2nd Amendment: You’re Doing It Wrong

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I fully support the 2nd Amendment and the citizen’s right to bear arms. That said, I do think that the argument isn’t being had the correct way.

The Second Amendment and Prior Action:

First, what is the Second Amendment? The text is as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – Second Amendment

As a native English speaker, the way I read this is “Since a well regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. From a cursory glance (with no constitutional law degree) it seems to suggest that no law may be passed which infringes on the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. That stuff about a militia in front seems to be a justification for why the amendment exists. I also notice something special about its words. It says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. To me (again, no constitutional law degree) this suggests a presupposed right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t give you the right to keep and bear arms, it protects it. You already have the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment prevents laws from being passed that restrict it.

Now we need to ask the question what a restriction on your right to keep and bear arms is. Suppose certain firearms are prohibited from use or storage, that could be a restriction on your right to bear arms. Requiring all guns to be stored at some government facility, that could be a restriction on your right to keep and bear arms. Really, what we’re looking for is any law that prevents the user from owning their firearms.

This is why I never buy the argument on the right that gun regulations, making guns more difficult to obtain legally is against the 2nd Amendment. Sure, some things that have been done could be argued to be unconstitutional. For example, the assault weapons ban of 1994 is unconstitutional. It restricted firearms you may legally own to those with some number of modifications. It seems incredibly silly to me, because it seems that you could have all of the components of a prohibited weapon but as long as they’re all apart from each other it’s fine. It’s like if vehicles with six wheels were illegal so you took out a middle row of wheels and put them under the vehicle. You’re still driving on four wheels but you have the ability to switch to a six wheeled vehicle…

The purpose of the assault weapons ban was to prevent mass shootings. You can argue about whether or not it was effective. In terms of mass shootings we see that during the ban there were 16 mass shootings or 1.6 per year of the ban. After the ban we have had over 30 mass shootings over a ten year period (2004-2014). The rate has practically doubled. This is also somewhat troubling because crime rates have been dropping for decades. Despite an overall crime rate drop, why do we see a doubling in the number of mass shootings?

I tend to favor reading this as a correlation rather than a causation. Especially when we see 17 mass shootings from 1984 to 1993. The rate seems to have spiked since the 2000’s. Did anything happen in the 2000’s that may have led to more mass shootings? In today’s political climate, I’m sure people want to hop on the War on Terror argument. Looking at the names of the perpetrators at a glance, I wouldn’t want to hop on that train at all. I do not believe mass shootings are a War on Terror problem.

The (Poor) Arguments:

With all of that hullabaloo out of the way (and I can’t believe spell check isn’t throwing a fit over hullabaloo) let’s get down to the right vs. left argument. The right maintains that a regulation of who may purchase guns is an infringement of rights. I disagree. The laws in gun regulation by and large regulate who may purchase guns. This is not restricting who may own guns. However there are restrictions are who may own guns in federal law. Among the list are people addicted to controlled substances, fugitives, and domestic abusers. There are also a series of non-citizen clauses but if you’re not a citizen then you’re not protected by the United States constitution so I wouldn’t bother going down that rabbit hole.

Focusing on the United States citizens cases, (fugitives, domestic abusers) I don’t think people would generally disagree that these people shouldn’t have firearms. However restricting their right to bear arms is a violation of the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms was presupposed. There wasn’t an exception “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless they abuse their spouse”. I imagine the laws stand because of public opinion and safety concerns. But to me, this is a clear case of the Second Amendment being hit. I’m a firm believer of “slippery slope” applying to arguments in law because of how precedent is used. But that’s just my take on this.

“It’s to prevent tyranny”

This is an argument from the right. It’s suggesting that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent tyranny, so that if the United States ever wanted to crack down on the people, they could defend themselves. If the United States wanted to enact martial law (and the armed forces were willing to comply) there isn’t a whole lot you can do with your gun against their tanks and nukes. Seriously, what is this argument even. Again, that doesn’t mean that I believe you shouldn’t have your guns, it’s that the argument itself doesn’t pan out. Could a guerilla warfare force take down the United States? I suppose it’s possible, but highly unlikely. There’s just too large of a technological gap/organization for the people to win. Would this be solved if civilians could own tanks? We’d probably need a lot of tanks. Especially since civilians currently cannot own tanks that actually fire rounds (which I personally find odd because again… the firing mechanism is the “arms” part of the tank).

I do not believe that there is a way to fix this argument.

“…Historical context…”

This one gets played a lot. It is used to justify arguments about what the founding fathers intended. It may be a correct in all terms of historical context, I won’t argue that. But we don’t live in the time of the historical context. If it only makes sense in context, and we’re not in context, then why should it apply? I think this is actually a recurring theme in the arguments from the right. Even if the arguments are justified, most of them seem to be focused on observing tradition. I’m sorry to say that requiring us to observe tradition because we observe tradition is a circular argument.

A way to fix this argument is to apply the reasons for that tradition and see if they still hold today. For example, let’s suppose at some time it was illegal to sell cow meat because all cows were infected with mad cow disease for some reason or another. If we’re here 200 years later and we’re pressing to lift that sale restriction, do we say “No, cow meat has been illegal for 200 years, why would we change it now?” Or do we say “That ban existed for a reason. We have now addressed the cause, as cows no longer have mad cow disease. We may now safely lift the ban”.

“It’s what the founding fathers intended”

I personally find this one to be the worst argument (and it comes from the right) despite being backed up by quite a bit of history. What this argument is really saying is that there is a religion of the Constitution in which the founding fathers are Gods. This is a faith argument. It has ties to a ‘social contract’ argument (which would be valid) and a ‘precedent’ argument. However, it fails out of the gate if we accept EVERYTHING that the founding fathers intended. The founding fathers said that standing armies were dangerous yet here we are with the armed forces. The founding fathers had intended that only educated land-owning citizens be permitted to vote because they had a larger stake in the running of the country than the plebes. Yet here we are with voting rights for any person over the age of 18 years old. The question then becomes, if you want to follow this line of reasoning, why are some intentions of the founding fathers followed yet others are not?

Now I don’t like the idea of the religion of the founding fathers. I like to think that the founding fathers intended for our nation to grow and change with the times, which is why the Ninth Amendment exist. I do not believe there is a way to fix this argument to suit the debate.

“The founding fathers never expected these weapons”

This one comes from the left, often as response to the argument above. I refuse to accept it on premise. I find it odd that the founding fathers didn’t know about the existence of tanks (they should’ve been familiar with Leonardo da Vinci). They knew about machine guns, grenades were used in the Revolutionary war, cannons had existed for years… So to think that these educated individuals didn’t one day expect us to be flying spacecraft or have weapons that fire 10x faster than the fastest firing weapon of the time seems ludicrous. I also don’t think that it’s relevant. Again, there is no religion of the Constitution. We should not be worried about what the founding fathers would’ve wanted. We should examine the Constitution as it is and see how it applies to law.

Ultimately, these ‘intention’ arguments boil down to ‘Not what you said but how you said it’.

“Don’t you care about the 32,000 people that die every year?”

This is an appeal to emotion. It’s not an argument. Suppose we did remove guns from the hands of every law-abiding citizen. The non-law-abiding citizens would still have guns and you have no proof that removing guns makes crime happen less often. We actually have an experimental test case to look at: Australia.

In 1996 and 2003, Australia released mandatory firearm buyback policies. The question now follows, did crime drop after the buyback? Certainly not for homicide. In fact, the homicide rates go UP after the gun ban. It seems crime goes down as enforcement officials go up, not as guns go down. Who would have thought?

I do not believe that there is a way to fix this argument. If the intent is to get the opponent to recognize guns to be a threat to society, you need to bring in numbers. To put this into perspective, about as many people die in the United States by firearm (this includes suicides) as people that die due to motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The average household has about two vehicles (a wash and a wear I suppose) while the average household has 4.4 guns per household. If we look at this from a very elementary point of view, the more guns we have, the more gun deaths we have. If we have twice as many guns as we have cars, we should see twice as many gun deaths (or at least substantially more gun deaths) as we see motor vehicle deaths. But we don’t. So where’s the data that says more gun regulation means less deaths?

On top of that, this ‘argument’ presupposes that I do care, and that I would like to reduce that number. What if I don’t care? Then you need to convince me that we’re better off with those people alive. And since a good majority of them are suicide, removing guns from the picture won’t save 2/3 of these people. The short version is, to fix this argument you must make it a logical argument.

Conclusion:

That’s all of the arguments that I could think of off the top of my head that I have a fundamental disagreement with. I believe that if we want to have this gun debate, we need to move it into the realm of logic and away from these arguments of ‘faith’. We need to look at the arguments for increasing gun regulation and the arguments for decreasing regulation. Yes, people seem to agree on more regulation. Not many people have put forward what that regulation is, but they seem to agree that it is necessary. And if that’s what the people want, then our representatives should get on it. This is how our democracy works.

I think that we, as a nation, have to decide how we want to handle gun ownership. I maintain that as the Second Amendment stands, there are no restrictions on what you may own. That said, addressing how guns are sold through legislature does not seem to have an impact on the Second Amendment. What you are really arguing about there would be your right to purchase a firearm. It should be covered by the Ninth Amendment, in that you have a right to purchase a firearm. But restricting how you purchase a firearm isn’t an infringement of your right to own a firearm. Worst-case scenario you still be able to make whatever firearm you want and own that firearm.

If as a nation we decide to continue to produce and sell firearms, we should be ready to accept the consequences when those firearms are used to commit not only acts of evil but acts of good. If that means 32000 deaths a year and 75000 injuries per year, then that would be the cost of having this freedom. This has been my opinion on the gun debate. I’ll get back to work on the voter stuff soon. Thanks for reading.

Artemis Hunt

 

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2nd Amendment: You’re Doing It Wrong

Abortion

I promised that I would do this topic soon, I may as well do it now. Especially since I’m in the mood after my raging debate on Facebook about it. Allow me to set the stage. My friend posted this image:
815086

 

After which her friends chat about their side of the issue. And I’m reading this Tumblrism and I notice something… the Tumblr post, the “Fun fact” never addresses the original question. It never addresses whether or not it’s one body or two. In fact, it skips that step altogether, and calls it one body on an assumption that the fetus, embryo, child, whatever you want to call it (I shall henceforth call it ‘the entity’) isn’t a human life. So because I’m an instigator, I have to get my hooks in and make some people mad. Over the course of some 20 or so messages, I could not get a straight answer out of the other individual as to why the being inside was not human and was not alive. So here’s my take on the issue. And before I start I’m just going to point out that I’m not a doctor, I have no medical background, I’m just a random blogger here.

Human:

First – is it human? Don’t be ridiculous, of course it’s human. On what grounds? It’s the offspring of two humans, it can only BE a human. If you mate a horse and a donkey you get a mule. A mule isn’t a horse, and it isn’t a donkey, and it can’t mate with either one. Or other mules for that matter, it’s completely sterile. If two horses generate offspring, that offspring will reliably grow up to a horse that could (in theory) mate with one of its parents. Chickens mate with their species, generate another chicken. So what you’re telling me when you say that this fetus isn’t a human is either that one of its parents isn’t human (unlikely) or what I think you’re really saying is that it’s not a human yet.

If you want to say that the entity isn’t a human yet, then that means you have the define a point in the development cycle in which the entity does become a human. How do you set that point? Obviously when the big bulge is on the mother, the entity is about to make its exit, it’s probably ‘human’ by that point. In fact, I think ‘abortion’ at that point may take the name ‘birth’ (sarcasm). But what about… say 2nd trimester? Hmmm… Maybe not then. The child’s hair has developed and we come from apes so… probably a bit too far in the cycle. The sex of the child can be determined. Probably safe to call it a human at that point. So how about we go further back. How about middle of the first trimester? The second month, the neural tube is distinguishable from the rest of the body. The fingers and toes are forming, the bones are forming. Is that human yet? Why?

I’ve asked this question several times and the discussion suddenly shifts from what makes the entity a human and turns into the rights of the mother. But we’re not worried about the rights of the mother just yet. We’re worried about whether or not the entity is a human and whether or not it should be afforded human rights. So how far back can we go?

I would argue that the entity becomes human at fertilization, or perhaps shortly after. The reason being eggs and sperm separately aren’t necessarily human. Why? Well, if they are, it presents a great problem because if eggs by themselves are humans, killing a woman is like a forty-thousand homocide or something. Women would be, by natural design, killing one human a month or so. Sounds like a dangerous path to go down for philosophy and law. On the flip-side if sperm were humans, we’d have to take a lot of guys downtown for killing humans regularly. Really, the main reason I argue that egg and sperm aren’t human by themselves because what happens if the host abstains? (Let’s just ignore Mary) In the female host, she will continue to have her period until menopause and no life will spring forth from her. In the male host, sperm will get reabsorbed by the body and the male will continue to produce sperm until he dies. No new life will spring forth from the male host either. Nothing you could count in the United States Census would be brought into this world. Let’s take the case of the newly pregnant female. If she maintains her healthy lifestyle, the entity will be born in 9 months-ish. The entity will be human assuming human parents.

I’m sure someone has noticed the problem with my definition of human. Evolution. If a human is the offspring of human parents, and I’m a human then my parents have to be human, and so on, until we get to our great ape ancestors which were not human by any definition of the word. So how do we resolve this issue? We run into the same issue of when is the entity a human versus when it is not a human. Hmm… How about this. Humans and chimps have a common ancestor. We stop there. So we can pick me, and go up through my parents and their parents and so on. When we meet a parent that can mate with me and chimps, we’ve gone too far.

Life:

So there’s my human definition and since the entity has two human parents, it’s a human. Now how about whether or not it’s alive? Well now we need to define life. There’s no good way to answer the question “what is life?” According to wikipedia, this is life:

“the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.” – Wikipedia

I tend to use an input-output definition of life. If an autonomous being requires sustenance from outside its being to survive, grow, and reproduce, it’s alive. If it can die, it was alive. This might get me into trouble when it comes to the robot revolution, and the question as to whether or not true AI self-replicating robots are alive, but that’s a problem for another day. And I’m not entirely sure I could argue that these robots wouldn’t be alive. I mean, think about it. If your issue with robots is that they can just chop-shop fix themselves, WE ARE GETTING TO THAT POINT TOO. How long before you can just go into the store and pick up a new arm? Holy smokes.

By my definition, the entity has to be alive, because it’s a parasite on its host. It eats the host’s resources to grow.You can’t use an autonomous self-providing definition because let’s be real here – babies are really useless for like two years. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t walk, they can’t do jack. So if you require mobility and the ability to provide for oneself for something to be alive, newborn babes are just as alive as the entity within. Which, if abortion is legal, would make the… neutralization of newborns also legal. It’s a natural extension.

Doctors have several types of life and death. When your heart stops being, you’re not really dead. We could bring you back through CPR, or the use of defibrillation. I guess most people go by brain death, where you can still have blood pumping through you, but you cannot be brought back… yet. If you go by the beating of the heart, you have 3 weeks to discover that you’re pregnant and then get your abortion. If you wait for the brain to partially develop, same deal, the beginning of the nervous system forms in the timespan it takes to form a heart. End of the first trimester the entity will have a functioning circulatory system. If you’re waiting for the brain to form, that would be in the second trimester. So if you require a fully developed brain, to call something alive, the entity is alive in the second trimester. But I don’t like the requirement of a brain for life. Single-celled organisms don’t have a brain, but they’re ‘alive’.

When are most abortions performed? CDC stats say about two-thirds in the first 8 weeks (first two months) and let’s just round about the last third done between 8 and 13 weeks (the third month). Because I was given a range of time, I’ll assume a Gaussian distribution of when the abortion was performed (though strictly speaking, I should probably assume a Laplacian distribution). That means most of the abortions were performed in the 3 week to 5 week range. But wait, that’s when the baby’s heart was formed. That’s when the neural tube, what would become the nervous system was formed. That’s when bones are forming. If we accept my definition of life and human, the entity will be a human and it will be alive. the removal of it would then be murder.

How about this, how do you determine what is the host’s body compared to the entity’s body? You can’t, if you accept the entire system as the host’s body. So how do you know how much host to remove? You have to accept that there is knowledge of the entity and its scope, so you remove the entity alone and not the host. But that assumption itself implies that the entity has a body, in which case, it is no longer just the host’s body.

Now understand, my issue with abortion is pretty much entirely the murder part. And not because I have some preconceived notion of the value of human life. My problem is with the consistency of law. A legal abortion would be legal murder by the logic presented. What you’re proposing is a condition under which murder would be legal. Which makes it a target for setting precedent. Precedence is a very dangerous thing when applied to topics which you might find rather invasive. I’m not entirely sure that I would argue that slippery slope doesn’t apply. I can just imagine the future in which doctors shrink themselves to operate inside a patient. A patient could, while the doctor is inside have the doctor removed and killed on the premise that it was the patient’s body. How much of the entity must the host contain for the removal of the entity to be fair. I hate to get gross here, but what if a couple is having sex and the female suddenly decides to chop of the male’s penis. It was inside her, was it ‘her body’? Bear in mind this example is arguing from the ‘is is not alive and it is inside my body’ point of view.

Conclusion:

 So you see, I’m at a bit of a pinch. Because I don’t think the government should pass two contradicting laws. And I don’t very much like the idea of setting a precedence like this on something which in its best case is mutilation and in its worst case is murder. The safest option is to outlaw it altogether and file it under murder. And it’s not like non-human things don’t get rights. You can’t up and kill your dog, that’s animal cruelty. The murder of threatened species like Bald Eagles will net you fines and jail-time. And I wonder if this does anything to the rights of people in vegetative states. I don’t know. Legal abortion could open up it’s own can of worms. Until we agree on what’s human and what’s alive, we should avoid permitting abortions. That’s just my take on it.

Artemis Hunt

Abortion

The Feminist Conspiracy

Obligatory Kenji picture

Kenji_NoGlasses

Plot Twist: The feminists control the world. Only Kenji can see this.

Okay, I’ll just take a moment to express that I love Kenji. I maintain that Katawa Shoujo has only one true ending and that ending is the bathroom scene with Kenji. You give him $20 for… some reason or another… ; ) Everything after that scene is just imagination on how bad life could’ve turned out.

Okay, to the main topic. I happen to be in the unfortunate situation of having many young female friends on Facebook. Many of which (if not all) are liberals. Now this isn’t a bad thing in it of itself. I myself have my own set of social policies that I would like to enact “for the good of us all” despite technically being closer to libertarian on most other issues. For example, I would like to see public transportation expanded drastically and the use of cars for daily commute cut drastically. The hope is that this will reduce emissions and clear the roads up, getting everyone to where they want to be or need to be a little faster. With (hopefully) fewer drunk drivers on the road, there should be less accidents and what few accidents there are should be less lethal because private cars hitting a bus doesn’t end well for the car due to Newton’s Third Law. I think it would be an improvement, feel free to comment or ask questions about it.

So why did I bring up my young liberal female friends? Well, I had posted an article that I had found stating that the wage gap is a myth. I thought that it made things quite clear and simple and I like to spread the word. A fiery one (female friend, that is) commented that it is real, and they have experienced it. Skeptical of the claim, I suggested that she take the company to court. She said that she would not because money? But surely she realizes that she’s sitting on a GOLD MINE for kickstarter or something? Like, if she could conclusively prove that the company was sexist, and unfairly paying their female employees less per hour for the same work then she could get a lot of money from them. She could get a lot of money from female rights activist organizations. She could also set the standard for women, to have them rise up and ‘fight the power’. She could make the nation better. If women are truly being paid less in the way of wages, I would 100% support taking it to ‘the man’. But fine, cases take time and money and it does nothing for her current situation.Fair enough, I quoted some studies and asked her if two independent studies reach the same conclusion, why would she assume that the results of these studies were false. And her response told me something interesting. It told me that she has accepted a reality and refuses to admit any information that contradicts it.

Her response was (paraphrased) “These studies were probably done by men”. The implication being that these studies are lies, designed to maintain a status quote of pinning women down. And what I think this means, is that in her mind the wage gap is an absolute truth, that men are keeping women down. Of course, the best way to discover whether or not this is true is to ask the question. The big question, the win condition. “What would it take, what could I provide that would convince you that the wage gap is a myth?” If the answer to that question is ‘nothing’ then I would be wasting my time. It’s no longer a rational discussion. It’s a religious discussion, and nobody wins those.

It’s a real shame too, because religious mentalities are often detrimental to society. Ludwig Boltzmann, slightly ahead of his time, had the audacity to suggest that matter were composed by many small particles called atoms or molecules. He was mocked by his contemporaries. Existence can be fragile, and despite being married and having children, it seems being mock out of scientific circles was too much for him. He took his family on a beach vacation and while his family was enjoying themselves, he committed suicide. And think that this is tragic. I think life is precious, and when a person is driven to take their own life, it’s unbearable. It’s a sign of failure as humanity. It should not happen. Christ, just thinking about this, writing it out makes me cry.

I’m a student, that’s obvious by now. Students sometimes attend seminars or presentations and the whatnot. I once attended a presentation in which the speaker contrasted Dark Matter and Modified Newtonian Dynamics. The speaker had a slide in which they quoted a Dark Matter advocate. The quote was something like (again, paraphrased), “let the MOND believers waste their time and money. That just means more research for me!”. There’s A LOT wrong with a statement like that. It’s arrogant for sure, but it’s entirely unscientific. I can’t remember if it were a nobel laureate, but it was certainly a Ph.D holder. To claim that those pursuing an alternative model are flat-out ‘wasting their time’, essentially saying that they are wrong, is beyond science. Science should be about crafting models and if the evidence supports these models. If the evidence doesn’t support these models, discard the models. But if you believe there’s a way the evidence could fit the model or a refined model, go for it. Make predictions and test them against reality.

And I wouldn’t care so much if I didn’t feel like such faith was ultimately destructive to society. There’s a great Family Guy scene in which characters Stewie Griffin and Brian Griffin go to an alternate universe and everything looks quote-unquote “futuristic”. Brian asks what year it is and Stewie responds that it’s the current year. The reason the world looks so futuristic is because the dark ages of Christianity never occurred, so the world is 1000 years more advanced from our current year. And this poses an interesting question, is it plausible? We landed on the moon in 1970, could we have done it then in 970? I’m skeptical. I don’t believe that the dark ages stunted scientific progress that much in terms of ideas. No doubt people were working on their own. The question is interesting because it asks the question of how does blind faith affect society, is this blind faith beneficial? Can it be beneficial? I’ll leave that question to ‘the motivated student’.

So where am I really going with this? I don’t really know. I guess what I really want to get across is how this idea of faith should be removed from arguments. Because how do you properly counter these sorts of arguments? When it comes to assumptions, they have to be justifiable. When I discuss voting, and the idea of democracy, I often argue with the assumption of the rational actor, that all voters vote based on their self-interest. Is that a reasonable assumption? Let’s liken it to survival. A being whose focus is on the individual is more likely to… proliferate when given resources. Compare that to one who is more willing to yield these resources to others. Survival scales with available resources. It also makes sense that people with like interests will band together to increase their collective survival rate. This is why animals form pack structures. So in democracy where the largest pack gets the power, being part of that pack by nature of shared interests in oneself is an advantage.

Tangent over now (sorta). I don’t view this overarching conspiracy of women being oppressed to be reasonable. More women are accepted to higher education. Girls in school are graded easier. They suffer less reprimandation for actions in school. They have more scholarships thrown at them for being women (ESPECIALLY IN STEM FIELDS. FEMALE READERS TAKE NOTE). They suffer less jailtime for the same crime. They can destroy a man’s life with the utterance of a single accusation. They can separate fathers from their children. Women have a boatload of power in this system. I have a difficult time believing women will get paid less for the same work when they have all of this other stuff going for them. And the data supports my views.

Artemis Hunt

The Feminist Conspiracy

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?

I have a lot of liberal friends on Facebook. This is probably expected because I am a millenial and it seems my age group is liberal. It may even be getting increasingly so, considering all of the higher education events going on around the nation. And one common issue that seems to be used as a weapon among liberals is the issue of gun ownership. But as I sit here procrastinating my statistical mechanics midterm, I wonder, what is the REAL issue we’re talking about here? Because I don’t suspect that it’s gun ownership.

I’ll start with an anecdote. My friend recently purchased a firearm. They described the process as follows (paraphrased and shortened):

  1. Enter the gun shop
  2. Pick a gun
  3. Fill out 15 minutes of paperwork
  4. Background check that takes less than an hour
  5. Gun – get

I personally view handguns as a tool and since this tool has a great deal of potential to be used to harm society, I believe that maybe it should be a little more difficult to obtain guns. I do not believe you should be able to walk home with a gun the same day you go to buy it. The most important of reasons being ‘when do you decide to buy a gun’? I would guess that most people just buy a gun because they want one. Whether it’s for recreation or protection, that’s fine. But I also recognize that there are other reasons one might buy a gun. Maybe your spouse just died and you say you need it for ‘protection’ but really you need it to kill yourself. Maybe you’ve been bullied at school for a while and whatever just happened today is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe there’s a guy with only a month’s rent left to their name and no job nor hope in sight. They plan to use the gun to rob stores. Obviously these people won’t tell the salesman that, but they exist. There are a lot of people out there that need help more than they need guns, and giving them a little time, maybe requiring the pass of a mental health doctor over a few weeks might prevent guns from getting into the hands of people that wish themselves or others harm.

But the weird part is as far as gun ownership goes, those that are polled agree on several points. Regardless of whether or not those polled are republican, democrat, or independent, they all seem to generally agree on where the issues are. So my question is why are guns being used as a partisan issue? Well, here’s my suspicion. The democrats have taken on a lot of special interests as time goes on. And they do this because it’s easier to gather votes and control the government if you tell more are more people that you’re looking out for their interests. But also because of another thing and I think this is the most important reason for them crying foul of guns.

The easiest way to gather support is to play the victim.

Humans like to claim that they are right. They like to justify their actions not only with logic but with morality. In the Western World, a key component of being moral is helping others, true to our Christian beginnings (let’s just forget that the United States was founded on secularist ideology and focus on the people in the country). We should help our neighbor, feed the homeless, and all of that other charitable stuff. When you take on special interests, you are virtue signaling. You are telling the people that what you do is right because you are helping those that need it. People should follow you because they too will be able to help people and they can feel good about themselves because they would believe themselves to be helping others and then enhance the virtue signal effect.

I don’t mean to use virtue signaling as an implication that these people do things without believing in them, rather in reference to the propaganda of it. I have no doubt in my mind that many people engage in charities like Habitat for Humanity without believing that what they are doing is right. But there is an element of using charity as a weapon to garner support.

Now let’s get to how this applies to playing the victim. I am going to propose a scenario for you and we’ll see how it goes. You hear a boy and a girl yelling. This is normal, right? Boys and girls fight all the time. But then you hear the girl start crying. You go outside and look at the two. What is your first guess as to what happened? My guess is that your guess is that the argument got heated, and the boy hit her and then she started crying because she was in pain. Was I right? This interpretation is an example of how society views men as the aggressor. As such, your first response is probably to protect the girl or defend her. Let’s change it a bit. This time you go outside and the girl notices you and quickly says (before the boy can even open his mouth) ‘he hit me’. Now what is your reaction?

The most reasonable reaction is to ask if this is true. And then if it is true, to ask why. Maybe this is just my own upbringing coming in, but I can’t help but feel as though most people wouldn’t even bother to hear the boy’s side of the story. They would rush to the aid of the female without wanting to hear the whole story, or even check if this story is true. In fact we do see that this is not just my upbringing coming in when it comes to the modern view on rape in society. We see this because it happens in the media. People were so quick to rush to the aid of the ‘victim’ that they never bothered to check the facts. Even after the story was proven to be fabrication, ‘lo and behold’ the Twitter Brigade was quick to defend the alleged victim. Especially on the topic of sexual actions, women get the highest preferential treatment in the land. Domestic abuse shelters overwhelmingly favor women. Custody courts overwhelmingly favor women. CRIMINAL COURTS OVERWHELMINGLY FAVOR WOMEN. And this is a strategy women have been employing since they were young since they know that they can get away with it. It’s how the feminist agenda has been getting pushed despite touting falsehoods like ‘Women get paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same work as a man’ and ‘One in five women in college get raped’. When they play the victim they encourage people to support them.

Okay, let’s bring this round circle, how does ANY of this connect to guns? Some liberals are quick to point to gun violence as a reason for them to be removed from society. In reality, I believe that the argument is one cored in safety but the cause is misunderstood. If safety is the true concern, why don’t we install breathalyzers in every car to prevent people from drunk driving? Hell, why are we even letting people drive? We should just have self driving cars (can’t wait for this actually). Of the deaths in the country I believe lung cancer is one of it not the leading cause death. Why aren’t we banning smoking? I’ll tell you why – it’s not a question of safety. At the end of the day, the question of guns isn’t one of safety, but rather one of how many privileges we can take away without the people complaining. We already have Yale trying to sign away our first amendment (which I would argue is the most important amendment) in the name of protecting feelings. Our country has a long way to grow and if you start taking away these privileges in the name of safety, then you hamper the growth of the nation. Your rights are rights for a reason. So I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the founding fathers of the United States.

“Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

Artemis Hunt

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?