Thursday, January 17, 2013

Backwards Thinking on Privately Owned Firearms

-Long ago, I became convinced that I am a magnet for people who process information in reverse.

     I can't turn around without running into an angry atheist, Leftist, anti-Catholic Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian, environmentalist, feminist, supporter of fake same-gender marriages, or a person who seeks to render all citizens powerless to protect themselves from criminals or a potentially (And all can become so) totalitarian government.

And each and every one will seek me out to argue his point

Mind you, I don't walk around with signs, speak out among friends and coworkers unless I know that they think along my lines, nor do I have any bumper stickers on my car. In short, I do everything possible to avoid having to even hear them dump their drivel.

Yet, nevertheless, they find me, and they never want to discuss the topic privately  but only in front of dorkily-smiling onlookers who are too cowardly to take a stand on any subject.

At my son's high school wrestling meet two nights ago, the only thing that I was spared was the goofy-faced crowd; and that was only due to the fact that we were high up in the stands and could not be heard above the voices of the rest of the fans.

Sitting with a friend and father of one of my son's teammates I mentioned the typical Southern Italian*-styled knee-jerk, control-focused anti-gun move by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Another teammate's mother, who is from China and cannot express herself as quickly as a native speaker of English, thought that I was in support of Cuomo's move and asked "why did they have to wait for a shooting to do something?"......

* My Italian-Sicilian  father was as stereotypical an example of this type as could be. Although he was exceptionally intelligent at mechanical and spatial thought, nothing that required abstract, theoretical, or common-sense thinking was dealt with by anything but mindless autocratic orders delivered in an operatic tone (Yes, he actually sang his decrees) which Cuomo almost approached in his State of the State Address in which he kicked off step one of his plan to disarm the people of New York. For many who hail from this culture, the desire for absolute control of even the minutiae of people's lives and tasks is the overriding motivation in most decisions. Cuomo's almost hysterical gun control speech and the resulting legislation is a classic example of this mindset.

......being that she is of course a lady and does not have a huge English vocabulary, we (This time I had an ally) gently tried for a half an hour to get her to see why people should in fact, not only be allowed, but obligated to own and be proficient with arms. She was from an Eastern culture** and was mired in that mindset that assumes that the people should be helpless against crime and solely reliant on the military and police.
** - On the differences between Eastern and Western cultures on armed citizens (Main portion of text at bottom)
We ran the gamut of:

"Why do you need a gun?". - No need must be asserted as it is a right.

(Speaking to us of her coworker) "Why don't you trust the government?" - Any government can become all-powerful if the people are not allowed to defend their rights.

"If everyone had a gun, then the others will bring machine guns." -Extremely rare even in the US, Finland, and Switzerland, all of which have liberal firearms laws.

When questioned about the atrocities committed by the Japanese in China (I cited Nanking), she continued to refuse to accept where logic was taking us. Assuming that we were not aware of Sun-Tzu he tried to cite the Art of War and stated that the Chinese Nationalists and Communists only could resist by staying away from the invader. I explained that I read that book and avoiding a battle was only a tiny part of that strategist's thinking. (He never declared that a force should be unable to fight, only that battle should be given when the odds are in your favor and that it is better to maneuver the enemy by all means available into a position/situation that forces them to leave or surrender.)  The Chinese forces did not refrain from engaging the Japanese, they only did so when they had to in order to avoid being destroyed -standard tactics for a weaker force.

When I brought up Mao's vicious Cultural Revolution, she again remained obstinate and asserted that firearms would not have helped the people. (Recall that she could not see why her worker did not trust the government)

Towards the end, I brought up her son, noting that she carried him for nine months, fed and protected him, and apparently would, when he is an adult, prefer that he be made unable to protect the very life that she (His own mother) protected when he was small. At this she smiled and gave no answer.

The part that came after the Mao subject was the most perplexing and by far the most illustrative of how backwards the thinking is of those who oppose private gun ownership. I have long noted that those who detest privately-owned guns should consider moving to a nation that bans them, I have also proposed the hypothetical idea of creating gun-free and gun-allowing states with no transporting of guns from the latter to the former in any case. (The idea of this is to illustrate that the Left would say, "No,..... we don't want you to have them either", thus proving how much control they demand of you.) The bizarre part is that she asked me why I don't move to a country that allows guns. After a few speechless seconds, I noted that this is exactly the question that I needed to pose to her, but in reverse. I continued that the US was founded with gun ownership as a core principle, that is is a crucial part of our freedoms, and that, of the nations of the world, only three (The US, Finland, and Switzerland) have truly liberal firearm laws. I asked her why I would have to move if I already live in one of those three (A pathetically small number) countries. At this she had no answer.

I honestly declare that the very fact that she actually believed (Most Progressives know that they don't believe what they advocate -they just want the control that results) in the validity of her above-noted question/suggestion was by far the most disturbing part of our discussion. To follow her logic, if Spain was close to banning bullfighting, Spaniards who desired to continue to see the corrida de toros should be told to go to a nation that allows it. That also leaves terribly few options.

The Left feeds on people such as this nice woman who will accept that everything will always be OK and that no one should be able to have any means of defense. These are the people who will provide the political voting power to give the Left*** what it wants - an American people who have been rendered helpless.

*** The Left is fond of quoting Ronald Reagan's support of banning certain guns. Let's remember that, when he signed that letter along with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, he was doing so on the same year in which he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Even barring that, one Conservative does not prove that the overwhelming amount of people who are strongly in favor of banning firearms are associated with the Left.

 ** Excerpt from the linked post-

"The Left is all-too-aware that individual ownership of arms one of the hallmarks and universal characteristics of Western societies. Unlike the types of societies admired by Leftists, such as medieval China, where the individual was to do as he was told (Even a code of ethics like Confucianism rams this home) and was required to leave the defense of their family, property, and village to the local warlord or emperor, the individual in the West has always been an owner of arms.

Where Eastern societies prohibited one from taking part in defense and thus left his safety to the whim or ability of the ruling despot, Western societies required the individual to own arms. Where the Eastern potentates could pretty much do as they pleased with the people who lived in their domains, their counterparts in the West had to tread cautiously.

For a person who desires to find out more about the crucial place of arms ownership in the Western world and its consequences on the societies that evolved from it, the easiest and quickest way would be to research the Roman, Greek, and early Germanic societies.

The Greeks required the individual, especially if he owned any property, to equip himself at this own expense with a minimum of arms and armor and to take an active part in the defense of his city-state. This was quite an expense as both the materials and work/craftsmanship that went in to making these items were costly. For anyone who has not seen what a Greek Hoplite wore, it consisted of a helmet, shield, armor for the torso and legs, a sword and spear. This was a right and an obligation that was not optional. Later they allowed for more lightly-armored Peltasts. The individual was also required to train exhaustively, to learn how to fight in a hoplite formation and also needed to drill/practice on a regular basis with those of his community. In times of threats to the city-state, the Hoplite, like the others noted below, did not have the option of remaining home with his family.

The Romans also required those who possessed property to equip themselves at their own expense and to train and appear with their equipment in times of crisis. Unlike the Greeks, they created early on several classes where the amount of equipment one as required to purchase was based on the amount of property they owned with the exact specifications enumerated. Those with the most property had to be the most heavily equipped, those with less assessed property would have to purchase less.

The Germanic society was the most egalitarian as far as armed individuals go. All free men could be called up at anytime. There of course were differences as to what arms certain individuals could afford to posses, but the system, which went by the label of Fyrd among the Saxons, existed throughout Germanic societies by different names and technically continued as an obligation throughout the middle ages. Interestingly, the emergence of professional troops of the nobility and the resultant lack of reliance on the Fyrd-type bodies has a direct correlation with the subjugation and suppression of the common people. The concept was employed in the defense preparations of Elizabethan England when threatened by the Spanish Armada. The decline of the nobility and relative absence of one in daughter nations such as the US brought the practice back into common use. Colonial men were required to periodically report for drill and inspections of their equipment. These militias formed the basis of the first contingents to oppose what they believed to be British tyranny."

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