Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

"Molon Labe"

Molon Labe. The phrase had been used at the end of comments by some of the readers of my blog. "..Modern Greek [moˈlon laˈve]), meaning "Come and take them" is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army's demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae. It corresponds roughly to the modern equivalent English phrase "over my dead body", "bring it on" or, most closely, "come and get it". It is an exemplary use of a laconic phrase." What's this all about? It appears to be some sort of battle cry or dare. Some gun rights extremists are  so paranoid about their guns being confiscated that they have resorted to a rallying cry. Amazing, really. 


Those in other countries may understand the above described version of what the word means. But, " In America, both the original Greek phrase and its English translation are often heard from pro-gun activists as a defense of the right to keep and bear arms. It began to appear on web sites in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[citation needed] And when the government of New Orleans defied Federal court orders to return weapons that had been seized during Hurricane Katrina[dubious ], the phrase again gained popularity among supporters of the Second Amendment, as the phrase has connotation of a strong belief in the ideals of personal freedom and an the individual right to self-protection.[citation needed] In the Second Amendment or firearms freedom context, the phrase expresses the notion that the person uttering the phrase is a strong believer in these ideals and will not surrender their firearms to anyone, including governmental authority, without strong resistance.[6]" I am wondering why there are dubious sources or uncited information on this entry?


So here we have a group of gun rights extremists daring the government to take their guns away as if it could or would happen. These folks are so paranoid and have been so fooled by the NRA and others in leadership in the gun lobby that they actually believe this will happen. And they are prepared for battle if they perceive this false assumption to be imminent. On my blog, I regularly assure them that there is no interest in me personally, or anyone I know in the gun violence prevention movement coming for their guns. Never mind. They don't believe me and call me rude, offensive and just plain childish things as if they are teen age boys who need to establish their territory and their macho credibility. Calling names is a tactic when they can't do anything else. Even their own leadership, NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre, just loves to call names and make things up when he is communicating with his "base." Here is his latest lob at President Obama-  " President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are now using this same mob-style tactic on American gun owners." Come on. I doubt that many in America believe that. Where's the evidence for it? There just isn't any. Talk about hyperbole. Some of my readers accuse me of that. But this one is just beyond belief. What mob style tactic can he be talking about? Ramping up fear is one of the things the NRA does best.


I do worry about some of the far right extremists acting on their fears, however. President Obama said that what he and the Administration fear the most as we are closer to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attack on America is a lone wolf terrorist with a gun. President Obama is right. The next terror attack could very well be a home grown terrorist with a weapon or two who could leave a lot of tragedy in his or her wake. I have blogged about this several times before. It would be the kind of terror that Norway experienced or that the Washington D.C. area experienced when two snipers terrorized several communities for weeks. I worry that there are right wing extreme militia groups and individuals who want to do harm to the President and to our country. All it would take is one or two crazy or angry people to do a lot of harm. Let's hope that we can honor the victims of the September 11th attacks peacefully. The occasion will be fraught with emotion and reminders of what happened on that awful day. I hope that common sense will prevail. Using the term "molon labe" as a rallying or battle cry is potential encouragement for someone to act on their mistaken and misinformed thoughts and feelings about gun rights. 

58 comments:

  1. Then ow about doing your part to lessen gunowner concerns in this area?

    1) When some locality in the US bans some class of guns, denounce them instead of supporting them when they are challenged in court.

    2) When some other country bans some class of guns, denounce them instead of of mentioning them as an example of a place with good gun laws.

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  2. Odd I worry about ALL groups that want to do harm to the president and our country.

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  3. The "mob tactics" complaint might have something to do with the "Operation Fast and Furious." You know, that "sting" that had the FBI approving felons buying many semi-automatic rifles and the ATF watching them cross the border to Mexico where they were sold to narcolistos. This flow has been put forward as the reason why the ATF needs to know about every rifle bought in Texas.

    That is some shocking dishonesty from the government, and, arguably worse, is that none of it surprises me. :(

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/16/nation/la-na-atf-guns-20110816

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  4. http://www.galleryoftherepublic.com/txflags/gonzales.htm

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  5. http://www.gunslot.com/files/gunslot/images/56281.jpg

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  6. So jdege--what does your link have to do with modern day life?

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  7. Your link is sick in so many ways. You live in a weird world. I'm glad I'm in the real world of reasonable people.

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  8. No, Joan, you live a life filled with people who are unwilling to face up to the realities of life.

    During Katrina, Guns were taken from law abiding citizens under force. Property was seized and people evicted by force, even when it was clear they were in areas which would not be flooded and they were prepared to live there for a good while without outside assistance.

    Chicago, and several other cities around it in Illinois have tried for decades to outlaw guns, and have gone door to door trying to force people to allow them to search their homes without warrants for guns.

    San Francisco has tried for decades to ban all guns in the area.

    Its happening, or its happened enough in the past for people to say "oh heck no!!" and begin to feel genuinely threatened.

    The entire carry movement started as a result of anti gun laws gone bad. People being prevented from having available, effective self defense when they needed it because they, the legal, law abiding citizen, had been disarmed while the criminal, who, by nature, disregards laws, was not.

    This may come as a shock to you, but most of the Country's population does not live in isolation from crime. A very large part of the nations people's live in Chicago, Detroit, Gary, LA, Dallas, Philly, Atlanta,Baltimore etc. While these cities may have nice places to live, there are also major portions of such cities where going there unarmed is unwise.

    Just because street crime, drugs and other forms of violence dont happen in your neighborhood doesnt mean its not happening elsewhere.

    If one looks the current events happening in These United States, one can see that in the not too far future, widespread civil unrest could well happen. This is not saying it will happen everywhere, but it could happen. People are getting stretched, Obama and his crew in the White House haven't got a clue how to manage the economy and crime is becoming more and more a problem in smaller and smaller pockets.

    Perhaps you have heard of this issue, (this is from the Christian Science Monitor, hardly a rightwing conspiracy website) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0809/Flash-mob-attacks-Rising-concern-over-black-teen-involvement

    or this,

    http://newsone.com/nation/cdixon/teen-mobs-attack-chicago-transit-authority-buses/

    Or this,

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/127072073.html


    This is just the civil unrest part, if you look at some other incidents of economic unrest, having a jaded eye say, well, its a good time to at least think about a break down in civil order and what should I do to be prepared.

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  9. The Gonzales flag incident has to do with a free peoples, being armed, being free from tyranny.

    Its the simple idea the Declaration of Independence talks about. Even though that was in Texas before it was a state, the idea is the same. Free peoples being armed, are not easily subdued.

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  10. One other point: let's get some real perspective on the utterance of Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae.

    The 300 Spartans (and 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans, and maybe others, but they all tend to be forgotten in the romanticized version) were very brave and effective in the defense of Greece. And yes, they weren't disarmed. But let's also not forget: they were killed, almost every one of them, instead of a strategic retreat to fight again another day. And the Persians continued forward to burn Athens anyways.

    It was only after the Persian navy was defeated at the Battle of Salamis that the Persians had to withdraw, since they no longer retained control of the sea. Themistocles, who led the battle, didn't utter anything so macho as "Molon labe" or declare he would fight to the death, but instead used a combination of brilliant maneuvering, strategy, and more advanced triremes for a levelheaded attack -- *after having had a strategic retreat previously* -- and won the day. It was a turning point in the war after which Xerxes continued to lose.

    So was the brave and macho statement of "Molon labe" a wise choice by Leonidas? Well, it bought the Greeks some time, and made the Spartans famous forevermore, but in the end it was only a gesture of bravery against an enemy they could not defeat on land.

    Themistocles was a wiser man, and it is reflected in a quote by him: "Écho̱ mazí mou dýo theoús , peithoús kai exanankasmoú." This translates to "I have with me two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion." A very levelheaded and strategic answer.

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  11. Please take the time to break down what I have said and point out the factual errors. Please point out anything I have said which is extremist or irrational.

    Saying Wow, just wow, says nothing, I assume you feel I have crossed over the line into the realm of looney, but I ask you to dispel anything you feel is wrong with factual evidence.

    I have not said its going to happen, I have said the conditions are getting to the point where it could happen. I have also supplied evidence that it has happened in the past, and it is happening in spots now.

    What parts are so shocking to you?

    Perhaps, as you research it further, you will find we are being truthful, as we did in explaining to you the effects of disarming the peoples of Armenia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur, Serbia, and many more.....

    When times are hard, social order breaks down very quickly. The Rodney King Riots happened with hours of the verdict happening. The Milwaukee fair incident happened it seems within an hour of a facebook announcement.

    You love to sneer at Jdege about his statement that when you need a gun, you need it right now.

    A gun is a tool that can be (and is) used to prevent crime and violence.

    A fire extinguisher is a tool which sits on the closet floor for years, hopefully forever unused, until that moment when you need it right the (BLEEP) now.

    A life Jacket is a tool that sits in the bottom of your canoe or on your back hopefully for ever unused, because when you need it, you need it right this moment, you don't have time to call Cabela's or REI and order one, you need it NOW.

    An Airbag sits inches from your face for the lifetime of your car, hopefully, you will never need it, its a bomb sitting there, armed and fused, and its just sitting there. If you need it, you will not have time to run to the dealer and ask them to order you one, wait to have it installed and then have your accident. You will need it right now, and that little bomb will go off filling the airbag with hot gas to prevent your face from becoming one with the windshield or front bumper of the car you hit head on.

    You have admitted to not keeping any type of winter kit in your car during trips in the winter, saying you only drive in good conditions and its never happened to you. You have that right, to me, its like going on a boat with no life jackets, or a car with no seat belts, or having a bonfire without a hose around. Just because it hasn't happened to me, does not mean its not going to happen.

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  12. Thanks, Baldr, for the history lesson. We always need to know the full story in order to come to any conclusions about the lessons learned. One can read this true account from Herodotus' history of Greece. Fascinating reading if you care much about Greek history.

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  13. I don't doubt for a minute that you guys believe this stuff, Peter. Your views are not shared by the majority of Americans, however. They are paranoid and extreme views. As the other "tools" to which you refer, they, none of them, can kill someone by their misuse and under circumstances of emergencies. That's the difference. Guns make situations worse and more dangerous and can be used in the situations you describe, for civil disobedience writ large. When gangs of paranoid people with guns decide they need to take their country back, we have a serious problem.

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  14. Um, yes, Fire extinguishers besides being a favorite of hollywood for banging on people in fights, can kill if used in properly, CO2 extinguishers can deplete the available O2 in a room enough to cause troubles,

    and

    From the NHTSB

    "NHTSA recorded 238 deaths due to airbags between 1990 and 2002, according to information about these deaths on their Web site," said Meyer. "They all occurred at very low speeds, with injuries that could not have been caused by anything else. But is it reasonable to conclude that airbags cause death only at very low speeds? It seems more likely that they also cause deaths at high speeds, but these are attributed to the crash.

    "For any given crash at high speed, we can't know what would have happened if there had been no airbag; however, statistical models allow us to look at patterns in the data, and compare risks in populations, in a variety of situations."

    Yuppers, airbags, designed to be safe, killed people.

    Benign lifejackets, if you dont put them on correctly, they can and have caused numerous deaths and have allowed people to drown when they slip off because they were used incorrectly.


    The point,however is not whether it fails in a very small percentage of the times it is used, it is that like those other tools, it is something no one hopes to need to use, and when they do need it, it is needed immediately.

    "Guns make situations worse and more dangerous and can be used in the situations you describe, for civil disobedience writ large. When gangs of paranoid people with guns decide they need to take their country back, we have a serious problem."

    Guns do not make the situation worse, People do.

    If a mob seeks to cause civil unrest, should them be allowed to do so unresisted? Should we just roll over and say "here, kill me, rape my wife and children and steal all I own?"

    As to the views being those of the majority. I believe they are, deep down. I am pretty darn sure that over 90% of Americans believe in a right to self defense. They may have issues with guns, but they believe they have the right to fight off attackers and encroaching crime. If approached by a mob, intent of burning or looting their home, I have no doubt many anti's would be wishing for a shotgun at that time.

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  15. Baldr does not get the intrinsic irony of his post.

    You see, the whole point was that these warriors would RATHER have died fighting for their freedom than lived as slaves and subjects.

    Also, historians debate whether or not the phrase was uttered, sent by messenger or reported by a scribe keeping track of things. It seems likely in that Leonidas knew exactly what he was doing and used the insult,statement, etc to goad the persians into fighting on his terms. As any historian knows, choosing the battle ground almost always leads to victory.

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  16. Baldr: So was the brave and macho statement of "Molon labe" a wise choice by Leonidas?

    Wow -- just wow. There must be dozens of ethnic groups whose histories celebrate a hopeless and ultimately futile yet brave stand against impossible odds (i.e. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) yet Baldr would denigrate them as unwise choices.


    Not only does this illustrate the contrast between gunowner advocates and some of their opponents, it also shows us a contrast between those opponents and values of bravery and sacrifice often celebrated in human history.

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  17. I seem to remember bunches of kids getting killed by airbags when the not following the guidelines of the manufacture.

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  18. Oh for goodness sake, Peter. Talk about stretching things. Come on- you know perfectly well that there just are not homicide by air bag or suicide for that matter. And by fire extinguisher? Wow- you are just making things up as you go along. You have no point here or no facts. I'm sure most people believe in defense of themselves if attacked, but, as you say, not by guns since only a little over 30% of homes even have guns in them. So you are in the minority where that is concerned. As for mobs coming to burn and loot homes- slim chance but remotely possible. And don't start sending me links to all of the times those things have happened in this country. I'm aware of the times they have. They are few and infrequent.

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  19. Historically, Baldr is on the side of the truth and history.

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  20. This conversation is now officially ridiculous and there is no sense going on about it. You guys are lending absolutely nothing to enlightening anyone about the issue whatsoever. At least Baldr was offering some historical evidence for the truth. I haven't seen that from you guys so far.

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  21. So the Jews who fought back against the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto were unwise?

    -Stew

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  22. Love the new namf,Stew. It describes the very thing I am blogging about. The difference between you guys and the Jews who fought back against the Nazis is that they had an actual enemy and you don't. You are making one up to gin up the paranoia of the gun rights extremists. It keeps money coming into the NRA and sales up at gun shops.

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  23. I'm posting this one on behalf of my husband who is a lover of Greek history and speaks some Greek.
    " Good point, Baldr, made elegantly. It made me recall a passage from Thudidydes' "Peloponnesian War" which touches on a slightly different, but pertinent subject: why some people feel that they must carry arms in a civilized society.
    Thucidydes writes, "The whole of Hellas used once to carry arms, their habitations being unprotected and their communication with each other unsafe; indeed, to wear arms was as much a part of everyday life with them as with the barbarians. And the fact that the people in these parts of Hellas are still living in the old way points to a time when the same mode of life was once equally common to all. The Athenians were the first to lay aside their weapons, and to adopt an easier and more luxurious mode of life..."
    Thucidydes wasn't talking about the Athenians' disarming themselves unilaterally. They fought ferociously in war. It's just that they considered it barbaric, unnecessary, and uncivilized to walk around town in everyday life armed.
    The gun guys, suddenly so passionate about classical Greece as to adopt "molon labe" as their motto should consider Thucidydes' thoughts on this. It is a mark of a civilized people to eschew carrying arms in everyday life."

    Also modern Greece has very few gun deaths in comparison to the U.S. They have had their share of wars certainly, but in peace time, they are not generally shooting at each other. Greece's gun laws are considered to be restrictive in comparison to other countries. There is licensing and registration and a reason must be given to carry a gun though people are allowed to openly carry guns. I have not felt unsafe while traveling in Greece and I traveled in smaller towns off the beaten path in campgrounds and sparsely populated areas. We have traveled by car in Greece with our kids and never considered that we would need to worry about guns. Car accidents, yes. Drivers are crazy there.

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  24. "The difference between you guys and the Jews who fought back against the Nazis is that they had an actual enemy and you don't."

    The only reason we have enemies is that you and yours have decided to act as our enemies. And don't misunderstand - forcible disarmament is the act of an enemy.

    To quote MamaLiberty: "Here's an idea...If nobody wants a 'civil disturbance,' why in heck don't they quit disturbing us?"

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  25. Thanks for the zesty little non sequitur/ad hominem that does nothing to detract from my comment on the Jews being correct to fight back.

    Should I mention that the Libyan rebellion would have been much swifter, indeed come and gone years ago, had the People had a deer rifle in most houses?

    -Stew

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  26. Really Stew? Right now almost everyone in Libya has a gun. I have heard that the new governing authority, if and when they take over, is quite concerned about this. They don't know how they will form a civil society if everyone is armed. Yes, a deer rifle. I'm sure that would have solved everyone's problems against the army of Ghaddafi. Whatever.

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  27. "Right now almost everyone in Libya has a gun."

    Nonsense. Libyan law made the possession of firearms by civilians strictly illegal, with no exceptions.

    http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/libya

    Of course, the law didn't keep the rebels from obtaining guns. But then, no law ever does.

    The situation that the "governing authority" is concerned about is one of warlordism - there are a bunch of groups running around, that are armed to the teeth.

    Given that the general populace is largely disarmed, that is a very dangerous situation.

    "They don't know how they will form a civil society if everyone is armed."

    Here's the short answer - they can't.

    You can't create a civil society by imposing it from the top-down. Nobody can. Civil societies have to grow from the bottom-up.

    What you can do, when dealing with a disarmed populace, is to impose a structure that will have some of the characteristics of a properly-function civil society, but it won't be one. And it's flaws will show up fairly quickly.

    The inescapable truth is that if the governmental structures you are trying to put in place won't work, given an armed populace, they won't work, period.

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  28. Whether or not the People having arms becomes a problem to the new government of Libya is now up to the People and government of Libya. Having just thrown a successful rebellion, they have learned for themselves that the People can throw off a bad government.

    The government they build from here? *shrug* I doubt they will build a Western style individualist democracy. If they're lucky they will figure out and build a minimalist government that can work with their tribal social structure, but that is a very different discussion.

    -Stew

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  29. You know, jdege, sometimes I wonder what your point really is. It seems to me that you and I are on the same page on this one. I said "right now" meaning after the uprising. Libya has had strict gun laws and actually has historically had fewer gun deaths and injuries per 100,000 than the U.S. which is pretty interesting given the situation in Libya. ( http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/libya) Now, however, with the rebels with their guns ( and yes, they do have ways of getting them no matter what- sort of like in the U.S.) it will be difficult to restore order, as I said and as you said. I couldn't agree with you more that "civil societies have to grow from the bottom-up". What comes after that in your comment, I'm not sure I understand. So are you saying the rebels need to be disarmed? That does not seem to fit with your view of things does it?

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  30. "You know, jdege, sometimes I wonder what your point really is."

    There is a huge difference between having an armed populace and having a bunch of people running around with guns.

    The founders understood that. You don't appear to.

    I refer you to Federal Farmer #18:

    "But, say gentlemen, the general militia are for the most part employed at home in their private concerns, cannot well be called out, or be depended upon; that we must have a select militia; that is, as I understand it, particular corps or bodies of young men, and of men who have but little to do at home, particularly armed and disciplined in some measure, at the public expence, and always ready to take the field. These corps, not much unlike regular troops, will ever produce an inattention to the general militia; and the consequence has ever been, and always must be, that the substantial men, having families and property, will generally be without arms, without knowing the use of them, and defenceless; whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it."

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  31. What the heck does "Federal Farmer #18" have to do with modern day America? " The Federal Farmer made typical Anti-Federalist arguments, claiming that the Constitution would tear down the sovereign states in favor of a consolidated government, and that this end of the federal system would be destructive of American liberties. The letters were praised at the time for their thoughtfulness, composition, and persuasiveness, and today are among the most widely read works in the Anti-Federalist canon."

    So, are we to believe that these letters are the foundation for our country? No. They are written by an anonymous person who did not like the provisions of the Constitution nor the idea of a strong federal government. They are not the law of the land. They are letters written more than 200 years ago by a private citizen. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Farmer) Do you actually believe this stuff?

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  32. "The Federal Farmer made typical Anti-Federalist arguments, claiming that the Constitution would tear down the sovereign states in favor of a consolidated government, and that this end of the federal system would be destructive of American liberties."

    And he was absolutely right.

    "So, are we to believe that these letters are the foundation for our country? No. They are written by an anonymous person who did not like the provisions of the Constitution nor the idea of a strong federal government. They are not the law of the land."

    And there you are wrong. The Bill of Rights was created as a compromise between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists on exactly these issues.

    In particular, the Second Amendment, protecting the individual right to keep and bear arms, was ratified and became supreme law precisely because it was an area in which the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists could agree. (The companion amendment, providing for State control of the Militia, was not adopted, because that was an area where they did not agree.)

    But as to the relevance to the discussion, we were talking about the difference between a society in which "that the substantial men, having families and property" be armed, and one in which "particular corps or bodies of young men, and of men who have but little to do at home, particularly armed and disciplined in some measure", are armed.

    What Libya has is the latter. And not the former. And that is why Libya is faced with the threat of warlordism.

    And that is why, "to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them".

    So that everybody be armed, not simply government forces, or rebel forces, or roving bands of marauders.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29167366/#.TlvKLKiKV8E

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  33. Jdege- I think you are a throw-back to another time period. "So that everybody be armed..." That will just not happen. You must have forgotten that fewer homes than ever have guns in them. Most people are just not interested in your version of history and gun use in days gone by. You keep sending me stories about places in the world where citizens have armed themselves and fended off attacks. I find those great stories, actually, of people where there are no police or no order being able to protect themselves. The difference of course, is, that we don't have that in the U.S. You guys might think so or you have gotten yourselves all to believe that that will inevitably happen because of the "gun grabbers" and the fictional accounts of President Obama out to get your guns. But you are living in an alternative universe, I'm afraid.

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  34. Until recently the people of Libya were entirely barred from legal possession of all firearms.

    It probably did help folks avoid some harm. Anyone you saw with a gun was a secret policeman/criminal. Problem there is the inability of the people to throw off the tyrant and his goons.

    The Founders considered, wisely if you ask me, an armed populace to be the essential check on a tyrannous government.

    -Stew

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  35. Yes, Stew, that was in the day when we had no organized National Guard or police forces in our cities. That was in a day when we didn't have personal arsenals of AK 47s and powerful semi-automatic handguns. That was in a day when people lived in rural areas for the most part and in much more sparsely populated cities. That was in a day when we had Muzzles that had one shot. That was right after we had defeated the British and were still concerned about another country coming to take over our government. Do you think we now have a tyrannous government?

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  36. "You must have forgotten that fewer homes than ever have guns in them."

    So goes the latest Brady talking point.

    The facts clearly demonstrate that surveys don't provide meaningful estimates of the number of gun owners:

    http://www.gunsandcrime.org/numbers.html

    A significant portion of gun owners do not respond truthfully, when asked whether they own guns. That proportion increases, during periods of significant anti-gun hype.

    The percentage of households reporting that they owned guns decreased from 50% in 1993 to 35% in 1995. Why? It wasn't because 15% of households no longer owned guns - it was because 15% of households would no longer admit to owning guns.

    "Stew, that was in the day when we had no organized National Guard or police forces in our cities."

    It was the necessity of having organized National Guard or police forces in our cities that the 2nd was supposed to prevent.

    "Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."
    - Robert Peel.

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  37. I think you get more extreme with each post, jdege. How do you know for certain that people are not telling the truth? Do you have any facts to back that up?

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  38. What do you find so extreme?

    The idea that a free people can live without an omnipresent police presence? Or that each of us, as individuals, have a responsibility to maintain the public order?
    And how do I know for certain that people aren't telling the truth? Most of the people I know refuse to answer pollsters at all. I know that I have refused to answer, on every occasion I have been asked.

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  39. japete, to jdedge's point:

    1) I rarely answer polls, and NEVER truthfully. I consider it my duty to confound the pundits and hucksters at every turn. Were a question asked about gun ownership, I would absolutely either not answer, or not answer truthfully. It's none of their ^$%& business.

    2) japete wrote: Do you think we now have a tyrannous government?

    Now? No. CAN it happen here? Yes; don't kid yourself.

    What is the best way to prevent it from happening here? An armed populace.

    Duh.

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  40. "Now? No. CAN it happen here? Yes; don't kid yourself."

    It IS happening here, it's not happening to people that we know, yet.

    http://governmentabuse.info/reports/view/1995

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  41. Taking the FDA raiding raw cooperative with SWAT teams, the TSA molesting innocent travelers, the DEA shooting pretty much everyone, and the ATF running guns to Mexican narco-gangs as examples; I am concerned that our Federales are taking a direction in the tyranny direction.

    -Stew

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  42. Right, jdege. And who is this Donald Scott who is the keeper of this site? Does he have any qualifications to write about this stuff? And should we believe him?

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  43. Arresting a couple of knuckleheads for "lack of common sense" is hardly a hallmark of a "free country."

    I would consider it hysterical to claim we are on the way to the old Soviet system of arresting people for "hooliganism," but it concerns me that any policeman would consider arresting a few guys who are hurting or endangering no one a reasonable thing to do.

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/08/28/2-arrested-for-lack-of-common-sense-after-rafting-down-main-street-in-manayunk/

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  44. Right- it's such a bad idea for law enforcement to keep people safe during national emergencies. I say, let everyone do whatever they want no matter who they are endangering. It's every man for himself. If you have your guns at hand, you can always take care of yourself in case things get out of control. Who needs the police?

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  45. "Donald Scott who is the keeper of this site?"

    Donald Scott is dead. Shot by the raiding officers, a mix of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies and DEA officers, acting in a conspiracy to seize the property under federal asset forfeiture laws, and then to sell it to the National Park Service.

    Who says so? The County Prosecutor of Ventura County, California, where the incident took place. And why, you might ask, were LA County Sheriff's deputies doing swat-style assaults in Ventura County? Good question.

    Of course, this was nearly 20 years ago. Back then, any time the feds wanted to do a swat-style raid, they had to ask for local assistance. Since then, the feds have equipped every federal agency with its own swat teams.

    Which is why the Fish and Wildlife Service has its own swat team, just in case it needs to raid a long-established guitar maker, for using wood that is legal under US law.

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  46. Were these guys actually in any danger? Imminent danger? About to be a danger to someone?

    That area got hit badly by rain and the cops are so bored they're harassing the innocent.

    As a side note, no, the police are there to enforce the law, which, as we have learned from the "war on drugs," regularly has zero connection to anyone's safety.

    It is the shire reeve, or sheriff, who is responsible for working with the people to maintain peace in the community.

    -Stew

    http://www.pasheriffs.org/about-us/sheriff-history/

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  47. So let me get this straight, Stew. You are saying that police officers don't serve in the capacity of keeping people in their communities safe? That is only for Sheriffs? That is simply not true if that is what you are suggesting. In inner city areas, the police are the law enforcement usually in charge of public safety. Sheriffs are county based and deal with crime and safety issues in a broader geographical area. Here in my town, police rescue people who fall into rivers or over steep cliffs, or capture snakes behind a local hotel ( yes, I watched them do that). Your statement makes absolutely no sense and is not based in any reality. I would suspect that a couple guys rafting down city flooded streets could endanger themselves in many ways. But I don't need to enumerate them because this has become a most ridiculous discussion which is going nowhere and adding nothing to the discussion. If you have something more enlightening to the readers, please send it along. Otherwise you can cease with this thread because I won't be publishing any more comments about it.

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  48. Joan, just where do you think those guns came from and do you really think that Qaddafi had allowed them to keep those guns when he was suppressing all of the dissent from the people? The guns came from the army, from Qaddafi's own stock piles, and the only reason the people were successful was a large portion of the army refused to shoot its own and deserted.

    Yes the new governing authority is very worried about the guns, as it means the people will still have the power to insurrect, and the new Gov't must be responsive to the people, not something they are used to dealing with over there.

    You see, an Armed Populace has to be respected.

    As to forming a Civil Society with everyone armed, well, we did it, So did the Scots, the English, the Swiss, the Swedes, the Finns, the Ausies, and many more.... And yeah, if the option is tossing rocks during a revolution against a Tyrannical Dictator, or using a deer rifle, I'll take the deer rifle every day.

    Have you ever heard of the Liberator Pistol?
    It was a mass produced Zip gun, a single shot, smooth bore, $3.45 cent gun made by the US in WW2 to drop behind enemy lines to allow the Resistance a means to secure weapons from the Germans, without giving the germans anything they could use to fight back. You see, the gun was so simple, and so rudimentary, we didn't care if the Germans seized them, as they were militarily useless. However, as a tool of the resistance, the weapon was priceless. The war was one of occupation. The Germans were spread thin holding down their conquests. Sentries had to walk their posts, and trucks had to be driven, etc, and a pretty girl or an old man walking down the street was not a threat if they did not hold a rifle. But stick that little $3.45 pistol in the ribs of some garrison soldier and pull the trigger, and now you had a rifle, some grenades, some ammo, and the germans had to increase the number of soldiers not on the front fighting. That little pistol also put the Germans' on the defensive as far as those soldiers rotated back from the lines. No where was safe.


    An armed people, must be respected. Simple.

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  49. as to this paragraph which you wrote.....
    (quote)
    I do worry about some of the far right extremists acting on their fears, however. President Obama said that what he and the Administration fear the most as we are closer to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attack on America is a lone wolf terrorist with a gun. President Obama is right. The next terror attack could very well be a home grown terrorist with a weapon or two who could leave a lot of tragedy in his or her wake. I have blogged about this several times before. It would be the kind of terror that Norway experienced or that the Washington D.C. area experienced when two snipers terrorized several communities for weeks. I worry that there are right wing extreme militia groups and individuals who want to do harm to the President and to our country. All it would take is one or two crazy or angry people to do a lot of harm. Let's hope that we can honor the victims of the September 11th attacks peacefully. The occasion will be fraught with emotion and reminders of what happened on that awful day. I hope that common sense will prevail. Using the term "molon labe" as a rallying or battle cry is potential encouragement for someone to act on their mistaken and misinformed thoughts and feelings about gun rights. (unquote)

    Do you really think that those Citizens who have conservative values are going to somehow "celebrate" the worst foreign terror attack in US history upon US Citizens by committing violence upon America?

    REALLY?

    Second, I do not hope to "honor the victims of 9.11 peacefully" I hope to honor some unnamed American soldiers who kill a lot of terrorists on that day. I hope to hear that we have found some more of the bastards who killed innocent Americans and sent them to meet an angry God who refuses them entry into Heaven and sends them straight to hell.

    Do you really believe that the President is more worried about a domestic terrorist than Al Qaeda?

    Are you more worried about some people in the US who are Citizens, who believe in the Constitution, are more of a threat to the US than Al Qaeda?

    Then you say, "it would be the kind of terror...." how do you know this? do you have prior knowledge of some event being planned? No, you are fearmongering. As usual. Using the 9/11 attacks to strive for more Gun Control is is nauseating, disrespectful, and frankly beneath you.


    Regarding your husbands thoughts.

    Do you know why the Athenians could "lay down their arms and live an easier and more luxurious life?"

    Because they had a standing army, and they kept slaves, lots of slaves, which by the labor of those slaves, gave the City State its wealth.

    Leonidas knew this, Slaves were common, he and his man had probably kept slaves themselves, and seeing and knowing the life of the slave, they were doubly unwilling to live as slaves in return for "living". You see, for most, "living" as a slave is not living at all, but dying every day. Athens had some geographical advantages too, in better land to farm, and such, but Athens grew on the backs of slaves, Sparta chose freedom. It has a price, but many still say Freedom is worth dying for. Even in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Syria, and more, there are people who say, Give me liberty, or give me death.

    Lastly, as to your comments about traveling about and feeling safe, therefore it must be a good place.
    I traveled as a child to East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and Poland in 1968. I was never afraid of the people. I never saw a gun. I also never saw a smile, a nice car, a decent house, or a color other than grey. I was terrified of the Gov't of those nations every time we crossed a border thinking I was going to seized and taken away.

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  50. Yes Peter you must have missed the conversation about where the Libyan rebels got their guns. No need to lecture. As to the rest, interesting history which may not apply to the world in 2011.

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  51. I'm glad that you, too, are such an expert in history of all kinds, Peter. You seem to be willing to hold forth on just about every available topic. Thanks again for the little slice of history as seen your way. I just don't share your views, though, which is pretty obvious. To assert that I am using the 9/11 anniversary as a way to talk about gun control is ridiculous. You missed several points in there somewhere. I am not the only one to fear what could happen on that day. It has been mentioned by President Obama and others. This is not something I have made up. And yes, I do think there are people out there who may try to use the anniversary to make a point of some kind. There are people who hate all Muslims enough that American Muslims have worries about their safety. I am not making that up either. It seems to me that we have been doing a pretty good job of late in getting some in Al Queda who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks- Osama Bin Laden for just one. A few days ago, the 2nd in command was killed by a drone attack in the border regions of Pakistan. More could be coming. President Obama has done a very good job of seeking out and capturing or killing some important operatives. So there is no need for you to insult me any more, Peter. Just because I don't see things your way does not mean I am evil. Take your comments to some other blog if you want to continue the discussion in this manner.

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  52. Peter, wanted to respond to your comments about ancient Athens and Sparta. I think it's getting close to irrelevant to the purpose of japete's wonderful blog, but I love talking about this.

    I did not know that Athens kept a professional standing army. I do know that the male citizens of Athens were required to fight in war. Socrates did.

    In any event, we have nothing to argue about here. I, too, maintained that Athens fought hard in war, but as Thucydides says they found it unnecessary and barbaric to walk around with guns (I'm sorry: spears, swords) in daily life.

    As far as I can tell, you have manufactured slave ownership as a reason for this spear-free life simply from out of your own head. Certainly Thucydides mentions nothing in the passage to suggest that Athenians were able to eschew arms-carrying because of their slaves. The slaves didn’t carry arms to protect their masters. I invite you to cite any reference ancient or modern to support your contention.

    Saying that Attica (commonly called “rocky Attica”) was a fertile farming locale is also, possibly, a figment of your imagination. I know families whose relatives come from modern-day Sparta (it still exists!). It is located beneath a range of mountains on a plain that is still farmed. I think the very best farming areas in Greece were, as they are today, to the North-west of Athens in central Greece and in the Peloponnesus where Sparta is located.

    You appear to have a very romantic idea of Spartan life. Their supposed freedom consisted of rigidly training every male offspring to be a lethal fighting man and nothing else. Most authorities say they sacrificed everything else (literature, theater, architecture, art, philosophy, learning of all kinds except warfare, fine food, learned discourse...everything civilized) in order to produce warriors. Males were raised in the barracks from childhood on. They were not free to choose anything else. I would not be surprised to find that you and the other gun guys admire this kind of thing, but to characterize it as "freedom" is just strange. Almost no one in Sparta was allowed to do anything but get ready to fight. Sparta was the ideal of Nazi Germany. If a spartan way of life is what you want for America, I daresay most people would opt out.

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  53. I would add to Alan's comment that if you want to follow the true Second Amendment ideal, you need to abolish the current military system (the Standing Army), and replace it with a Swiss Style system. That is there would be a small professional army tasked with training and administration that would support the larger amature (part-time/non-professional militia) Militia.

    Problem is that the Swiss model requires a lot of commitment from people in regard to time. It's not just sitting there saying you're a member of some "unorganised militia"--it's actually training, drill, and other military duty.

    As Alan said, if that "is what you want for America, I daresay most people would opt out."

    They did when it was first tried as well.

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  54. "Problem is that the Swiss model requires a lot of commitment from people in regard to time. It's not just sitting there saying you're a member of some "unorganised militia" -- it's actually training, drill, and other military duty."

    True. There would have to be some incentive.

    In the Greek Poleis, there was. Those who underwent the training could vote, those who did not, could not.

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  55. check out this site, they sell a cool molon labe t-shirt.
    www.live-vintage.com

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