmongering and bigoted rhetoric about transsexuals trying to get into the wrong bathroom and molest kids?Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                Legislative hijinks aside, we can say conclusively that the people of South Texas are bastions of social tolerance in comparison with the people wherever V. is at.

                It was South Texas where I knew one of those who was a cross-dresser, free from acts of violence due to it.Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                @yhwh

                Interesting (and depressing) link, but I don’t recall @will-h making the opposite claim.

                Feel free to be offended at the fact that he doesn’t respond the same way to these issues as you, but saying he’s in denial is pushing it.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Is “cross-dresser” still within the preferred nomenclature?Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @burt-likko — Cross dressers are largely a separate population from trans people. To a large degree, cross dressers are hobbyist, who live their day to day lives in their assigned gender, but then “dress up” for parties and events (or sometimes privately). They don’t really do the hormones thing.

                Of course, it is fairly common for cross dressers to later choose to transition. Likewise, I’ve met many cross dressers who express a desire to transition, but are afraid of the consequences. I know one older lady who works in sales. If she tried to transition, she would lose her family and career. So she lives a diminished life.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Cross-dresser is a different nomenclature than transsexual, I believe. (I rate only slightly higher in PC-awareness than the poor guy getting labeled as a “trans-hating cis-womyn” who doesn’t have any fucking clue why trannies are pissed at him).

                Cross-dresser implies a male dressing as a female (or vice versa), without the implication of being gendered differently than one is currently sexed. (considering the number of authors with blatant clothing fetishes…)Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @will-h — I don’t care if you are indifferent to me, or to trans folks in general. Indifference is totally fine. Be indifferent. I really-truly do not mind.

                If that’s your issue, then you are missing the point. In fact, I really demand nothing from you, other than some basic civility. Or not. Whatever.

                THAT IS NOT MY POINT.

                My problem is, when you presume to lecture me on my identity. That is when you’re way out of line.

                About my identity, I’m trans. So what? It shouldn’t be a big deal.

                I require some minor public concessions, such as the right to change my gender marker on public documents. But those really are pretty basic. It’s just a document change, generally done with the oversight of a doctor. No big.

                I’ve done it. Many trans people have. I promise you, it won’t affect your life.

                When I talk about what my identity means in my life, there is personal stuff, shit that is internal to me — and yeah, I often form close bonds with other trans women, people who share my experience, but again, there is no reason you need to care about that.

                However, things get serious when I talk about how people treat me because I am trans. Then we come into issues of bigotry and hate. When I talk about how my identity rightly shapes my hatred of the American right wing — well you don’t really have anything to say about that. They hate me. They manifestly hate me. They hate me for irrational reasons. They want to hurt me. Insofar as they gain power, I will be hurt.

                If I stop hating them, they won’t stop hating me. If they stop hating me, then I will indeed stop hating them. I hate them for what they do to me.

                I can talk on and on about how they hate me, what they do, what they want to do, and so on. You don’t need to care about the details. I’m not asking you to fight my battles.

                I’m telling you that you do not get to say my battles do not exist.

                You’ve been way out of line in this thread. Cut it out.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I disagree.
                You have been way out of line in telling me what I think and what I don’t think.

                Although you claim that you are indifferent to my uncaring position, you nonetheless spent a good deal of time in trying to pigeon-hole me.
                I’m not that easily pigeon-holed.

                As far as people fighting their own battles, I would never tell anyone that their battles simply do not exist.
                Period.
                Even were it the case that I believed that someone’s struggle was non-existent, I would never say that.
                Actually, I don’t see how I could believe such a thing because that would be going against the weight of evidence.
                Regardless, to me, reality is a personal matter, and everyone has one (or more), and they can shift in and out of them if they wish. (There really is something to that, and that is how I am able to snatch up a racoon by the scruff of the neck– first, I have to put myself on the same level as the racoon, because I can neither fear him nor be a threat and be permitted to touch him peacefully.)

                I just think your struggle is a very marginal one that affects very, very few people.
                That’s not to say that it isn’t real.
                Just that the scope of it is severely confined.

                Insofar as a rising tide lifts all boats, I am not against you.

                Hatred typically is irrational.
                I would never counsel anyone to stop hating in order to please someone else.
                I counsel people to stop hating because it makes one feel bad to hate. There are better things that can be done with that time.

                So, if people truly hate you, be glad that the people most against you are wasting their energies with ineffectual matters.

                Most fear is also irrational.
                You are full of it.
                Not that is doesn’t have a basis in reality, the part that’s real is so blown out of proportion.

                No, I’m not concerned at all about a 14% rise in violence against TG people.
                Two days ago, I sat and listened to the No. 2 man in the State Police (the guy who was directly responsible for implementing their affirmative action policy beginning in 1978) talk about statistics of police deaths.
                What he said was that 57 deaths sounds like a lot, and when you compare it to prior year numbers of 43, it looks like a sharp increase.
                But there were over 2300 police deaths in 1978.

                Then last night, I stood and listened to a woman give a presentation for business which parses statistics for accuracy.
                It was interesting, to say the least.

                Which is to say, I am not impressed by such statistics regarding such a small portion of the population where small movements can project vast statistical increases (or decreases).

                I have other things on my plate.
                I don’t mean that as anything against you, and I didn’t put those things there to somehow spite you.
                I am simply too busy to care.
                I have a lot of things going on.
                I don’t intend to exclude you from my scope of concern.
                I just intend to not cultivate any special concern for you.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I’m getting a little bit concerned about the temperature of this exchange too.Report

              • Avatar Dave Regio says:

                I concur.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I’m not going to say that I don’t understand your concern.

                I do truly admire the way you kept your cool in the exchange below, and I think the hiatus from idiocy may have had some beneficial changes.
                I hope they are lasting.

                But I assure you, I am not even marginally upset.
                And I have no intention of allowing someone else to upset me.
                There are things that could upset me, but an exchange on the internet isn’t one of them.
                I have real things going on here.
                (Seriously, Burt, I just got approval yesterday for a documentary film, and I feel good about it. Consider this a preview of Jaybird’s next Weekend! post rather than a digression.)

                OTOH, I truly have no regard for whether the other commenter becomes upset or not.
                Beyond the scope of my concern.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @burt-likko — When someone gets in my face about what it means to be trans, then I’m gonna take it pretty goddam personally.

                He said this:

                If you feel that asserting yourself to be one-dimensional somehow weighs in your favor, welcome to it.

                I mean, he can fuck off sideways. Seriously. I’m pissed at him and I ain’t hiding it.

                It’s not me who makes my transness “one-dimensional.” It’s them. When I get on the train and someone calls me a “faggot,” they’re the one reducing me down to that one part of me they choose to see.

                And when these people turn to politics — did you know that last year the New Jersey legislature approved a bill that would greatly ease the difficulty for trans people to change the gender marker on their state ID. In fact, the change would have roughly matched what exists in neighboring states. It would have matched my state. In fact, under the current NJ law, I could not change my ID. Thus I effectively cannot live in NJ.

                I mean, not really. It would be unbearable to me.

                Whatever. It’s not like I want to live in NJ anyhow, but some people have less of a choice.

                Anyhow, here’s what happened. Their piece of shit governor vetoed the bill.

                This is when we became sure he was running for president.

                In that past, Christie has been kinda okay on LGBT stuff, so why the sudden change? Would he have vetoed the bill if the Republican base didn’t hate trans folks so much?

                I dunno for sure. I can’t read minds, and politics is messy. But I suspect! It’s just that, it’s probably not an accident that a somewhat socially liberal Republican Gov. starts turning socially rightward just as he needs the votes from a large mass of seething bigots.

                This is one example. I can give many more. Many, many more.

                This isn’t new. The Repubs have been ruining our lives for decades, and I hate them for it. I hate their bones.

                I mean, they are really fucking clear about how much they hate me. This is unambiguous.

                Can you imagine if bigots just stopped being bigots?

                Blah blah blah.

                Anyway, Will doesn’t have to care, but if I’m “one-dimensional,” it’s cuz that’s all that the bigots see.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Well, here’s my suggestion for you, @veronica-d : you’ve more than adequately expressed yourself. You’ve shared of the pain and struggles that you’ve experienced. Generously, particularly given the subject matter. You’ve done your duty, to yourself and your sisters and brothers.

                Since you’ve now fought the good fight, let the arguments stand with confidence, confidence enough that it doesn’t matter if the other person gets the last word.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @burt-likko — Honestly that sounds a bit condescending. But I’m gonna drop it anyhow.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott says:

                @burt-likko

                See, this is why I don’t hold with Carson’s call for civility. Because the kind of civility he calls for inevitably becomes the kind that just happened here. Where, when you see a heated exchange you dislike, your response to Will is to note the heated tone without ascribing blame or suggesting a course of action on his part–but your response to Veronica is to tell her specifically that she should stop talking and why it’s in her best interest to do so.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Only one person in this exchange, V, has been rude and profane. Therefore it seems correct that only V should be admonished.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Eh, “civility as weapon” is a thing.

                The problems come up when you’ve got someone shallowly invested in something that another person is deeply invested in and the shallowly invested person says something that indicates shallow investment. The deeply invested person will react like someone deeply invested.

                And an emphasis on civility in the face of this dynamic will tend to favor those who are shallowly invested.

                Which is not to say that civility is not a goal to which we should aspire… but to say that we should have different allowances for understanding why someone deeply invested would respond with more passion (including, say, anger) than someone with shallow investment.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                You go astray with the third paragraph:
                “an emphasis on civility in the face of this dynamic will tend to favor those who are shallowly invested.”

                In the crowd I run with, becoming angry in the course of an argument means almost invariably that a clear winner has emerged, the non-angry person.
                And in some contexts, using the anger of an opponent as evidence of an untenable position is permissible, and it makes sense. If the position is not indefensable, then anger will only serve to obscure it.
                This is the same tactic as some of the more bombastic rhetoric in politics. Its purpose is to forego argument by obscuring the original positions.
                Even a master chess player needs to examine the board before determining a move.

                Which is to say, anger is a learned response, not a natural one, and that there are other learned responses available.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                If the position is not indefensable, then anger will only serve to obscure it.

                I think this obscures the dynamic in play, actually. For example, I could respond to every argument a person makes by saying that they’re projecting their irrational fears onto society and by doing so reveal themselves as a delusional, and I could do so with a cool civility which might, if repeated often enough!, drive my interlocutor into a rage. Not because their arguments aren’t defensible, but because I’m playing a childish game of “who loses their temper first” and they’ve given me credit for something more than that.

                Civility isn’t merely about not losing your temper. Nor is it about “winning” an argument.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                And to just add a bit onto that: I had no problem with V getting pissed off upthread, nor do I have a problem with her expressing her frustration (I don’t think that means she “lost” the argument), and I don’t think anything she said was uncivil.

                But I’m also not part of the Comment Police, so my views on that don’t really matter all that much. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I didn’t mean it like that. I’m not here to play hardball, but to have a good time. And I would hold anyone here to the standards that I observe with personal interactions.

                And to re-iterate, I was responding to an observed dynamic rather than any specific instance of it.
                I’ve already let go, and I need not re-visit that decision.

                Although things may grow a bit blurry around the edges, that doesn’t mean the middle isn’t good and solid.
                Poking around at the margins is only good for teasing out exceptions, none of which renders the whole non-viable.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Oh, I hear ya. My comment was more an expansion on the civility-as-a-weapon theme (sword OR shield) introduced by Alan and Jaybird.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                An argument isn’t a contest. No one “wins.”

                Are any of you familiar with Lakoff and his metaphor stuff, particularly his ARGUMENT IS WAR schema? It gets mentioned here. Anyway, the thing is, it’s a metaphor. Argument is, in fact, not war, particularly dumb fights on the Internet. No one really “defends a position” or “seizes the high ground.”

                Which, whatever. We use a lot of metaphorical language. However, sometimes it seems like we forget to what degree we do this.

                Of course, arguments can be as serious as war, sometimes. This one was not.

                #####

                Anyway, this happened.

                I’ve had people presume I’m a sex worker and approach me as such. They’re always men. They’re usually pretty gross. I assume many cops think I’m a sex worker. I mean, I’ve had actual sex workers assume I’m a sex worker. Like, they’ll ask me where is a good place to find “dates.” I tell them I have a “normal job.”

                I don’t mind when a sex worker makes that mistake. She and I are from different worlds, but we’re both trans, and thus we’re both sisters in a way.

                There was this big-terrible thing in NYC last year, although I think they’ve fixed it recently. Anyway, the cops would 1) assume any trans woman in public was a sex worker (cuz obvi), and 2) assume any woman with more that two condoms was out selling. So therefore, any trans woman who was searched (and they aggressively find bullshit reasons to search) and found to have two or more condoms was arrested.

                The HIV rate among transgender women is, according to the CDC, around 27%. Cops in NYC were arresting trans women with condoms. Often those condoms had been handed out by city public health officials.

                This is how I know there is no god.

                I’m glad I live in Boston. Whatever else you can say about Boston cops, they don’t pull that shit. (I still wish we had their subways system.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                VD,

                I hear you too!

                (I even continued reading beyond your casual endorsment of Lakoff.. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I disagree.
                People definitely win arguments. In the real world, the arguments in which I engage are won in terns of policy proposal advanced, points (with a panel of judges keeping track), or in official sanction.

                I believe what you are referring to is discussions (or debate), which are comprised of various arguments.

                I agree the conduct of the manager described in the link was deplorable.
                The police have been given authority to make the most dubious of assumptions, all toward “fighting crime.”
                From where I stand, governmental overreach differs from crime primarily in its organization. Most criminals don’t band together and concentrate their efforts like that.
                That one is an issue which is on my radar.

                Relatedly, the assumption of trafficking in drugs where differing pharmaceuticals are found together in one container.
                I see this most often with vets who have several prescribed medications, and rather than carry 14 pill bottles, carry a day’s supply (or two).

                If you looked around, you might be amazed at the constituencies positioned to be your natural allies.
                Thinking in broader terms might help.
                Just sayin’.Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                Frankly I don’t see a problem. All I hear is that the new PC excuse for being rude and profane is to say that I’m “deeply invested” in this subject and that allows me to be rude. So much for civility.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                V
                I have been reading your struggles for a few months now. I want you to know I see how your ‘fighting in the shade’ from the shadow of the arrows. I don’t see any fear in you, just the opposite, a helluva alot of guts.Report

              • Avatar Yhwh says:

                Maybe you did not read your own comments @will-h

                Will H.: As far as people fighting their own battles, I would never tell anyone that their battles simply do not exist.
                Period.

                Will H.: Who on earth are you fighting?

                I would think that most Americans value separation of church & state.
                Other than that, I’m not so sure God respects the territorial boundaries of nations.
                I’m not so sure He respects U.N. resolutions either

                But seriously, who are these people that you are fighting?

                In a place chock full of conservatives, I’ve met about three of them that could be said to hold those views.
                A handful of others in other locales, granted.

                But I think you’re shadowboxing more than fighting.

                Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I happen to like Saul, and I have a lot of respect for him.
                He’s a heart-of-gold kind of guy.

                We happen to share many of the same views, but we have a few disagreements on policy.

                I want him to fight the right thing, so that his efforts can be more effective.
                I believe he’s intelligent enough to figure it out for himself, but it would take less time if someone were to bring it to his attention.

                Frankly, I’m really not dedicated to an political party.
                I’m more a disciple of truth.

                EDIT:
                I would also add that there is a significant part of the Republican Party that I decidedly against.
                I don’t just loathe Democrats.Report

  3. Avatar Yhwh says:

    Carson seems to forget that he himself is a card-carrying member of the bomb-throwing bombast bus. Past statements including declaring that muslims should be barred from public office, that evolution is created by the “adversary”, and that equality for sexual minorities should be abolished because prison turns men gay, that trying to fix the health insurance system is worse than slavery, and that planned parenthood is a genocidal plot to murder black children.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Sure, but what OTHER extreme things has he said?

      Also, if I’d realized we’d be getting an influx of Bronze-Age Canaanite gods commenting today, I’d have worn a tie.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Well, this is why the comment is remarkable coming from him.

      It may well be that he’s acquired enough experience on the campaign trail to see that something ugly has been created and maybe he’s trying to dial that back a little bit. Perhaps out of a degree of repentance, even.

      If he drops this sort of thing on one of his own supporters, at least in a public way, then it really will be a profile in courage. For now, it’s cause for hope.Report

      • Avatar Yhwh says:

        This week he’s announced that he thinks transgendered persons shouldn’t have equal rights, that if elected POTUS he’d put the military back into the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy because he sees openly gay servicemen and women as “flouting your sexuality” somehow. He also repeated an old anti-semitic claim that there is a hidden Star of David on the $1 bill. I wouldn’t count either as doing well towards ratcheting down the bombast.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          there is a hidden Star of David on the $1 bill

          That’s ridiculous, where would they fit it among the hidden Illuminati symbols?Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            “the hidden Illuminati symbols”

            Hiding in plain sight you mean? 🙂Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            When I was a kid, I had a friend (named Chris, coincidentally) who believed every story his mother or uncle or drunken cousin from B.F.E., TN told him, be it hearsay, old wives’ tale, urban legend, or just some shit the story teller made up on the spot. This was in the pre-Wikipedia world, but most of them were either obviously bullshit or smelly enough to make you wary of stepping in ’em, but he was so credulous that he’d pass them all on with an air of absolute certainty.

            I get the impression Carson is a lot like him.Report

        • Avatar Murali says:

          Can anyone ever flout their sexuality?Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          To be sure, if his comments are directly only at people who disagree with him, that would be disappointing. And he may well be new to the wider world outside of a bubble of people who either admire him or think the way he does.

          It’s when he realizes that people who think like him behave pretty much exactly the way the people he’s criticizing that he’ll have to confront the existential challenge and his character will really be tested. Then we’ll know if there is a profile in courage happening: if he can say to his own supporters, “Grow up and play nice, even if the other side doesn’t.”Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            I hear ya. I don’t expect much along those lines, myself tho. Apart from the list already compiled, there’s also his comment that liberals and Democrats (collectively known as “progressives” in the literature) are effectively an arm of neo-Marxists intent on destroying our society from within. It’s hard to view someone who says such things as being very concerned with a position’s “rationale”.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Well, this is why the comment is remarkable coming from him.

        Ehh, I don’t think so. Given the context of the comment (a response to PP’s claim that hateful rhetoric of the type he has engaged in lead to the violence in Co Springs) I think he’s actually denouncing PP for being the one to engage in hateful rhetoric by accusing him of some sorta complicity. Which is hateful, even if true!Report

        • Avatar Yhwh says:

          In other words he can shout “baby killers” and make accusations of genocide at PP and he doesn’t consider it hateful; but when they respond that his comments are hateful and contributed to violence by his supporters or fellow travelers, they’re out of line in his mind. Something in that dichotomy does not seem to be logically consistent.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Put this on Tumblr and we’d call it Tone Policing.Report

  5. Avatar Yhwh says:

    Troublesome Frog: I suppose there could be something about the presence of guns that makes other types of violent crime more probable, but I seriously doubt that it’s a big enough effect to drive the statistics.

    I think you want these statistics. Higher rates of gun ownership contribute both to gun- and non-gun homicides and violent crimes. It drives a might-makes-right cultural mindset.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/Report

    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      On another forum, someone has been posting “Reasons someone got shot” from various months of the year. It’s just pulled from US headlines, single shootings, along with the shooter’s reasoning.

      It’s…horrifying. Endless lists of “I got into an argument with my coworker over whose tools it was, and he wouldn’t give me my wrench back so I shot him”. “I was annoyed at the driver in front of me, so I shot him.” “I got into an argument with my wife, so I shot her”.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        And my guess is that those hypothetical folks were charged with a crime by the local DA and probably a civil suit for wrongful death.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        It’s also the rankest sort of fear-mongering.

        If I started posting “Reasons someone got punched” would you start arguing that all US citizens should be legally required to keep their hands in their pockets when in public?Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          Your fists are very sub-par weapons, you know. That’s kind of the problem.

          Guns? Very efficient. They’re the end-state of thousands of years of developing man-portable lethal weapons. Pinnacle of evolution, at the moment. Oh, nukes are more lethal — and I think there’s even portable ones — but in terms of sticking lethal power into the hands of someone with little to no training, guns are tops. (And training makes it even more lethal, of course).l

          That’s kind of the thing that’s ignored, passed over. Guns are different from knives, from fists, from baseball bats. We don’t equip soldiers with baseball bats. If they have to use a knife or their fists, it’s because their gun is gone.

          I mean I realize it’s convenient to ignore, to pretend guns are just for fun (and hey, I enjoy skeet shooting myself!) — but that’s ignoring plain reality. A gun is the most efficient, more practical, individual killing tool humans have ever developed. It’s why we give them to soldiers, and we’ve spent a long time, a lot of money, and a lot of blood making them just as nasty, efficient, and lethal as can be.

          Which is why, when someone gets angry and fires a gun — someone tends to get hurt very badly — if they’re lucky. Whereas if someone gets angry and punches someone, that person generally gets….a bruise.

          Jesus Christ, what has HAPPENED to the pro-gun folks? I know hunters. I’ve been hunting WITH hunters. Each and every one — and I admit, they’re all at least a generation older than me (my in-laws, my uncles, etc) — stressed from the beginning that a rifle is lethal. To treat it with respect. To never point it at anything you didn’t want to kill. To always treat it as loaded.

          Not a single freakin’ one of them treats guns as cavalierly as you do. Not a single one of them would ever compare guns to fists. Because they’re pretty sure they couldn’t take a deer with their bare fists, but doing it with a gun? It’s become some trivial that half of them have switched to bows simply to make it require an effort. They went back 500 years in terms of weaponry just to make killing require a moment’s worth of thought.

          Has gun ownership become so partisan that you can’t even treat guns with an iota of respect?

          Gun owners have officially become insane. I say this as someone who has hunted, who goes target shooting, and has handled guns for years. I fired my first gun when I was under the age of 10.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck says:

            ” Not a single one of them would ever compare guns to fists. ”

            That you consider this an entirely-on-the-level comparison says a lot about you.

            Of course, I don’t think you actually consider it such. But the fact that you’re no-selling rhetoric and insisting that everything be taken dead flat literally is interesting. It’s some of that non-charitable reading that I thought we were supposed to not do.

            But, then, given your history of being The Angriest Motherfucker On The Website, I guess you’re just staying true to yourself.Report

        • Avatar Yhwh says:

          I’m pretty sure that any society with people going out front of a Toys ‘R’ Us to settle an argument over who gets to buy the last of the season’s hot kids toy by who can draw faster deserves to be having an honest discussion over whether access to guns is too easy.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      I’m not sure how you’re interpreting those articles in that way. They appear to pretty much support what I said:

      “The association between firearm prevalence and homicide victimization in our study was driven by gun-related homicide victimization rates; non-gun-related victimization rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership.”

      “These results were attributed primarily to higher gun-related homicide rates in regions with higher rates of firearm ownership; non–gun-related homicide rates were also elevated in regions where there were more guns, but to a lesser extent.”

      “The firearm homicide rate is very strongly associated with the Cook index; the nonfirearm homicide rate shows no statistically significant correlation (not shown).”

      That’s 3/4. The metastudy doesn’t really quantify the results in the abstract and I don’t have access to the full text to dig into it. But an eyeball “metastudy” of the remainder suggests that more guns gives you more gun homicide (not getting that result would be pretty stunning), but they’re much more weakly correlated (or not correlated) with other types of homicide. That tells me that the overall decline in violent crime almost certainly wasn’t driven by the decline in gun ownership. It’s more likely that a common variable drove both.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        That tells me that the overall decline in violent crime almost certainly wasn’t driven by the decline in gun ownership. It’s more likely that a common variable drove both.

        Lead abatement. It’s Kevin Drum’s pet hobbyhorse, but he’s almost certainly right. Not all of the decline, but I could see at least half.

        Lead does ugly things to the brain. Well known and understood mechanism of action (the neurochemistry and such is pretty well understood) and the staggered phasing out of leaded gasoline make some decent comparative studies available. Of course, there’s like a generational lag time….Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          It explains more than a little. (The Freakonomics Roe.v.Wade answer is distasteful but has explanatory power as well.)Report

          • Avatar Morat20 says:

            Oh yeah. I mean, from the reporting I’ve seen, lead’s a huge factor. Might be the most significant factor (close to a majority of the cause, if not a majority of the cause) — certainly it’s the most directly causal factor I’ve heard of. Ingest/inhale lead, it builds up in the brain. Lead build-up in the brain leads directly to aggression issues, anger issues, poor impulse control…

            Not quite first order — lead exposure doesn’t make you a criminal, but the more lead exposure you had as a child the more likely you are to end up making a poor choice. You’ll be angrier, more impulsive, and more short-term than if you didn’t have that stuff in your brain.

            The Roe v. Wade thing is a bit of a harder sell (and it’s like what, second or third order?). Harder to prove, harder to tease out of the data, and harder to deal with confounding factors. Less likely to be a significant contributor.

            Then again, complex systems. Still, for value — lead abatement seems to be a pretty darn good investment. Makes society a lot of money over the long term.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          I agree that lead is probably a very, very strong variable to explain a lot of this stuff. It’s another reason why I think anybody who wants to point to gun reduction as an explanatory variable rather than just another one being driven by the overall system needs to present some really strong data.

          If I had to guess, I’d guess that the gun decline is a combination of us being less violent overall and our trend toward urbanization. Outside of criminals, urban areas tend to have less of a gun culture than suburban and rural ones, so any long term trend toward people living in higher density areas will likely reduce gun ownership.

          There are a bunch of practical reasons why a gun is a more useful tool to a person who lives in an open, isolated space than to a person who lives in an apartment. That differentiation may also partially explain why guns are a cultural marker and why the concentration in gun ownership has gone up while the overall ownership rate has dropped. Urban citizens look around them and see gun owners as largely being criminals or kooks while rural citizens look around them see gun owners as totally normal people and resent the views of the urbanites.Report

  6. Avatar Yhwh says:

    Don’t you mean “gun grabber” in the NRA terminology?

    Stillwater: But in the current debate, anyone who merely expresses curiosity – perhaps genuine! – as to why US citizens ought to be allowed to purchase 50 round magazines for military-grade semi-auto weapons is identified as a “gun controller”.

    Report

  7. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Morat20: Gun owners have officially become insane. I say this as someone who has hunted, who goes target shooting, and has handled guns for years. I fired my first gun when I was under the age of 10.

    Exactly my experience and sentiments, word for word. I bought my son a rifle when he was 16, I still harbor a desire for a shotgun to go skeet shooting, I have generally very happy and positive thoughts about guns.

    Gun owners, less so.

    Its my experience that conservatives often reference and draw authority from, a tradition that never existed.

    There was never a period in American history when the attitude towards guns was what it is today on the part of the NRA and conservative movement. The Americans of the Wild West were very supportive of gun regulation and outright bans, and had someone in 1880 Boston carried a pistol into a church he likely would have been arrested.

    There is something going on here, and it isn’t about anything having to do with tradition, culture or history. Its new, and radical.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Its new, and radical.

      Agreed. One thing I notice is that the rhetoric and actions from folks advocating gun related regulations hasn’t changed in dozens, prolly hundreds, of years, since – and this may be a contentious claim! – the common-sense view of the role weapons hold in society has always been pretty reasonably constrained by broader social concerns. Now, tho, without any real social, legal, or crime-related justification for the shift, the rhetoric and actions from the gun-rights community has become – in my view – literally insane. Completely out of proportion to any facts on the ground that might explain why – suddenly! – arming up, in all the advocated dimensions that sentiment is expressed, is even warranted.

      My own take for the reasoning here is pretty unflattering to conservatives, one which I won’t go into except to say that the presumed real fears which putatively justify the current pro-gun movements’ ideologicallly-based excesses seem to me illusory and wholly constructed, and are a symptom of something very different and very insidious.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        People have always understood the personal-defense aspect of firearms.

        What’s new is claiming that the personal-defense aspect of firearms is a delusion, a foolish idea that was never at all meaningful, something only worthy of ridicule and scorn.Report

        • Avatar Yhwh says:

          What’s new is the ability to study the statistics on a society-wide scale and realize that a gun in the house is more likely to be involved in harm or death of a family member deliberately or accidentally. That shows us that the fear-based reasoning to own or carry is not rationally sound.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      “There was never a period in American history when the attitude towards guns was what it is today on the part of the NRA and conservative movement. ”

      There was never a period in American history where it actually looked like gun bans were going to be something that people went along with.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Except in the Wild West, when they were a fact of life. I mean the real wild west, where you didn’t carry a gun in town unless you were the law.

        As directly stated in the post you responded to.

        I find it amusing that the actual history of the West (the fact that when faced with an armed society, society quickly disarmed them), we have invented a heroic anarchist fantasy (all the good heroes, armed, fighting off evil doers — in sublime politeness, because an armed society is polite, right?) which we then claim is real history in order to prove that out current situation is…historical normal.

        Nope. If nothing else, the trend towards wider expansion of CC and the open-carry movements are massive aberrations. They fact that CC is expanding and open carry is becoming something more than the realm of militia nutcases prancing in the woods seems directly contradictory to your claims of “actually looked like gun bans were going to be something that people went along with.”

        Have you considered that you have the cart before the horse? Speaking entirely for myself — when gun-owners were, by and large, sober individuals with a healthy respect for their weapons, who had no desire to seek out excuses to “Stand their ground” and when the only people who routinely carried weapons in the crowded public were “police” — I had no interest in gun bans, gun restrictions, or anything of the sort.

        They weren’t needed.

        Gun owners were responsible, for themselves and their weapons. It wasn’t until they started acting like fools that I started wondering if restrictions were necessary. Normally I’m all for letting idiots be idiots, but when they’re being idiots with lethal weaponry there’s a societal interest there.

        Especially now that we’re at a mass shooting a day.Report