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Old October 11, 2008, 05:25 PM   #26
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In the college environment, professors often take advantage of the fact that college students are oblivious, and "push" their political views. Students often don't question it because it comes from the mouth of an educated professor. I have seen this phenomonon happen many times myself.

Students hear the "good sense" argument from the professor, and if there are students that have an opposing view, they are often ill equipped to take on a well knowledgeable professor. In fact, professors often take advantage of someone by singling him out in front of class in an effort to make him look "wrong" or "extreme." Other students that share the opinion of the professor now have validation to their prejudice, because a professor is backing them up.

The problem is that it is easy for people to hate what they don't understand. Trying to "educate" your professor and classmates right then and there would probably have been an exercise in futility, only because you may not be prepared with sufficient research to counter his arguments, which he may have memorized. You may also not have as much debate experience as he has, so he is in the position of out maneuvering you.

In order to get through to people, you have to stay away from the strategy of proving people wrong. Generally, people don't want to admit they're wrong about anything, even in the face of irrefutable proof. Instead, focus on changing their opinions: start a club with like-minded students to promote awareness of 2nd Amendment issues; find a gun club to sponsor a "students' day at the range; have guest speakers come in and speak first hand about gun issues. And above all, shy away from the rhetoric ("from my cold dead hands"), which only serves to isolate you from the audience you're trying to win over.

Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, "If I make friends of my enemies, do I not in effect destroy them?"
I'm not afraid of the guy who wants many guns; I'm afraid of the guy who wants just one.
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:31 PM   #27
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Ive known plenty of objective teachers who dont throw beliefs on people, and even some pro gun teachers. theres always some wackos though and it seems like you got one
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:48 PM   #28
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Webster says the following

Pronunciation: \ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1795
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
— ter·ror·ist \-ər-ist\ adjective or noun
— ter·ror·is·tic \ˌter-ər-ˈis-tik\ adjective
So, could a tyrannical government that uses the terror instilled by the threat of punishment not be called terrorists themselves? Perhaps you should have asked the professor what he'd do if the government ordered him to relinquish all of his books or ordered him to commit some sort of atrocity. If he resists, does that make him a terrorist? I think he was using a rather loose definition and should've been called on it.
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Old October 12, 2008, 03:13 AM   #29
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I teach debate and one of the first lessons that I share with my students concerns the fact that almost all meaningful debate has an audience.

From your description, I would venture that your "teacher" was not looking for a "policy" debate, he was fishing for a reason to stand up on a soap box and spout his "well earned authority" to his audience, your class, at your expense. Or he could have been attempting to begin a reasonable debate. Only you, at that point, could choose which way you wished to respond. Which brings me to one of my favorite sayings, "Would you rather be a sage on the stage, or a guide on the side?"

Another of my day one lesson's concerning debate is that:
Debate does not equal belief.
Just because you believe strongly in something does not make it so for anyone else.

If you feel strongly about the 2nd Amendment, or any other topic for that matter, I would suggest that you take some time to learn about the skills necessary to become a successful debater. (At least if you want to discuss issues in any public forum.)

In my opinion, debating skills are some of the most important life skills that anyone can learn. And it does take time, and lots of practice, to become convincing and persuasive when arguing against a competent opponent.

Otherwise when you engage with someone, like you did, you will just come out looking like a kid in a sandbox throwing sand; and actually add to the validity of the other's argument against you and your position, to the audience. (And that really is the point isn't it? To have the audience persuaded that you have the better position. You likely are not going to change your mind, and neither is your "teacher".)

You asked for our opinions, and these are mine. Pretty easy to write down quickly, but takes a bit of time, effort and dedication to achieve.

Good Luck and Best Wishes
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Old October 12, 2008, 06:05 AM   #30
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By walking out you admitted that the professor was right in front of the rest of the class. He may have baited you but you fell for it hook, line and sinker. You showed the rest of the class what a nut job gun owners are and made his point.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by PT111
By walking out you admitted that the professor was right in front of the rest of the class. He may have baited you but you fell for it hook, line and sinker. You showed the rest of the class what a nut job gun owners are and made his point.
Aren't You being a wee bit harsh on the OP here? That professor had many years of experience over his students, and I'm sure this has already been well rehearsed. In fact, I'd be willing to bet this is not the first time he has pulled this stunt.
The OP on the other hand, was totally unprepared for the unfolding drama this crafty professor laid on him.
SHAME on that professor for presenting his personal views at the students expense.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:13 AM   #32
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"I would remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice! And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

Barry Goldwater

If this is like most sociology type classes, you can just show up to class, daydream for an hour (or check out all of the girls), get your A, and move on. It is completely irrelevent in the long run. I made the mistake of butting heads with a sociology professor for an entire semester. It turns out he liked it; the old saying about wrestling with the pig comes to mind. You won't hear me say this often, but I should have paid less attention to my studies and more attention to all of the girls in the class.

You're still young. Ignoring the trivial people in life wasn't a skill I learned until much later, but it's good to start working on it early.

I also second the post about learning debating skills. It is very important. I'm not sure that this is the place to start, though.
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Old October 12, 2008, 11:59 AM   #33
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Alternate approach

I believe your strongest argument in this situation is to lump the Second Amendment together with all the other amendments, and take the position that a threat to any one amendment is a threat to them all. If the government can unilaterally void a single amendment, they can easily void them all. Then where are we? We have no Constitution left, and are living in a despotic state.

What would the Founding Fathers do in that situation? We saw what they would do - they did it in 1775 and kept at it until the despot was thrown off.
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Old October 12, 2008, 02:27 PM   #34
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I had an Instructor at the tech college who was as left as left could get. The government was wrong, Viet Nam was wrong, baby killers, gun confiscation, you know the type. This too was a social problems class and we butted heads all semester with me barely getting C's. The last month of class I just said screw it. Wrote what SHE believed for my papers. Answered essay questions with HER opinion and voila I got an A.

My point? Insignificant people like that are a speed bump in your life. You can stand and fight with them and yet they still control your grade and sometimes it just isn't worth it. It can be like arguing with a child who just learned the word NO!, you know you are right but you will never get through. Go back to class, engage if you feel the need but be better prepared next time to debate and not throw out slogans that make you look like an extremist.

Good luck.
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Old October 12, 2008, 02:53 PM   #35
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My point? Insignificant people like that are a speed bump in your life. You can stand and fight with them and yet they still control your grade and sometimes it just isn't worth it. It can be like arguing with a child who just learned the word NO!, you know you are right but you will never get through. Go back to class, engage if you feel the need but be better prepared next time to debate and not throw out slogans that make you look like an extremist.
I had a sociology prof that was extremely liberal and a doofuss on top of that. He becam very upset one day when we were talking about the SCOTUS and I said that most rulings were completely political and a 5-4 decision. Then he started talking about the terrible things done by the police during the 1968 march on Washington. One student asked him if he was there and the prof said No. The other student then siad well I was and your information is completely wrong. I thought we were all going to get thrown out that day. You just have to have a clear argument with facts. Slogans and don't cut it, that was the point of the prof but is what the OP tried to use.

BTW my apologies to any doofusses I may have offended by including this prof in with you.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:25 PM   #36
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There are lots of tenured professors out their who advocate socialism for others, but probably never donated a dime to the needy, nor complained about their 100K, or more, per annum salary.

I suppose there's nothing wrong with throwing down the gauntlet, as long as one knows that's what he's doing and is prepared for the likely response, and has a good one of his own.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:25 PM   #37
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I agree . . .sort of

While I agree with your position, your reply (which I agree with, by the way) probably came across as TOO EXTREME. Next time, just say something like "I believe its our God-given right to defend ourselves from threats within and without--that means civilians get to use the 2nd Amendment. Feel, how you want (I feel the same way), but try to be a little more tactful--you won't make as many enemies that way.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:08 PM   #38
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Next go'round ask the prof why is it government would be interested in confiscating all firearms.

An expected response would be for the chilren, stop the killing, or some other blather.

A brief historical response would be appropriate. List country, date of confiscation, and follow-on genocide. After a litany of say 5 examples conclude with a question such as, "What is my government planning that makes me a danger to it if I am armed?"
"Given a choice between good intentions and human nature, I'll go with human nature every time."--Me, 2002.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:52 PM   #39
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I wasnt as concerned with proving the professor wrong or getting anyone to become pro gun as I was prevent the professor(who has a tendency to become very emotional and outraged and not drop things when someone doesnt agree) from turning the class period into an anti-gun debate because it was a fight i didnt think i could win( at the time). The professor will do the whole shpeal where they dont let you get a word in and then become very childish when you start to make a point. That and I dont want to do anything to endanger my potential agreement with the president of the university(i dropped him a letter asking to keep a gun in my car because i work in a bad area right after classes)
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:07 PM   #40
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Very sad to see a teacher with that kind of view.

And I know that he is not by himself in that view.

These people take the Constitution for granted because they are provided free of charge the freedom provided by the military people of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Ironically,these teachers support only one point of view about gun ownership.

That view which leads to a totalitarian state.

They should check their history books well.

It is usually the teachers who are the first people who are rounded up and shot to death when a dictatorship takes over a country.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:53 PM   #41
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Yeah, but their type of teachers aren't usually the ones rounded up.
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Old October 13, 2008, 12:34 AM   #42
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This would have been a very good opportunity to show some thinking instead of emotional reaction.

I agree that the first argument should have been,
Any statute passed by congress which lies in opposition to the constitution, including the amendments, is null and void. Thus, such a statute has no force of law and attempts to enforce it are outside the authority of the government. It becomes, in essence, a crime committed by the government.
If, however, he indicates that a proper repeal of the amendment was performed, then there is a follow-up answer.
Should the 2nd amendment be wiped away, Congress and state legislatures would no longer have much reason to fear the people whom they are supposed to serve. As shown in the U.K., once people were disarmed, it took less than a year before it's legislative body proposed to cease trial-by-jury if the offense was punishiable by less than 4 years in prison. No doubt free speech would be abolished next here, along with warrants being required.
If a professor argues that the 2nd amendment only prohibits Congress, not the states, from regulating firearms, then we have even more fun.

The application of the Bill of Rights to the states, via the 14th Amendment is necesary only because of a single, questionable decision. Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 (1833) held that the bill of rights limitations applied only to the federal government and not to the states. So between 1833 and 1868, when the 14th was ratified (actually longer than that) you could be arrested by local or state authorities for speaking your mind on a street corner. In fact, many people were so arrested, especially for unpopular ideas or sentiments.

It wasn't until the early 20th Century that "civil rights" were forced onto the states through the incorporation doctrine of the Supreme Court.

Further, the decisions in Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) in Presser 116 U.S. 252 (1886), were built on the framework of Barron v Baltimore, saying that the 2nd Amendment only restricted Congress, not the states.
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Old October 13, 2008, 05:29 PM   #43
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I think you did just fine Trigger.

In the end, the teacher was the one confrontational.
You, the one pro-gun, were the one that walked away.

What does it matter when you walk away from an idiot.
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Old October 14, 2008, 01:39 AM   #44
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I said that not only should it be our right but our duty as Americans to utilize all of our amendments to the best of our ability. The professor asked what I would do if the government banned all civilians from having guns and demanded that all gun owners turn in their weapons I replyed the usual, molon labe, from my cold dead hands, and my ammo first.
Well, it doesn't hurt to start out with civil disobedience and waiting for the mid-term elections you know. Saves everyone a lot of trouble if things work out the way they should. Did you mention civil disobedience at all? "Molon Labe" is for when all the other options have been exhausted because it's the worst option.

The professor said that I would kill and die for my beliefs makes me the same as those we are fighting against in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It also makes you no different from the men and women who are fighting on our side in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The professor went on to say that some one who beliefs in the second amendment so strongly is essentially a terrorist.
That's hardly the case, unless you are engaging in political assassinations, deliberately targeting civilian populations who don't agree with you, or engaging in high profile violence intended to publicize your cause. The prof would have a point if lots of anti-gun activists/politicians had been assassinated and there were lots of car bombings in the districts of politicians who support gun control. This isn't going on so your prof needs to study the word "terrorist" again. I can name numerous anti-gun activists who have agitated vehemently against gun ownership for decades on end in the US. They are safe from their sworn enemies IMHO.

I was outraged so I got up and left the class and said only this "I am sorry our views conflict with each other but when you can discuss this in an objective manner I will be more than happy to return." I want to know what some other "well educated" people thought about this statement that "molon labe", "over my dead body", "from my cold dead hands" are extremist and terroristic views?
Just because Captain Hyperbole is running the class and you don't agree with him doesn't mean YOU can't objectively make your case to him and the class even if he won't be objective himself. Furthermore, if the professor indulges in exaggeration, mockery, and demonization too much he'll wreck whatever argument he has in the first place. The hard part is not getting so whizzed off at the prof that you can't be rational yourself.

2nd Amendment activism should be on a spectrum. If guns were thoroughly banned it would be better to try to undo the damage using political and legal action first because the casus belli for the pro-gun side is stronger if the government acts like your professor wants and drops JDAMs on the houses of some pro-gun activists who haven't done anything violent to further their beliefs.
Overkill is better than underkill.
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Old October 14, 2008, 09:27 AM   #45
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All very good points ConfuseUs. Actually, That wasn't confusing at all.
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Old October 14, 2008, 09:35 AM   #46
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Given the state you presently reside in, this type thinking goes along with the territory, dontcha think?
I'd think if you were enrolled in a mid-west or southern university, the staff along with the students, would have a more liberal point of view. Just my humble thoughts.
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Old October 14, 2008, 11:11 AM   #47
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defining a couple of things

To set a couple of things straight (I am trying to get this out before the thread is shut down).

An artillery piece is an article of a military fighting unit, and designed for utilization in that capacity. Because it is necessary to train a crew of soldiers to operate a cannon, and other personnel for fire support (i.e., forward observers, transport beds, fire-control), it is rarely used in an act of terrorism. Artillery pieces and explosive devices are two very different things. Artillery fire is used in the capacity of a war-situation under the direction and control a military authority. Terror tactics (the fire-bombing of Dresden) and acts of terrorism (the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City) are two different things.
para. One of the reasons General Washington insisted on a standing army during the War of Independence was to help in legitimizing the young republic. He knew that it would take more than a collection of dissidents firing behind trees to convince the French that we were a nation to be reckoned. While the minutemen of New England were arguably terrorists, they were operating under the auspice of State (colonial) direction. The Declaration of Independence and the mustering of troops into the Continental Army solidified their status as legitimate combatants. A captured soldier of a national army is entitled to civil protection, sound treatment and the safeguarding of his well being. A terrorist is a criminal and not entitled to the guarentees under the rules of war.

- JKHolman
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Old October 14, 2008, 11:42 AM   #48
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Moral equivalency

When I was a prison guard in Texas, an inmate saw my military belt buckle, and wanted to know if I had ever killed anyone in a war. I told him that in my two tours in Vietnam, I had killed several enemy soldiers. To which he gleefully replied, "Then you are a murderer, the same as me!"

I told him that there was no equivalency when comparing someone who kills a little old lady for her Social Security check, so he can buy drugs, and a soldier fighting for freedom for citizens of a foreign country. He couldn't see the difference!

The criminal justifies his self-serving violence, and considers it to be the same as protecting others and trying to ensure their freedom.The professor equates the soldier to the terrorist. Faulty logic from the criminal and the professor.

Another Texas inmate gave me a clear insight into the criminal attitude toward gun control. It was the year Texas Governor Ann Richards (D) was approached about the possible enactment of Concealed Carry laws for the citizens of Texas. She said if the legislature passed such laws, she would veto it. She also refused to allow a non-binding referendum to be placed on the ballot of the upcoming elections.

Since the issue of CC was getting so much news media coverage, I knew the inmates were seeing it discussed on the TV's in their dayrooms, so I started taking a little opinion poll among the inmates about the subject. None of the inmates liked the idea of armed citizens, and one of them summed it up with this statement:

"It ain't no fun to hunt when the rabbit's got a gun!!!"

To a man (I must have discussed the issue with 30 or 40 inmates), they all said they would continue to carry guns when they were released from prison, even though they would be guilty of "Felon In Possession Of A Firearm", a felony crime punishable with a 5 to 20 year prison sentence. They all said they needed to carry a firearm to protect themselves - the same reason a law-abiding citizen wants to carry!

To summarize, the criminal:
1) Intends to keep his guns
2) Wants "the rabbits" to be helpless (disarmed)

These are not theories, they come from face-to-face conversations with actual convicted felons in a medium security prison.

P.S. Ann Richards lost her re-election bid - she was defeated by George W somebody!!! He encouraged the Texas legislature to pass a CC law, which they did, and he promptly signed it. Now, about 300,000* Texas "rabbits got guns", and violent crime has been reduced (murder down 52%, rape down 22%).

*These are not exact figures.

To prepare for the professors next attempt to humiliate you, go to these web sites:

You can also do a google search for rising crime rates in Britain, and Australia, due to gun bans. Violent crime against homeowners has skyrocketed in both countries as a result. Also, search for stats on Washington DC crime rates being the highest in the nation due to gun bans.

In short, in only about half an hour on the internet, you should be able to discover and print out a ream of info discrediting gun bans. Give all members of your class a copy of 3 or 4 of these internet articles, and the professor will have very little rebuttal available - other than typical liberal emotional panic and fear mongering, IMHO
Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be but a vulgar brawl.

Last edited by Major Dave (retired); October 14, 2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Typo errors
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Old October 14, 2008, 02:04 PM   #49
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It wouldn't have been incorrect of you to tell him that he's basically ambushed you with an argument and offer that if he would like to discuss this, you'd be more than happy to with a bit of time to prepare, organize, and reference.
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Old October 14, 2008, 02:15 PM   #50
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Sounds to me like that professor has no business teaching anything related to the Constitution in college or high school .
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