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Old November 24, 2009, 09:49 PM   #1
flightline
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Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Second Amendment

I was just reading the (recently locked) thread on "why liberals should support the second amendment" and while I can certainly understand the reason for closing it, someone brought up an important point that I think bears further discussion: Why is it that opinion about right to carry issues splits so starkly down political lines?

There are some issues like taxes, welfare and abortion that are intuitively predictable by what we might consider the definitions of conservatism and liberalism, but to my mind gun control isn't really one of them. Liberalism is typically associated with civil rights, (if you don't agree that this is true in practice, hopefully you will agree that it's true at least in intention and self-identification; you would hardly accuse the ACLU of being a conservative organization) and yet on this one issue which I think most on this board would agree that RKBA is one of the most important civil rights we have. (I don't mean to imply that this is contrary to the ACLU's position.)

Before I go any further I'll tell you that I'm probably in the minority here in considering myself to be mostly of a liberal bent, and I'm also in the minority of liberals in my wholehearted support of the second amendment (although this isn't as small a majority as you might think). Also, I know it's my first post but don't think this is a hit and run; I've been lurking for a quite a while and I plan on sticking around. .

This is an interesting question for me because many of the people I know who have fairly similar political positions otherwise have very different second amendment positions. One of the best explanations I've heard for the underlying bases of liberalism/conservatism was given in a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt on the very issue. It's a bit long, but I think quite eye-opening and actually very good at defining philosophies as a function of basic moral senses.

If you don't end up watching it, his basic point is that five parameters of morality go a long way toward defining us, he gives them as
*Harm/Care
*Fairness/Reciprocity
*Ingroup/Loyalty
*Authority/Respect
*Purity/Sanctity

The basic idea is that liberals tend to emphasize the first two, conservatives tend to elevate the final three, though not to the exclusion of the first two.

So why might this discrepancy help explain this split? Issues like this are difficult to analyze if you don't understand the perspective of the opposition, which admittedly can be difficult if you're rarely exposed to someone opposed. We're all familiar here with the pro-gun stance, but If you haven't tried looking at things from the other side in a while, I'd like to try and illuminate just what the other half are thinking on this issue.

First of all, I think there is a cultural difference in perception and exposure to firearms among liberals that might be difficult to understand if you've been around guns your whole life. Since liberals tend not to own guns (lets take this as a given for the moment), pretty much the only exposure to firearms comes from the news and entertainment media (movies/tv). Excepting the latter, news reports involving guns mostly break down into a) Military conflict, both involving the U.S. and not, and b) violence, i.e. armed robbery, gang violence etc., c) accidents. There are occasional reports of guns used in defense, although fairly rare. This causes the inevitable perception that the use of a gun is inevitably bad news. In some sense I don't think this is entirely wrong. Whenever anyone gets shot it tends to be a tragic event; and even in a justifiable self defense shooting it's still an unfortunate situation. I think this perception is heavily tied to the Harm/Care issue mentioned above: When firearms are the cause of pain/injury/death, we tend not to like them very much. I think there are probably some on the right that at least would agree that this argument works in principle: no guns means no shootings.

Before we're quick too quick to contend with the obvious, and mostly true cliche, "guns don't kill people, people do," I the idea that guns cause violence, rather than merely facilitating it, has a kernel of truth to it. Hear me out. The first issue is that of escalation. The contention is that what might end as a fistfight in the absence of guns can easily become a shootout in their presence of them. We know it's not that simple, but I don't think the scenario is totally impossible either. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument is subject to a similar refutation—the rapidity with which a law-abiding citizen can become a murderer is frighteningly quick. It may not happen often, but we do see the occasional case of a CC permit holder acting illegally, and sometimes even murderously. The majority of these cases do in fact seem to be cases of elevation. Wether road rage, a power trip, crimes of passion, etc., The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation worse, and this is the central fear that drives liberal anti-gun sentiment.

Related to the cultural differences in exposure and perception of guns is that of association of the right with the military. It's both stereotype and fact that conservative people and families tend to be more closely associated with the military, and I think that this agrees quite well with the above Loyalty and Authority dimensions discussed. When guns are viewed in the context of the guardians of the free world, the perception shifts a great deal from that discussed earlier; into a downright positive light. I think this also manifests on a family level, where, on the other side of the "bad situation worse" coin, we see the potential for a firearm to fix a dangerous situation, and protect our family, our "tribe" per se.

Discuss, and I hope this time we can keep the conversation civil and on topic enough for the mods
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:49 AM   #2
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Perhaps I shouldn't respond to this as it's late, I had a bad day, and I'm a bit irritable.


Quote:
First of all, I think there is a cultural difference in perception and exposure to firearms among liberals that might be difficult to understand if you've been around guns your whole life. Since liberals tend not to own guns (lets take this as a given for the moment), pretty much the only exposure to firearms comes from the news and entertainment media (movies/tv).
This is simple twaddle. First it isn't true, liberals and conservatives span the demographic types. There are liberals that were raised around guns and conservatives that were not.
Considering the number of "first gun" post on TFL I think the majority of both groups are not raised around firearms.

Second you are infantalizing liberals. Whether you are doing it because you want to give liberals an excuse for not understanding firearm issues, or some other reason, you are doing them and the seriousness of the debate a disservice. Liberals and conservatives disagree for many reasons. Most of those differences are because of deeply held beliefs. That is the case with the issue of gun ownership.

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When firearms are the cause of pain/injury/death, we {Liberals} tend not to like them very much.
I tend to doubt that anyone ascribes to animus against inanimate objects. Liberals just like conservatives are concerned about crime. While I disagree with gun control as a method for controlling crime, I think that is the point of gun control, not because guns are "icky". Gun control is to liberals what mandatory minimums is to conservative; a bumper sticker solution to a complex problem that gives them the appearance of being tough on crime.


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I the idea that guns cause violence, rather than merely facilitating it, has a kernel of truth to it. Hear me out.
I read the whole paragraph twice, if there is a kernel of truth you didn't reveal it. Unless you subscribe to an animistic universe (and it's fine if you do) an inanimate object can't be the first cause of anything. That people might act differently because they have a firearm is true, but it is effect not cause.

Quote:
The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation worse, and this is the central fear that drives liberal anti-gun sentiment.
Ok, you could have cut the graph down to just that. But once again I tend to doubt it is a central tenat of gun control advocates. Instead I would call it a justification rather than a driving fear.
The fear is the same as it is for any of us, violent crime.

Your last paragraph seems to say 'people have a positive feeling toward guns when they are portrayed in a positive manner'.
So where do you want to go with that?

Liberalism and conservatism are irreconcilable. As long as gun rights, or abortion, or taxes, are tied to ideology instead of policy they will be irreconcilable as well.
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Old November 25, 2009, 07:29 AM   #3
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I think there are probably some on the right that at least would agree that this argument works in principle: no guns means no shootings.
Nice and simplistic, but it doesn't mean no rapes, home invasions, kidnappings, robbery, and myriad of violent crimes committed against people. No guns means no shootings only stops the ability of a citizen to deter them. 110 lb female, 200 lb rapist....a gun in her hands changes everything, and that's one of the protections provided by the second amendment.

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The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation worse, and this is the central fear that drives liberal anti-gun sentiment
I'm afraid of ladders, so let's eliminate them? I don't really care what you are afraid of...if you don't like guns...don't own one it's that simple.
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Old November 25, 2009, 08:12 AM   #4
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The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation worse, and this is the central fear that drives liberal anti-gun sentiment
The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation better, and this is the central belief that drives the RTKBA.

Either way you look at this an argument can made that (in this case) guns are needed. Either everyone has a right to defend themselves or everyone has the right to have a police officer present...

I understand part of the argument against guns, even though the main tenant of that argument is flawed. Most of the argument against guns are along the lines of 'If they did not have a gun, the teenagers would have only beat each other up and the victim would have lived.' Believing that guns caused the problem, not the fact that the perpetrator has failed society.

What about the gang fights that end up with someone killed by a knife, a chain, or any blunt object? The assault and murder still happened with-out a gun. Does that make it OK now, because a gun was not involved?

There are some members on this board who are from England, I hope they chime in with their responses. Criminals by definition do not care about the law.

But what about the rapist? How do you explain to the person raped that she does not have the right to protect herself? How do you explain that she should have called the police?

I, personaly, do not believe I should have to give up my personal safety (the right to own a firearm) for the 'greater good' of mankind.

I am disabled. I have trouble walking, and there is no way I could ever run. So for me the argument that I should run away from trouble does not hold water. The argument that I should avoid trouble does not hold water if I am in bed and someone breaks into my house, or for the lady that gets raped in her own house. (Two very different scenarios, but both applicable in the case of self defense.) I live in a very rural area of Missouri, if I call for help, it could take the sheriff up to thirty minutes to get here.

My last example is the person who has the protection order against someone else. If the person whom they have the protection order against does not obey that protection order, that order and the paper it is written on is useless. I believe a lot more people are harmed by rape and beaten to death than by guns. (Sorry, this example is from a paper I wrote in college and can not find. I believe I got the stats from an FBI data base.)

So why do most liberals and most conservatives disagree on gun ownership? We all have deeply held beliefs, we are influenced by society and the influences range from media to our immediate family and environment.

I hope this discussion remains civil and does not flame into name calling. It could be very interesting.
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Old November 25, 2009, 09:56 AM   #5
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I was just reading the (recently locked) thread
Should have been a clue...

Quote:
Why is it that opinion about right to carry issues splits so starkly down political lines?
Quote:
There are some issues like taxes, welfare and abortion that are intuitively predictable by what we might consider the definitions of conservatism and liberalism, but to my mind gun control isn't really one of them.
That is because modern liberalism has little to do with civil rights and much to do with socialism. Classic liberalism, tends to draw pro 2A supporters.

Quote:
Liberalism is typically associated with civil rights, (if you don't agree that this is true in practice, hopefully you will agree that it's true at least in intention and self-identification; you would hardly accuse the ACLU of being a conservative organization) and yet on this one issue which I think most on this board would agree that RKBA is one of the most important civil rights we have. (I don't mean to imply that this is contrary to the ACLU's position.)
Again, the ACLU is not about classic liberalism. This is why they have adopted their anti-freedom position.They don't restrict this to gun control either.
Quote:
Also, I know it's my first post but don't think this is a hit and run; I've been lurking for a quite a while and I plan on sticking around. .
Don't worry about it, DU guys do the hit and run from time to time, it is amusing.

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We're all familiar here with the pro-gun stance
Based on your post I am not so sure.

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what the other half are thinking on this issue.
Quote:
First of all, I think there is a cultural difference in perception and exposure to firearms among liberals that might be difficult to understand if you've been around guns your whole life. Since liberals tend not to own guns (lets take this as a given for the moment),
See, when you start an argument on a false premise, you have no where to go but down.

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pretty much the only exposure to firearms comes from the news and entertainment media (movies/tv).
And the police, pro gun people, the military... but continue...

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...news reports involving guns mostly break down into a) Military conflict, both involving the U.S. and not, and b) violence, i.e. armed robbery, gang violence etc., c) accidents. There are occasional reports of guns used in defense, although fairly rare.
Hmm, I would not call many times a day rare. Certainly it is more common than people being killed.

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This causes the inevitable perception that the use of a gun is inevitably bad news. In some sense I don't think this is entirely wrong.
and that is where your problem begins... because you are about to blame the gun, not the actor.... just watch you will do it....

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Whenever anyone gets shot it tends to be a tragic event; and even in a justifiable self defense shooting it's still an unfortunate situation. I think this perception is heavily tied to the Harm/Care issue mentioned above: When firearms are the cause of pain/injury/death,
This is the heart of the problem. The gun did it. The person that did it is not at fault. And this is why the liberals will never be able to reconcile:

Lack of personal accountability.

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we tend not to like them very much. I think there are probably some on the right that at least would agree that this argument works in principle: no guns means no shootings.
Lack of guns means lack of shooting by guns. All else equal people are still equally determined and well able to kill each other and themselves.

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Before we're quick too quick to contend with the obvious, and mostly true cliche, "guns don't kill people, people do,"
Too late!

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I the idea that guns cause violence, rather than merely facilitating it, has a kernel of truth to it. Hear me out.
Quote:
The first issue is that of escalation. The contention is that what might end as a fistfight in the absence of guns can easily become a shootout in their presence of them. We know it's not that simple
It isn't. So why bother?

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but I don't think the scenario is totally impossible either. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument is subject to a similar refutation—the rapidity with which a law-abiding citizen can become a murderer is frighteningly quick. It may not happen often, but we do see the occasional case of a CC permit holder acting illegally, and sometimes even murderously. The majority of these cases do in fact seem to be cases of elevation.
Really? Based on what? Your feelings?

Quote:
Wether road rage, a power trip, crimes of passion, etc., The presence of a firearm certainly has the potential to make a bad situation worse,
Or better, as was pointed out.

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Related to the cultural differences in exposure and perception of guns is that of association of the right with the military. It's both stereotype and fact that conservative people and families tend to be more closely associated with the military, and I think that this agrees quite well with the above Loyalty and Authority dimensions discussed.
I can see you don't know much about the military then or understand much about the "right". When the government does it is not a "right". There are just as many liberals in the military as there are conservatives. True there are not many liberals as trigger pullers, but in the support areas there are tons of them.
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Old November 25, 2009, 10:01 AM   #6
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Well, that was fun while it lasted...
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Old November 25, 2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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"Liberal" includes a much wider variation of ideals than "Conservative" does...

I agree with the OP: When it comes to guns, the distinction between the pigeon-hole generalizations of "Liberal" and "Conservative" are inappropriate because there are "Liberals" who support the 2A and CC rights just as fervently as "Conservatives". This points up a general truth- "Conservatives" are nearly all of one mind, there isn't much difference of perspective or belief within their ranks on those issues that define their name; "Liberals", who are at first strong believers in and supporters of the individuality of one's beliefs and opinions, have much wider dispersion of these within their ranks. "Liberals" can accept that some of their fellows hold beliefs and opinions different than theirs, even ones that agree with "Conservatives", but that doesn't negate their membership in "Liberalism"; in fact holding diverse positions on issues individually is the definition of "Liberal", at least to "liberals". I don't believe that "Conservatives" are that magnanimous, which is why they can't understand or believe that "Liberals" might be in favor of the 2A rights of individuals and disagree with them everywhere else. One's views on abortion or gay rights can't predict how they'd come down on 2A rights, among "liberals". That's not so clearly the situation among "Conservatives".

Quote:
Originally Posted by OP:
"... that guns cause violence, rather than merely facilitating it, has a kernel of truth to it. Hear me out. The first issue is that of escalation. The contention is that what might end as a fistfight in the absence of guns can easily become a shootout in their presence of them. We know it's not that simple, but I don't think the scenario is totally impossible either. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument is subject to a similar refutation—the rapidity with which a law-abiding citizen can become a murderer is frighteningly quick."
The increase of people exercising their 2A rights by CCing will realistically result in an increase in gun injuries and deaths. The anti-2A people will consequently have a loud and convincing argument against CCing at least, and maybe the "individual" aspect of the 2A, even if the shootings were justified. What one reads here on this forum, where the 2A and CCing are sacred I believe predicts an inevitable increase of such gun-related events, with many (if not most) of them being an error on the part of the one CCing. If we appear to the majority of voters to have misused these rights to the detriment of public safety, they will disappear- majority rules here, as designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OP:
"... I think there is a cultural difference in perception and exposure to firearms among liberals that might be difficult to understand if you've been around guns your whole life."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzcook:
... you are infantalizing liberals. Whether you are doing it because you want to give liberals an excuse for not understanding firearm issues, or some other reason, you are doing them and the seriousness of the debate a disservice. Liberals and conservatives disagree for many reasons. Most of those differences are because of deeply held beliefs. That is the case with the issue of gun ownership."
To quote a phrase: "This is simple twaddle". Stripped of allegiance to either polarity, there's a simple, irrefutable truth in the OP's statement: Try this- If you've grown up around horses all your life, why is it so hard for you to realize that someone who hasn't might be afraid of horses? The existence of "Liberals" who support gun rights is a proven fact- they're here on this forum and CCing just like everyone else, in increasing numbers as they seek to protect themselves and their families with the rights we were all given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzcook:
Liberalism and conservatism are irreconcilable. As long as gun rights, or abortion, or taxes, are tied to ideology instead of policy they will be irreconcilable as well."
Liberalism and Conservatism have to be reconcilable if this nation's manner of governance is to succeed. It's the compromise between differing ideologies that results in policy, that's the way it's supposed to work- the policies are the end-product of our political process, not the beginning of the definition of right or wrong. The complete submission of one or the other of "Liberalism" or "Conservatism" can only come about if approved by the majority of the people who vote. The smart way to work out the compromises is to deal with issues singularly, not lumped together under such undefinable and variable definitions of what's "liberal" and what's "conservative". To do that one must learn what's being said and study what the consequences are and then decide where they stand; jumping to easy labels for one's conclusions which are based on who proposed them and who supports them is lazy and poor citizenship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Buck:
So why do most liberals and most conservatives disagree on gun ownership? We all have deeply held beliefs, we are influenced by society and the influences range from media to our immediate family and environment."
We're not talking about "most liberals" here, we're talking about those who are supportive of our 2A rights as individuals. That's hard for a "conservative" to understand, because conservatives aren't used to the liberal idea that one is supposed to think about each issue that comes along on its merits and decide what they support based on that, and the resulting diversity of opinion is what makes a free society. While "Conservatives" tend to subscribe to the "party line" of conservative tenets and positions, "Liberals" do not so much, and often disagree among themselves on some issues while agreeing on others. The result earns them the title of "liberal" because they are tolerant of the differences they have with others who have a reasoned position opposite theirs.
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Old November 25, 2009, 10:34 AM   #8
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I think the OP is really interesting and am saddened that it seems to be simply getting dismissed.

Flightline, I think the reason why most liberals don't like 2A is that:
1) lack of familiarity with guns. Liberals tend to be from more urban areas, often were not raised around guns, don't hunt, etc, etc.
2) association of guns with violence (BGs) rather than associating them with SD
3) an over-reliance on the state ("call the police"), and a general tendency to want the state to take care of people
4) a notion that there aren't really bad people in the world, just misunderstood people who probably had a bad start in life.

Under tactics and training, there is a thread on women and guns and parts of it could just as well be about liberals and guns.

The libertarian left is very in favor of RKBA and quite vocal about it. You can see that faction over on dailykos.

I do dislike the assumption that if I own guns, my politics fit into a, b, and c sections. And I'd like to see the NRA do more to reach across party lines.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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1) lack of familiarity with guns. Liberals tend to be from more urban areas, often were not raised around guns, don't hunt, etc, etc.
I hear this a lot but it is BS. Unless you believe that the handgun ban in Chicago is working and there are no hand guns up there. The problem is that they live in a culture that is ashamed to own a gun because they have been told their whole life that it is bad. But deep inside they knew it was all a lie.

That is why no one is really shocked when the anti-gun, liberal pol, media person or whatever shoots an unarmed 15 year old trespasser in his swimming pool.

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The increase of people exercising their 2A rights by CCing will realistically result in an increase in gun injuries and deaths.
More BS. Something that many of the pols are backing off from now quite sheepishly. CC has been around for 30 years in many states with a net decrease in shootings and murders in nearly every state.

Quote:
One's views on abortion or gay rights can't predict how they'd come down on 2A rights, among "liberals". That's not so clearly the situation among "Conservatives".

While "Conservatives" tend to subscribe to the "party line" of conservative tenets and positions, "Liberals" do not so much, and often disagree among themselves on some issues while agreeing on others.
That is quite a brush you are painting with. I challenge you to prove it.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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'news reports involving guns mostly break down into a) Military conflict, both involving the U.S. and not, and b) violence, i.e. armed robbery, gang violence etc., c) accidents. There are occasional reports of guns used in defense, although fairly rare"


It seems to me that part of the general aura of fear about firearms is based on a particularly slanted media presentation, that deliberately excludes mention of successful self-defense. One could conclude that this is meant to instill a feeling of helplessness in the populace, who will then more readily submit to more taxation in order to receive more State-provided protection.

Of course that's pretty cynical. On the other hand, looking at politics without looking at the financial side is missing almost the whole point.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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I'm a liberal and a gun owner. That is, I'm a liberal on some things and sort of conservative on other things. And every day I'm more and more of a socialist, possibly because I'm getting close to social security. But one of my problems is with other people who call themselves conservative. I just don't believe them. They sound more like reactionaries to me. They lie, they cheat, they want to go back to something that never was.

Let me ask a question here. How many people here have known someone killed by a gunshot, not counting acts of war? At last count, my personal knowlege of relatives and acquantenances who died from gunshots is up to at least five. Now tell me that would not color your thinking on the subject. Yes, guns kill. That's what they're for. Never known anyone who was raped, knifed, or killed with a rock. I'm not related to a single person who died of cancer either, for that matter. But I'm known five people who died from gunshots.

I think that some liberals believe that conservatives think that the intent of the 2nd Admendment is allow people to own and carry firearms without any regulation whatsoever. But it was a while before people decided that the first admendment did not allow people to slander one another.

Mostly however, I don't really care for labels, even when partly accurate, because they are limiting. In other words, there's a lot more to us than guns, at least I hope so. But some of the posts on this forum make me wonder.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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That is because modern liberalism has little to do with civil rights and much to do with socialism.
That really depends on which class you're talking about, liberals tend to want to help the lower and middle classes and use socialism as you call it. Conservatives on the other hand love to use socialism to help and bail out the upper class, the rich elite...but they don't call it socialism, they call it whatever name they made up that sounds ok to the public, like "getting the economy back on track."
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:58 AM   #13
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"who is responsible?"

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Originally Posted by flightline
Why is it that opinion about right to carry issues splits so starkly down political lines?
Reduced nearly to the absurd, liberal philosophy holds that the protection of any society and its citizens is the primary responsibility of the State. To effect effective security of the body politic, the state requires a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

From this perspective, a great deal of activity which threatens citizens and society at large results from the free availability of firearms to citizens - thus frustrating the monopoly on the use of force by the state. Their prevailing conclusion is that 'evidence suggests (crime statistics) that individuals are materially incapable of using firearms responsibly', and therefore if firearms were banned a tremendous number of threats to citizens individually and society at large would be mitigated. Hence, firearms ownership should be eliminated to allow the State to exercise its responsibility to protect society.

Conservative philosophy holds that the protection of any society and its citizens is the primary responsibility of the citizens - not the State. Individual responsibility both for personal behavior as well as self-defense rests initially with each individual in the body politic. The state certainly offers police - but their responsibility is to protect society at large; NOT any specific individual citizen. Individual defense remains the responsibility of the individual, NOT the state. (There is also the matter of "the State" being answerable to the citizens of a representative democracy, ergo, if the elected government should become tyrannical, the citizens ought to have the capacity to change the government - but lets not go there.)

Hence personal individual firearms ownership is not only a right, but a requirement if any individual is to provide for their own self-defense in a responsible manner.

These two fundamental views - individual protection being a responsibility of the State versus a responsibility of the individual - are mutually exclusive, and are philosophically incompatible.

That's one reason why the debate falls along rather clean lines - because individual protection is far from the only element (think abortion, crime control, illegal immigration, death penalty, insurance coverage for health care, saving/investing for retirement, etc.) in our society where "the responsibility of the State" versus "the responsibility of the individual citizen" also divides the the two sides in any debate along political lines.

FWIW. YMMV.
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:01 PM   #14
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And every day I'm more and more of a socialist.... ....How many people here have known someone killed by a gunshot, not counting acts of war? .....Yes, guns kill.
Not to be a big meanie but you are already there. Was the person killed by a gunshot, gun or by a person with a gun? Or did they kill themselves?
Quote:
At last count, my personal knowlege of relatives and acquantenances who died from gunshots is up to at least five. Now tell me that would not color your thinking on the subject.
For me it does not. But I ascribe personal accountability to people for their actions.

Quote:
But one of my problems is with other people who call themselves conservative. I just don't believe them. They sound more like reactionaries to me. They lie, they cheat, they want to go back to something that never was.
Well, at least we can agree on that.

Quote:
Conservatives on the other hand love to use socialism to help and bail out the upper class, the rich elite...
This is corporate socialism and a horrible mockery of capitalism. Also not limited to so called "conservatives"
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:21 PM   #15
Uncle Billy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe:
1) lack of familiarity with guns. Liberals tend to be from more urban areas, often were not raised around guns, don't hunt, etc, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT TL:
I hear this a lot but it is BS. Unless you believe that the handgun ban in Chicago is working and there are no hand guns up there. The problem is that they live in a culture that is ashamed to own a gun because they have been told their whole life that it is bad. But deep inside they knew it was all a lie.
Talk about unreasoned BS. Why is it so hard to believe that someone who has no direct experience with guns except in the hands of others or on TV and in the movies, might be afraid of them? ESPECIALLY in Chicago, where anyone's experience with the guns of others and no experience of them in their own family, is almost certainly negative. And what makes you an expert on what's "deep inside" people that are different from you so you don't understand them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by me:
The increase of people exercising their 2A rights by CCing will realistically result in an increase in gun injuries and deaths.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT TL:
More BS. Something that many of the pols are backing off from now quite sheepishly. CC has been around for 30 years in many states with a net decrease in shootings and murders in nearly every state.
This isn't BS, it's simple logic: More guns = more opportunities for accidents and errors of judgment = more gun-related injuries and deaths, since guns can injure and kill. Do you also disagree with this: More cars = more accidents = more injuries? The logic of that is so elementary, if you subtract the emotional, unreasoned knee-jerk mantra that disagrees with any logical conclusion if it is negative toward what you want desperately to support. It's the reality, live with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me:
One's views on abortion or gay rights can't predict how they'd come down on 2A rights, among "liberals". That's not so clearly the situation among "Conservatives".

While "Conservatives" tend to subscribe to the "party line" of conservative tenets and positions, "Liberals" do not so much, and often disagree among themselves on some issues while agreeing on others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT TL:
That is quite a brush you are painting with. I challenge you to prove it.
When have you ever had a discussion (not an argument, an unemotional, reasoned discussion) with a number people you'd call liberal, one at a time, on all the issues you differ with "liberals" on, and found them to all say the same things on all the issues? I worked on a campus full of liberals of every stripe for 35 years and had endless discussions and arguments with faculty and students there; we disagreed on some issues and had complete agreement on others, which differed with everyone I talked with at length.

I also was in the military Active and Reserve for 34 years which was a bastion of conservative values and perspectives, and I was raised amid a socially, politically and fiscally conservative family. Both of them were decidedly monolithic in their perspectives. What I wrote comes from those experiences. I challenge you to make a different conclusion than the one I made, using my experiences- if you think it's wrong, you'll have to do more than just say so.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:01 PM   #16
MTT TL
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This isn't BS, it's simple logic: More guns = more opportunities for accidents and errors of judgment = more gun-related injuries and deaths, since guns can injure and kill. Do you also disagree with this: More cars = more accidents = more injuries?
I sure do. There are more cars on the road and less vehicle deaths over than 25 years ago. The same is true of guns. Quite the opposite of your "logic".

Quote:
The logic of that is so elementary, if you subtract the emotional, unreasoned knee-jerk mantra that disagrees with any logical conclusion if it is negative toward what you want desperately to support. It's the reality, live with it.
If you look at the actual numbers you will find quite the opposite is true.

http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

http://www.iihs.org/research/fatalit...06/gender.html

Quote:
What I wrote comes from those experiences. I challenge you to make a different conclusion than the one I made, using my experiences- if you think it's wrong, you'll have to do more than just say so.
Self-referential data while useful to you, is not really valid.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:32 PM   #17
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To answer MTT's question, of those I knew who died from gunshots, one was a murder, one was questionable (either an accident or a suicide), the others suicides. I knew one other suicide who slashed his own throat. So much for peaceful small towns. Would they be alive today if there were no guns? No, because these incidents were between 10 and 50 years ago and most were elderly people. But just about everyone else I knew back there is dead anyway. Mox nix.

Now, on to capitalism. Don't confuse it with liberalism or conservatism, or democracy. There is capitalism in China and the capitalists are getting rich but no one else. Capitalism is about capitalists getting rich. Increasing the wealth of the residual owner, they teach in school (and even that isn't quite true). There may be a quiz.

Are you a capitalist?
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Old November 25, 2009, 03:49 PM   #18
gc70
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What I wrote comes from those experiences. I challenge you to make a different conclusion than the one I made, using my experiences- if you think it's wrong, you'll have to do more than just say so.
The conclusions you draw from your experiences are valid - for you. Everyone has different life experiences and draws different conclusions from those experiences. Other than being valid for you, your conclusions are no better or worse than anyone else's.
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Old November 25, 2009, 04:07 PM   #19
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flightline,

Dispensing with labels, the stark contrast I see between people who are pro- or anti-gun is that one group wants the freedom for individuals to choose their own course of action and the other group wants to control the actions of others.
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Old November 25, 2009, 04:11 PM   #20
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Since nobody else bothered...

Welcome to TFL, Flightline!

The issue is both complex, and simple at the same time. Complex, because humans are involved, and simple sweeping generalities are always subject to exceptions, sometimes large ones. And simple, because, when reduced to its most basic facts, it is a simple question. Either you believe an inanimate object has the power to control human behavior, or you don't.

However, we seldom reduce it down to this, preferring much more complex arguments. I believe guns do not cause violence. That they can be an amplifying factor is beyond doubt, but they are not the root cause. The root cause is man.

Vikings, Huns, Romans, and others beyond count, for thousands of years, raped, robbed, and murdered, all without a single gun being used. Somehow, in light of human history, the argument that guns cause violence seems to fall rather short.

If you look at the actual history of the US "old west" (and not the Hollywood version) you will see that while guns were very common, actual shootings were not. Statistically, you are safer in the Wild West then, than you are in any major metro area today. It is a matter of mindset, or worldview, if you will.

In those days, people were both able, and willing to defend themselves, and no social stigma was attached to them when they did so. Not the case today, for a variety of reasons.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:05 PM   #21
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While debating this issue is fun, fair warning that it can lead to your demise on this forum.

So let's watch for rants and the points above that liberal and conservative are ill-defined and behavior is multicausal is well taken.

One point that isn't mention is that opposition to firearms by some 'liberals' is that some 'conservative' supporters of guns have social beliefs antithetical to liberals. The cheap and extreme example is the Nazi at the gun show. Haven't seen that many lately though.

If you don't know anything about guns and see folks brandishing weapons and exposing really awful beliefs and/or threats, naturally you think owning weapons is a bad thing. Folks make most decisions based on emotion rather than a rational analysis of cost/benefit. One outrageous gun portray negates a discussion of how many lives are saved, cars are more dangerous, etc. People just don't think that way. Economists learned that the rational decision models just aren't the way it happens in real life.

However, some gun folk shy away from this negative and how it impacts gun attitudes. I know some folks in the NRA who cringed when Heston sometimes wandered into antigay rhetoric or the like.

Anyway, in the last thread I referenced by piece that I wrote by invitation for the NTI guys and was told I was tooting my own horn and some folks ranted and got the electronic COM. Just watch out.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:12 PM   #22
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I dont lump em like that, I see it as anti people as in anti gun. There are antis on each side, folks that firmly belive weapons should all be banned. Some are fanatical about it like any of the protestor types out there. I belive education is key to winning some of these folks over to the pro weapon side of the line. I treat anti gun folks as nice as I can, try to slip pro talk into the conversation if possible.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:16 PM   #23
Uncle Billy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT TL:
... There are more cars on the road and less vehicle deaths over than 25 years ago
I concede that car accident rates weren't a good choice to make my point with, because cars have undergone a lot of safety improvements in the last 25 years- seat belts, crash standards, air bags, etc. and it shows in the accident rates and numbers.

But it makes logical sense to me that an increase in the number of people with CC permits means an increase in the number of people who are carrying concealed weapons; there aren't many reasons to be confident that they all are competent, knowledgeable and self-disciplined enough to never make any mistakes or have any accidents with their guns; the only conclusion logically available is that the risks of inadvertent or illegal injury with guns is increased. For it not to be, it must be shown that every new CC permit is given to someone who will never make a mistake or lose their head in a situation and involve the gun in a bad way. Just reading what some people post on this forum is enough to discourage any confidence in that possibility.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:33 PM   #24
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Uncle Billy: You say liberalism and conservatism "have" to be reconcilable. Then you go on to make a distinction between ideology and policy.

You might not have noticed that I made the same distinction. Gun control, abortion, taxes etc are not treated as policy issues which can be resolved through the give and take of the legislative process. They are instead treated as inviolable ideological tenets which can brook no negotiation.
While I see this as true of conservatism, obviously so, it is not completely untrue of liberals.

Quote:
Try this- If you've grown up around horses all your life, why is it so hard for you to realize that someone who hasn't might be afraid of horses?
No.
1. It assumes that all liberals are unfamiliar with guns, which given national demographics is simply untrue.
2. It assumes that the reasons liberals advocate gun control is because they have a naive fear of guns.
3. It ignores the possibility that liberals might have derived their position from reasons other than fear.

Unfamiliarity can breed fear in some people. In others it breeds a desire to learn more. Don't ascribe the former motivation to all people.
btw George W. Bush has a fear of horses.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:59 PM   #25
MTT TL
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Quote:
But it makes logical sense to me that an increase in the number of people with CC permits means an increase in the number of people who are carrying concealed weapons;
This does seem to follow.

Quote:
there aren't many reasons to be confident that they all are competent, knowledgeable and self-disciplined enough to never make any mistakes or have any accidents with their guns;
I agree. They all will not be, just as all 17 year old kids don't make good drivers. That is why we have to help people.
Quote:
the only conclusion logically available is that the risks of inadvertent or illegal injury with guns is increased.
This is not a logical conclusion or borne out by the data. There has been a more than thousandfold increase in the number of CC permits (legalization in states) since 1993 and gun deaths have dropped steadily.





Quote:
For it not to be, it must be shown that every new CC permit is given to someone who will never make a mistake or lose their head in a situation and involve the gun in a bad way.
Well in that case the we only ever need to issue two Licenses, one to Jesus Christ and one to Buddha. I think everyone else is prone to making a mistake sooner or later
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