82 thoughts on ““Is That Your Gun, or Are You Just Afraid to See Me?”

  1. PM says:

    what!??!? that’s all? did you forget about the guns and porn angle?

    Sheesh, cancel my subscription! Lambert is slacking off again!

  2. john sherman says:

    I have, as the lawyers say, standing to discuss the matter since I have a marksmanship trophy from the Moorhead PD (the competition was underwhelming), and I say if you want to protect your home and hearth from drug addled Islamo-fascist, hispanic illegal alien liberal terrorists, be willing to pay high enough property taxes to get the police response time down to 2 or 3 minutes.

    However, Brian, wanting research is elitist because requiring careful empirical studies means that any dumb ass can’t say whatever he or she wants and have it taken seriously. Then what happens to Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin?

  3. Mike Kennedy says:

    Interesting post.

    I’m just wondering if there is any academic or any other research whatsoever to show that the Brady Act or state background checks have reduced violent crimes committed with guns.

    It always amuses me that we think that making something illegal will control it better (though I am easily amused).

    That’s really worked well with drugs, hasn’t it? Really worked well with prohibition, didn’t it?

    Here’s a novel thought: Why don’t we make punishment for gun crimes more stiff and swift?

    Just a disclosure, I don’t own guns but have shot them at targets and clay discs. It’s quite fun (and, I might add, I don’t need to take pills — for anything).

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        I agree. Let’s see if any gun control laws in any state or at the federal level have decreased violent crimes and start there.

        Whether John Lott is correct or not about gun ownership preventing crimes — and I don’t know how you prove this — let’s make gun control advocates prove their case that crimes would go down with tighter laws (again, I’m skeptical). After all, we should be able to make comparisons of crimes before and then after.

        Someone please get on this. I’m busy being depressed about the weather.

    1. john sherman says:

      Fear the stings of the spelling bee: it’s “grammar.”

      On a related topic, am I the only one who is terrible at copy editing off screens, or is it a common problem?

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    I think it’s common, John. I don’t seem to pick up the letters etc. as well on a screen as I do in print. I recently found out I need reading glasses — that could have something to do with it.

  5. Gary Pettis says:

    In his book “On Killing-The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society,” Lt. Col. Dave Grossman cites several examples from studies over the years that prove “the existence of a powerful, innate human resistance toward killing one’s species.”

    Research of combat veterans who have seen “action” concludes that a large share of them never shot to kill, sometimes would put their own lives in danger before aiming their guns at the enemy, or would fire their guns as a last resort in self-defense. A few of these soldiers went an entire war without firing a single round.

    The challenge for the United States military has been to discover the training and provide the conditioning so soldiers and marines can be effective killing-machines when engaged in battle. (Countering the innate resistance.)

    When the majority of us humans don’t have the stomach for killing, there is that sliver-thin minority of desperate, easily coerced or psychopathic people capable of taking the lives of others by any means possible including guns.

    How do we address the threat from this minority? One option is to root out the problem at its source and fix it, which might be the ultimate act of prevention but almost impossible because the “bad” or “evil” people seldom find reasoning as a way to resolve conflicts.

    The next option, based on the right of American citizens to own and bear arms, is to have some means of self-defense within reach such as a handgun or rifle.

    From a macro perspective, the good folks attending a gun show will do little to make the world safer or more dangerous, and their interest and ownership in “guns” will not alter the makeup of our species. They are free to indulge in their hobby, add to their collection and/or satisfy their concerns about self-protection.

    They are right about one thing: We are people who don’t like killing but can–and must–take the steps to protect ourselves and loved ones.

    1. Ellen Mrja says:

      It’s my personal observation that the most rabid gun-collectors are yellow-bellied, war-resisting, insecure and cowardly bullies.

      The overabundance of guns in our age has ruined our society (along with drugs, lack of parental supervision, crumbling schools, flag burning, etc. etc.) No parents should bury their children to gun violence.

      1. Gary Pettis says:

        People who are anti-gun can blame the Founders for creating the mess of too many guns and too easy access to them in the United States. But the Founders are not around today to clean the mess up and give the Second Amendment a makeover.

        Maybe between the Ratification of the Constitution and the last drive-by shooting in Minneapolis that murders an innocent child, there should have been a prohibition on selling and owning guns.

        But we know the success of prohibition in this country, you know, making the distribution, sales and consumption of alcohol a crime. It was a short-lived social experiment based on the belief that alcohol consumption would ruin lives, end families and affect physical health.

        Logic: Drinking alcohol is a societal danger and hurts the individual and the community; therefore, it should be illegal to drink alcohol.

        Of course, there were several unintended consequences triggered by the Prohibition of 1920 to 1933, chief among them, a national crime wave.

        So, making it illegal for ordinary citizens to own guns. or at least severely restrict access to guns, would create a significant Black Market for arms of all sorts. The folks hustling drugs across the not-so-secure Mexican/American border can handily bring along guns of every shape and size–and sell them to the likely suspects involved in drive-by shootings.

        The Second Amendment, the Right to Bear Arms, can be a factor that delivers horrible consequences. Until a state of Utopia is achieved, we will constantly be reminded how fragile life really is.

        But I believe that the Founders got this Amendment right and we should not tinker at all with our collective rights guaranteed under the Constitution in spite of the limited few who murder and commit crimes with guns.

    2. john sherman says:

      The thing to be explained is the role of guns in our collective (movies and t.v. and other fictions) and individual fantasies. I read somewhere that the average cop spends an entire career without firing his or her weapon on the job (this of course excludes time on the range for training), but a t.v. cop can’t get from one commercial to the next without emptying a clip or two. B-movies, at least judging from the trailers, are even worse.

      It appears that there are a lot of individuals who have Death Wish and Red Dawn fantasies and buy guns to stoke their imaginations. There a lot things wrong with this, not the least of which is that it puts a lot of guns in circulation to be stolen. My neighbor was complaining that somebody stole a .380 auto out of his unlocked pickup. My first and subsequent responses was not to feel sorry for him but to consider that a fairly powerful handgun was in the possession of someone who is by definition not honest and that it is likely to end up in the hands of somebody even worse.

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Lambo:

        I’m with you about the yay-hoos the likes of, well, you know who, the sort who like to go and on about their purse guns and how they tote ’em to protect ’em from, what’s his phrase, the “multiculturals”? Anyhoo, I think what all us high-livers forget about in the discussions about America’s obsession with shootin’ arns is labor’s history in this country.

        I’ve mentioned in on here in the context of our national gun fetish, but, Rent Barbara Kopple’s 1976 doc, “Harlan County, USA,” and take account of how guns fit into the organic narrative of that story. As long as management has had access to guns and men willing to turn ’em on uppity labor and their demands for fair pay, safe working conditions and the right to strike, working people in American have felt the need to have ’em at the ready themselves. You’ll note early on in Kopple’s film that company-hired thugs show up armed to intimidate — strikers call them “gun thugs” — failing to keep their guns hidden from Kopple’s camera.

        The strike drags on for nearly a year, and eventually both sides turn to openly brandishing their weapons in the stare down. I won’t ruin it for you, but gun play and its inevitable tragic consequences plays a critical role in bringing both sides to the bargaining table.

      2. Jimmy: What do you think the average “enthusiast” thinks about unions today and who would hhe be using his guns on? My point remains that despite assertions that “guns Save Lives” we ARE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW because of the heavy pressure of the pro-gun lobby … which leads me to suspect they fear something. Meanwhile they paint a picture of a world far more violent than it really is.

      3. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Hey, as I said, I agree with you as regards the unhinged paranoid atmosphere that seems to permeate the gun show scene, to wit:

        http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/30/sarah-palin-s-gun-control-warnings-at-safari-club-international.html

        I’m just suggesting that in an effort to come to some sort of understanding of where this seemingly irrational fixation traces its roots, that what is captured in Kopple’s 1976 documentary, not exactly ancient history, should be included in the mix. Those folks, of course, could not afford to attend the “Safari Club” event that 1/2-term Gov. Palin attended in Reno. They’re not trophy hunters. They hunt to fill the stew pot, not the black hole of their egos.

        And, yes, I would imagine that the boys padding around the wall-to-wall carpet in their exotic-skin boots at the safari convention are less sympathetic to the plight of unions and the loss of family-wage jobs in America than they are in the ginned up fear that Obama wants to take their guns away, all evidence utterly to the contrary.

        Just sayin’ there are multiple perspectives from which to view America’s undeniable and unwavering obsession with guns and violence in general.

  6. Minnesotan says:

    Gosh, I really miss this blog. It had so much potential when it was about communications with a little bit of politics mixed in. Now it has dissolved into mainly a place for BL to post opinion pieces where his obsession with bashing guns is only matched by his obsession with the sexual performance and proclivities of those that own them.

    BL, you like to knock the local papers for their lack or reporting. There are plenty of indoor gun ranges in Minneapolis, how about you stop into one of them and speak with some of the folks that are there? Find out what they do for a living, why they like to own and/or shoot firearms. See if they’re the toothless, impotent hillbilly’s you envision them to be. I can’t say for sure what you’ll find, but if you went in with an open mind I’d be much more interested in that than yet another article where you make it perfectly clear you don’t like guns and look down upon those that own them.

    1. Gary Pettis says:

      Minnesotan:

      Or can I call you Minnie?

      I comment on this blog using my real name. I am not one to remain in the shadows with an Internet handle other than Gary or write under a pseudonym like Buck Rodgers.

      I think that communications is the ultimate act of personal expression and the opportunity to let your voice be heard among a wide range of audiences regardless if the communicator agrees or disagrees with each audience.

      So why hide who you are?

      I found your post a little bit too personal regarding Mr. Lambert, whose real name is Brian Lambert. I find myself and him not having a lot of wiggle room for common agreement. But I respect what he writes, the energy that he brings to this blog, and his ability to give us pause as we examine internally what we really feel, think and believe about the issues, the topics and the things of interest that keep us up at night.

      My challenge to you, of course, is to submit another post using your name. I guarantee that your tone and approach will change and rise to the level of meaningful and insightful debate that we seek as we polish our communications skills.

      Gary Pettis
      A Minnesotan, too.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        I have no problem with SRC commenters choosing to remain anonymous as long as they don’t use their anonymity as cover to treat other participants badly.

        SRC has no rules about nicknames, or anything else for that matter. But personally, I’ll take an anonymous participant who treats people decently over a named person who treats people poorly. It’s the behavior that matters, not the nomenclature.

        If memory serves, Minnesotan usually doesn’t agree with me, but he has never been nasty to me or others. Moreover, he’s made me think several times…no mean feat. So don’t be a stranger, Minnesotan. It’s always good to have you here.

    2. Minnesotan says:

      Thanks Joe. I try to be courteous, this post must have touched a nerve.

      Regarding remaining anonymous, I hate too sound too paranoid but it’s getting a little unsettling what type of personal information is being collected by sites like Spokeo these days. There definitely isn’t another person with my first and last name in MN, or the U.S. for that matter.

  7. Minnesotan says:

    Sorry, no dice Gary. I prefer to lurk in the shadows of the Internet, but you can still call me Minnie if you like. I’ll concede my tone may have been a little harsh, but I’m fairly certain BL has thick enough skin to handle it.

    I will take you up on the “your tone and approach will change and rise to the level of meaningful and insightful” challenge. How’s this:

    BL, you have made it clear you don’t like guns and tend to relate those that do with many forms of inadequacies. In fact, to me it seems you relish drawing these parallels. You may know many gun owners, but to date any references have been unflattering generalizations. In a state flush with outdoor enthusiasts, many people own firearms and value the right to do so. Many of these same people are also upstanding citizens who are well educated and successful in their professional and personal lives. Have you really gotten to know many gun owners? You seem to stereotype them, and in my experience it’s easiest to stereotype the people you know the least about and/or have the least contact with.

    As for folks that conceal & carry, from what I’ve learned they are not out to “save the day” or be a citizen police force. In the convenience store example, they most likely would be doing what the rest of us would be doing, praying we get home to see our family. Considering the small percentage of people that actually carry, and the relatively small percentage of homicides by firearms considering the U.S. population, it’s not that surprising that we don’t hear much of anything (good or bad) about those that carry.

    Mr. Pettis, at the end of the day, it would be nice if we could paint those who appreciate 2nd Amendment advocates as something other than, “modern day vigilantes,” “constantly talking about them, ogling them in magazines, fondling them at gun shows and swap meets, blazing away at paper targets” or “Tea Party-style obsessives.”

  8. Joe Loveland says:

    Personally, I don’t want a gun in my house because they seem to be statistically more likely to hurt someone in my family than a bad guy. I don’t like my family’s odds.

    Many years ago, my wife came home from a night shift at a time I didn’t expect her. I was so disoriented from being asleep and so jacked up on fear-driven adrenalin that I would have shot my wife if I had a gun in the nightstand. Since that moment, I’ve never been remotely interested in having a gun in my house.

    As a matter of policy, I don’t mind people having guns for hunting or self defense. But I can’t see any reason why people need guns that allows them to do huge amounts of damage in seconds. I just can’t believe we can’t agree as a society that citizen ownership of those kinds of weapons of mass destruction is a very bad idea.

  9. john sherman says:

    I understand now in right wing media circles one isn’t allowed to discuss America without using the word “exceptional”; one of the problems with this way of thinking is the presumption that other countries have no relevant experience. This was most apparent by the complete ignorance or misrepresentation of other nations during the health care debate, but it’s also relevant to Brian’s questions about gun deaths.

    Even the most rudimentary search–Wikipedia–shows that the U.S. is ta-da number one in gun ownership by a substantial margin; as of 2007 there were 88.8 guns per 100 people in the U.S. (figures I saw after the Tucson shooting, put the current number at 91). Yemen comes in 2nd at 54.8, and that number may be exaggerated.

    In terms of gun deaths, we are either 8th, or under a different calculation, 5th. Of the OECD countries only Estonia and Mexico are above us, if we’re 8th rather than 5th.

    While the easily available statistics don’t inspire confidence, I doubt any finer grained research will alter the conclusion that we have a hell of a lot guns and kill a hell of a lot of people with them, much more so that the general run of effete European industrial democracies.

    There is a compromise on the 2nd Amendment: take Scalia at his word and agree that constitutional construction must be controlled by what the founders would have meant. Therefore, the 2nd Amendment only applies to muzzle-loading, black powder, flintlock arms, so they cannot be limited, but states and municipalities are free to limit any gun firing nitrocellulose cartridges, i.e., every gun we’ve been talking about.

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      OK. If we take the Constitution completely at its word, there will be no Obamacare, nor will there be a lot of the prized liberal social programs that we have now, right?

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Line of reasoning? Where in the Constitution does it say anyone is entitled health care or that the federal government has the authority to mandate it?

        Uh, guess today’s decision might back that up.

        I would venture to say the Constitution is far more clear about gun rights than health care rights.

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Mike, you write this as though in the history of this country’s Constitution there has EVER been crystalline clarity and consensus on every clause in it.

        There has been and will continue to be broad disagreement over the meaning of The General Welfare Clause. Yours, it appears pretty obviously from your initial remarks, is the narrow interpretation.

        Fine, back it up. This decision will likely lead to a MORE, not less, government involvement in health care. But other than, “I got mine,” explain to us how fixing this country’s arguably single most pressing social ill, skyrocketing health care costs and the inability of the citizenry and business to cope with paying them, would not contribute to mitigating what is a demonstrably eroding general welfare of the republic.

      3. Mike Kennedy says:

        Jim:

        Stop conflating two issues simply coupled together for a comparison. I simply took health care as a constitutional issue — not as a social issue that needs to be addressed.

        Addressing it though, in my mind, doesn’t mean forcing people to buy it. If we are worried about people not having coverage (note I didn’t say care — I said coverage), then, by all means, allow the government to offer health coverage to those who can’t afford it.

        Pardon me, but the government, which is now in hock for $14 trillion, should be the last entity that should be trusted to “control costs” for anything.

        The government has been up to its armpits being involved in health care since Medicare and Medicaid began and we have had nothing but rising costs since.

        I’ve had to shop for private health care insurance since my wife is now unemployed and the lack of competition is staggering.

        I can choose from tens of thousands of mutual funds but about 12 health care plans? There are some I might like in AZ, but I can’t buy them? Why not? I can buy my life insurance from a company there or my disability. I can even invest in a college 529 savings plan sponsored by another state — I don’t have to be resident, but I can’t buy a plan from a company in another state?

        Before we let the government run yet another program, why don’t we first try to let the government be insurer of last resort for the poor and open the market up to everyone else?

        And for those who don’t fall into the poor category, they should be paying for much of the small to moderate costs, reserving the insurance for large expenses and medical events. Wait, wasn’t that the whole principle of insurance in the first place –transfer large risks to a third party and assume the smaller risks. Why, yes, I think it was.

      4. Mike: On this business of the un-constitutionality of mandates. I assume then we can all be released from buying car insurance, right? I mean, what a socialist assault on my rights!

    2. Mike Kennedy says:

      Your stats on gun deaths do nothing to prove the point that more regulation and laws would deter criminals or decrease violent gun crimes. It simply says we rank high in gun ownership and high in gun deaths.

      As the case has been stated before, laws that made drugs and alcohol illegal have failed. Not only can we cannot stop the sale of illegal drugs, we cannot control their use.

      The comparison to other countries is not valid — their laws, values and cultures are different.

      Perhaps gun violence can be traced to lack of parental responsibility, including lack of fathers, lack of moral teaching, fewer kids going to church, more exposure to violence in movies etc.etc.

      I look forward to your liberal rants of protest regarding the above observations.

      1. john sherman says:

        He would if, instead of listening to the voices in his head, he read article 6 of the Articles of Confederation, which makes it pretty clear that to the founders a militia is more like the National Guard than any random assemblage of people who want to run around waving guns.

        The idea actually occurs in the English dispute over the relative merits of a standing army v. a militia; Swift discusses the issue (like most Tories, he’s pro militia) in Gulliver’s Travels.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Lambert’s down there now unarmed. I don’t hear him whining about how askeered he is of being beheaded. But maybe he’s got a death wish he’s keeping from us.

      I’m headed down there in April, Newt, and I won’t be packin’ either. Can’t say whether I’ll be in that tiny area highlighted on the map you provided. Looks well out of the way. But I hope to swing through Bisbee, where I’ve happily been before without fearing for my lack of a firearm. But I will make sure I have water along, a bigger concern for my safety than the lack of a Glock. Me, I try to do my part by not buying illegal drugs.

      As for rape and murder, well, I don’t know that either experience is qualitatively different at the hands of a foreign national than our own home-grown murderers and rapists.

      You boys do like your drama.

    2. “Lost sovereignty”. Newt, my man. Get some rest. Put your feet. Have a stiff drink. Or did you just miss the part where according to Arizona’s own crime statistics actual crimes south of Phoenix DECREASED in recent years? Obviously this wasn’t the story sold by the likes of J.D. Hayworth, or McCain when he had to out=-psycho Hayworth to survive a primary challenge.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        How about overall AZ crimes as they concern guns? Increased or decreased since more permissive laws were enacted?

  10. Newt says:

    Have fun camping in Buenas Aires National Wildlife Refuge, formerly American territory.

    I’m sure Lambert is at the Camelback Inn, deep within American territory, safely among white liberal elites.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Well, my little amphibian, it’s Buenos Aires Nat’l Wildlife Refuge, and even with the closure that has you so deeply concerned, that still leaves me well over 100,000 square miles of it to explore to my heart’s content, if I choose.

      There are venomous snakes, cougars, the odd jaguar (reportedly), brown recluse spiders, scorpions, desiccating heat, rough terrain, all remote but real dangers that are there to be aware and respectful of, or, if you prefer, so scared of as to turn into a barrel-stroking shut in. There’s always the Discovery Channel, Newt.

      Again, say “no” to illegal drugs, Newt, and maybe they’ll lose their market, or, drop this blue-nosed, Puritanical “war on drugs,” legalize drugs and remove the cartels’ largest and most lucrative market. Whatever. But you, or me, owning and toting a gun really doesn’t do much to help one way or the other.

      Good luck to you.

      1. Newt says:

        Jim – I’m a libertarian conservative, so I have no problem with repeal of drug possession laws. I still don’t think it’s right for the Feds to cede control of U.S. territory to foreign nationals, let alone permit porous borders. Hats off to Arizonans who need to pack heat for safety.

    2. I’m not a Camelback In or McCormick Ranch kind of guy. But i have taken several very pleasant (unarmed) strolls through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. And last I checked, I was not beheaded.

  11. bertram jr says:

    I say, old stick, you’ve certainly circled all of your wagons on this one.

    You know nothing about guns, yet you’re sure of the reasons why a guy wants to own / carry / shoot one.

    While oiling the Winchesters last eve, I was listening to “Gun Talk” on the radio (look it up, one of the biggest shows on talk radio).

    The guest was a 30 year LAPD SWAT operator, trainer, etc.

    He was pretty straight forward about why he believes in citizens arming themselves (asiide from that nagging Constitutional Right thing that peeves you so): the bad guys don’t see their victims as humans.

    They are sociopaths. They look for and capitalize on weakness.

    A gun is only one element of active self defense. It is but a tool.

    The objective, as with any craftsman, is to master the tools. That leads to confidence, and confidence replaces weakness.

    If you choose to travel the wilds of Northern Mexicozona with your loved ones unarmed, that is certainly your prerogative.

    If you run into trouble, maybe Leinfelder can splash water on the bad guys!

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Uh-huh.

      White boys (yes, a risk factor) with guns (second highest risk factor) inside the home are a much greater threat than your wildest paranoid fantasies about external threats, Usually, when SWAT’s called to a home, it’s to deal with the self-pitying, white male gun-owning man of the house who’s threatening his family, to wit:

      http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/intimate-partner-violence/murder-suicide.htm#guns

      You live alone, right?

  12. Gary Pettis says:

    Guns. They have been causing us problems and heartache since they were invented in the 1300’s.

    When I was in Europe, a few folks asked me, “what’s this thing American’s have with guns?”

    My answer was: “Guns protect us from tyranny.”

    Not the answer they expected, I suppose, instead of “we like to hunt” or “we need protection against our neighbors in case one goes berserk.”

    Our rights guaranteed by the Constitution are intended to serve the needs of the many while possibly adversely affecting a few. Think about how things would be if this intention was reversed?

    A headline on CNN.com tonight is “Machetes, meat cleavers, axes: Cairo’s new neighborhood watches.” Meanwhile, everyone is concerned about the actions and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood. If this group represents a small number of Egyptians but has access to weapons and can mount a rebellion, will the few in power seize control and rule over the majority?

    Just look at what happened in Irag and what is happening in Iran. I am sure that all of us have wondered why haven’t the people of Iran have yet to throw the tyrannical bums out of power. But putting ourselves in the shoes of everyday Iranians and wishing they could do more to allow majority rule is comparing oranges to chocolate bars.

    Like many other countries around the world that don’t have the freedoms that Americans have, Iran doesn’t have the rights to protect themselves, defend themselves and prevent a ruling class made up of a small central power.

    The framers of the Constitution were smart enough to establish a series of guaranteed rights to prevent that sort of thing occurring here in the United States.

    Gun ownership. Even with all of its problems, controversies and debates, it is among the rights that make us who we are and shape our view of the world. It is a right that I am not ready to tweak or eliminate because the risks created by changing our way of democracy would affect us all–and that’s everyone including those who mock gun owners and/or want to limit the number of gun owners.

    In this series of posts, the topics of Profiling and Military-Grade Weapons were obvious in their absence. Surprising. Maybe another day.

    P.S. Minnie, about my clamp down on you this afternoon, my bad. Sorry.

      1. Gary Pettis says:

        It seems the old Iraq Constitution allowed one rifle per family.

        But under the dictatorship, more dangerous weapons were available on the streets, the sort of weapons that would make us cringe in fear. Clearly, these weapons were not what the framers had in mind when they enacted the U.S. Constitution’s Right to Bear Arms.

        In our postings, the usage of “guns” has created a sense of sameness that guns are guns. But there are radically different types of gun weapons, some of which should not be allowed to be flooded into the public marketplace because they would create an environment of fear to speak your mind and exercise your rights, for example, Iraq.

        In Iraq, there was state-controlled media, there was no respect for human rights, and there was not the right to assemble. There was a multi-layered system of different secret police groups that kept track of each other and spied on citizens.

        The point was, as in any dictatorship, one ruling party called the shots (no pun intended) and the prime objective was to fragment and isolate groups of citizens so they could not mount a rebellion. So, how else does a dictator stay in power?

        Think of Iraq under Saddam Hussein as a mix blend of “Animal Farm,” “1984,” and all parts of “Nightmare on Elm Street.” The regime was not the sort to allow a democracy to take root and sprout at any cost, so the unbridled allowance of guns in the society had no impact on creating the conditions ideal for a government overthrow or protection against outside threats.

        Remember, we have a series of guaranteed rights, which together protect our freedoms and democratic government .

  13. bertram jr says:

    “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing,
    with tools he is all.” — Thomas Carlyle

  14. Calling oneself a snob is an inherently risky proposition…it presumes your preference is an elevated one. If you’d rather take a hike in the woods than take a potshot at a grouse, that’s okay. But it doesn’t make you better than someone who enjoys communing with nature shotgun in hand. You wouldn’t dream of killing a pheasant or a deer yourself…but would happily chow down on either as long as somebody else does the deed? That’s okay, too. It does not, however, make you a snob. You’re just someone who’d rather not contemplate the once-live nature of your food. Fine.

    I hunt and I own a number of firearms. None of them would be any good to me in the defense of my home, as they are unloaded and locked away. On the other hand, should the neighborhood ever need to get together a well-regulated militia I’m your guy.

    1. i of course was not even suggesting that YOU are a barrel-stroker. None of the caricatures I remember were so well attired and outfitted. But as for being a snob … pally … I will defend my right to describe myself as a snob until they pry my Wal-Mart Glock from my cold dead hand.

  15. bertram jr says:

    With the recent rash of armed violence visited in the tony Eastern St. Paul suburbs, Bertram Jr is wondering why Souder would willingly rather not protect himself from same given his state of arms.

    Curious indeed.

    Perhaps he would instead attempt to debate an armed intruder?

    I understand this avenue often fails rather badly.

    1. By your perpetual view from the foxhole, Bertram, every neighborhood in the city has experienced a “rash of armed violence”. Which among this latest rash has you quivering in your bunker today?

    2. Jim Leinfelder says:

      BJ, old legume, as I mentioned in an earlier post, sadly, SWAT couldn’t be there for yet another hapless victim of, not a randomly murderous stranger bursting into a split-level rambler brandishing a weapon, but just another self-pitying white man with a hand gun murdering one of his supposed loved ones.

      THIS is a far more likely “avenue” of fatal violence out in the wind-scoured exurbs than are your paranoid fantasies.

      http://www.startribune.com/local/north/115296699.html?elr=KArksD:aDyaEP:kD:aU1ccmiUiacyKU7DYaGEP7vDEh7P:DiUs

      1. Minnesotan says:

        Not to make light of these tragedies, but if we’re going to cherry pick how about we look at some other ways local crazy folks have killed people in their homes recently:

        Baseball bat:
        http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/114503404.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

        Stabbing:
        http://www.startribune.com/local/113389404.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

        Suffocating:
        http://www.startribune.com/local/north/106633648.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

        My point is, taking guns away does not eliminate the issue of people wanting to harm others.

        Banning/restricting gun rights will make people who are afraid of guns feel better, give them the warm fuzzies, but that’s pretty much it.

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        MN:

        My point is merely to mock the violent, paranoid fantasies of BJ, who, unlike the other people who feel the need to use a blogonym here, I happen to know and like, in person.

        The stats are clear, the presence of a readily available hand gun in your home makes you less, not more, safe. I have no illusions that America will wean itself off its violent obsession with handguns, not rifles or shotguns, but the sort of guns useful only for killing other people. We love ’em. Hell, I’ve shot plenty of ’em. Loads of fun. But I don’t keep one handy in the home, or, tote one around with me.

        Just don’t try to peddle it to me as some sort of well-reasoned position. It’s not.

    1. john sherman says:

      I don’t know about you folks in the big cities, but Moorhead has a Police Department with a response time of a couple of minutes. My phone is a much more reliable defense against neighborhood crime than the .22 hand guns I keep for target shooting; 911 beats .44 Magnum every time.

  16. Not in the big city at all. I can see five barns from my home office window, and they still get three or four cuttings of hay from my backyard every year. But I agree…keep your guns safely locked up and call the cops if you ever need to.

  17. bertram jr says:

    Wal-Mart does not sell Glocks.

    Glocks are on the higher end of the handgun chain, but readily found at Gander Mountain, Cabela’s, etc.

    Not all that familiar, but Bertram Jr has met and does enjoy the body of work of their spokeserson R. Lee Ermey.

    Bertam prefers a 5 shot lightweight hammerless .357 for most everyday access and portability.

    This is the 100th anniversary of the 1911 .45 ACP, and Bertram may indulge himself in one of the lovely compact variants of this American masterpiece EXTANT.

    The only gun that is truly useful is the one that is loaded and available.

  18. bertram Jr says:

    Quick tutorial for “Grapes of Wrath Jimmy”:

    Guns in American patriot hands won the Revolutionary War, the Spanish American War, the Civil War, WW1, WW2, etc.

    Our very culture was created in violence, and earned by brave men with guns in their hands.

    Men who wanted to live free, and not under tyranny.

    Your constant elitist apologism non-withstanding, the majority of Americans “gets” this, and is proud to be armed, self reliant and vigilant, against all foes, within AND without!

    What side are you on, son?

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Yes, men utterly unlike yourself, a man who has assiduously avoided anything remotely to do with sort of self-sacrificing armed conflict you love to gas on about.

      None of this has anything to do with your hammerless purse gun.

  19. bertram jr says:

    Purse gun?

    You mean a man-bag?

    Are you high on Swix fumes again?

    Yes, I fully agree that armed conflict is best left to law enforcement and military.

    But being an elitist utopian is not going to protect you on the street or in the home when a criminal wants to take advantage of weakness.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Dude, I live in the North Loop. You live in Medina. I walk most places I need to go. You drive everywhere you go in a large truck. Yet, you are the guy who’s worried about criminals exploiting his weakness. I walk around my city without the mindset that being armed has got to create in one’s mind. I doubt it’s peace of mind. Why? Your odds are much better of getting killed by one of your red wine besotted neighbors crossing the double yellow.

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Leinfelder, try living in the East Side of St Paul if you want to impress anyone with your urban street cred.

  20. Minnesotan says:

    I don’t think I have much else to add to this discussion, but I wanted to mention it was a bit ironic that when viewing this blog on my phone last week that it kept showing Google Ads for Conceal and Carry classes.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        Note: Unless Mr. Austin has something he would like to tell us, the Crowd receives no revenue from any ads that appear on the mobile device version of our site.

      2. Minnesotan says:

        Just to clarify, I wasn’t implying the Rowdies were profiting from this discussion. Rather, I found it ironic that the Ads were barking up the wrong tree.

  21. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Oh, okay, Mike, I’ll move on over to the East Side to impress you. Where’s good for you, over a store front on Arcade?

    Actually, Mike, I’m not trying to make a point of how scary is is here in the North Loop, or NE or even big, bad scary near North. My point is, actually, that it’s NOT scary and, therefore, I see no need to swagger around with a piece in my pants; as opposed to “BJ,” who lives in a remote exurb around horse hobby farms and commutes to a suburban office tower and trailers his motorcycle to Sturgis.

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      @Leinfelder
      I some how don’t see your likes living in a store front on Arcade, however if you do it’s only a couple blocks from where I am from and where my parents still are (we’d love to have yo over). We are not talking about newly developed condo units with armed security systems and locking doors as one may be use to in the North Loop, more like screen doors with Menards quality locks and 50 year old windows that are easily broken. Got some new for you it is scary, ever walked through the East side at night. Hell, even at 3 in the afternoon? How often have you walked the “scary North side” after dark?

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        No, Mike, why would I? Is there some special moral superiority that attaches to living on Arcade, or near it? It’s more of a gateway community these days. When my progenitors lived on that side of town, Arcade was where my Irish great aunts did their shopping. When my cousin Jack walked, and later my cousin, Greg, drove a beat there, it was different than it is now. Neighborhoods change. Maybe you’re there because you prefer it. I’m not too interested.

        I ride my bike over that way now and again. Love the trail that goes up from W. 7th through Swede Hollow on up to Phalen. A nice addition. I’m fine with it. I don’t find where you live frightening. I’m sorry that you do. But then, why stay?

        But, yes, Mike, back in college, I actually served process on the North side, and in your hood (where my grandma’s family started out with a dairy and where my grandfather ran the Ramsey County Home, the “poor farm”), and in the North End, and the West End, and Edina and Wayzata, and Orono and in pretty much every neighborhood in the five-county area you’d care to name. Never feared for my life.

        And the only places I ever faced “violence” were actually in the tonier zip codes, and that was rare. Got chased by a pig once in New Prague.

        Made it through it all without a gun.

        Again, my point is NOT that I find my part of town scary. I don’t find any part of either town all that frightening. THAT was my point. That’s why I don’t understand what’s got exurb-dwelling BJ so scared.

        When I run the river road on the St. Paul side, I think of Tony Basta when I pass the stone marker where he was gunned down while riding his bike by three kids who were bored and stupid and had ready access to a gun. The plaque reads: “Just a kid growing up.” Doesn’t make me wish there were more guns in the world.

        But, yes, our long-ago developed loft does have a locking door and a buzzer, like most apartments these days, Mike. Your place have a doorbell? They have those at Menard’s, too. Dead bolts. The whole shebang. Saves us from walking the perimeter like ol’ Bertram. Why don’t you get a lock?

  22. bertram jr says:

    “to swagger around with a piece in my pants; as opposed to “BJ,” who lives in a remote exurb around horse hobby farms and commutes to a suburban office tower and trailers his motorcycle to Sturgis.”

    Now THAT’s getting personal!

    Is this some kind of class warfare issue for you?

    “North Loop” – is that by chance a secured highrise condo type building that you’re referring to?

    Let’s get ALL of those cards on the table, Jimmy!

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      No, not a high rise. We don’t really have ’em around here. But, like I said, I don’t find it frightening.

  23. bertram jr says:

    Being armed, like wearing a motorcycle helmet, is a matter of personal choice – freedom, if you will.

    No amount of pratlling by those who don’t have any idea about either is or will be accepted.

    It’s akin to Michelle Obama telling me not to eat BBQ, which I hear North Carolina is quite famous for.

    Don’t tread on me, Jimmy.

  24. bertram jr says:

    Uh oh.

    Cue Lambert and some “heavy intellectual fiire”.

    North Loop Jimmy’s equivocation of guns with “fear” is as evident as it is inaccurate.

    He fears what he doesn’t understand and ascribes that fear to others.

    It’s a fundamental aspect of the liberal “mind”.

    Ultimately, the position of the elitist is that they “know better”. Even when they clearly do not.

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