I actually first encounter the incomparable Larry Correia via one of his essays on gun control (it was the Big One). Suffice to say, like that raw abortion footage video I saw in high school, it irreversibly fixed my views on the subject and turned my position from ‘this’ to ‘radically this’.
Anyway, he’s at it again, responding to the notion that gun confiscation is a practical option for America and that civilian gun owners couldn’t do anything about it due to the power of the American military.
As always with Mr. Correia, content warning:
In Iraq, our troops operated out of a few secure bases. Those were the big areas where we could do things like store supplies, airlift things in or out, repair vehicles, have field hospitals, a Burger King, etc. And then there were Forward Operating Bases. These are the little camps troops could stage out of to operate in a given area. The hard part was keeping those places supplied, and I believe most of America’s causalities came from convoys getting hit while trying to supply things like ammo, food, and fuel, because when you’re moving around, you’re a big target. All of these places were secured, and if you got too close, or they thought you were going to try and drive a car bomb through the gate, they’d light you up.
Now, imagine trying to conduct operations in a place with twenty times the bad guys, and there are no “safe zones”. Most of our military bases aren’t out in the desert by themselves. They’ve had a town grow up around them, and the only thing separating the jets from the people you expect them to be bombing is a chain link fence.
The confiscators don’t live on base. They live in apartment complexes and houses in the suburbs next door to the people you expect them to murder. Every time they go out to kick in some redneck’s door, their convoy is moving through an area with lots of angry people who shoot small animals from far away for fun, and the only thing they remember about chemistry is the formula for Tannerite.
In something that I find profoundly troubling, when I’ve had this discussion before, I’ve had a Caring Liberal tell me that the example of Iraq doesn’t apply, because “we kept the gloves on”, whereas fighting America’s gun nuts would be a righteous total war with nothing held back… Holy s***, I’ve got to wonder about the mentality of people who demand rigorous ROEs to prevent civilian casualties in a foreign country, are blood thirsty enough to carpet bomb Texas.
You really hate us, and then act confused why we want to keep our guns? (emph. mine) But I don’t think unrelenting total war against everyone who has ever disagreed with you on Facebook is going to be quite as clean as you expect.
There will be no secure delivery of ammo, food, and fuel, because the guys who build that, grow that, and ship that, well, you just dropped a Hellfire on his cousin Bill because he wouldn’t turn over his SKS. **** you. Starve. And that’s assuming they don’t still make the delivery but the gas is tainted and food is poisoned.
Oh wait… Poison? That would be unsportsmanlike! Really? Because your guy just brought up nuclear weapons. What? You think that you’re going to declare war on half of America, with rules of engagement that would make Genghis Khan blush, and my side would keep using Marquis of Queensbury rules?
Oh hell no.
A friend of mine who is a political activist said something interesting the other day, and that was for most people on the left political violence is a knob, and they can turn the heat up and down, with things like protests, and riots, all the way up to destruction of property, and sometimes murder… But for the vast majority of folks on the right, it’s an off and on switch. And the settings are Vote or Shoot ****ing Everybody. And believe me, you really don’t want that switch to get flipped, because Civil War 2.0 would make Bosnia look like a trip to Disneyworld.
Whenever I see one of these dip**** memes produced by some Gender Studies Major, it just demonstrates how incredibly sheltered and out of touch they are. They don’t know f*** all about these people. Usually if they’re talking about soldiers, it’s about how they’re evil baby killers, or time bombs of PTSD rage, or poor deluded fools who joined the military because they couldn’t get a real job…. And cops, it’s about how they’re just a bunch of trigger happy racists just itching for an excuse to execute everybody who looks different than they do.
But don’t worry, despite all those years of abuse, when you ask them to go door to door in their hometown to systematically attack people they’ve known their whole lives, friends and family who’ve done nothing wrong, and maybe get shot or blown up, and when it’s over then turn in their own personal guns, all because some moron in a big city a thousand miles away said so, I’m sure they’ll hop right to it.
Read the rest here. Seriously, read the whole thing because Correia is a treasure. A big, foul-mouthed, pulp-writing treasure.
I really want to reiterate the highlighted section. It emphasizes the interior contradiction I see in the gun-control concept: its advocates try to claim both A). that the average person is too ignorant, violent, and unstable to be trusted with firearms and B). that there is no pressing need for a civilian to own one in the first place. But if A is true, then B obviously cannot be, since living in a world of violent lunatics would be a pretty good reason for a sane person to want a gun, and if B is true and most people are so placid and law abiding that no one would need a gun then there is no reason to deny the right have one, since it means A obviously is not. And, on top of all that, the fact that you think most people are dangerous, ignorant lunatics who can’t be trusted with their own lives would be a reason why those same people would feel the need to own a firearm, so by even making argument A you invalidate argument B (unless, I suppose you could legitimately show said people to be violent lunatics. But then that still leaves you with no B).
[Note: I wrote this piece for another site, but since it doesn’t seem to be being published there I’m putting it here. It’s intended as a bit of a companion piece to my most recent ‘Federalist’ article].
I’ve heard some people talking about the recent student march in Washington saying things like “it’s really a pro-life march” and “gun control is a pro-life position.”
Let’s put a stop to this nonsense right now, shall we? Whatever your ideas of gun control are, anti-gun is not pro-life; it is just anti-gun. To call it pro-life is a cheap rhetorical trick, akin to saying that those who opposed Obamacare opposed all healthcare reform, or that those who are against affirmative action just hate Black people. It’s what’s called the straw-man fallacy: purposefully misstating your opponent’s position in order to make it appear weaker than it is.
To be against abortion, or euthanasia, or other such things is to be against a clear, concrete practice. It amounts to a tautology: don’t kill people and those people won’t be killed. It is a matter of principle that it should not be legal to willingly take an innocent human life for any reason because it is wrong.
To be in favor of gun control, on the other hand, does not generally mean to be against weapons in principle (few people would advocate the overthrow of the military, police, and similar institutions). It means that we believe removing or limiting privately owned firearms would reduce violence. That is, it is the idea that enacting certain laws will result in certain effects.
Now, whether or not they actually will is not the present concern; the point is that we are talking about a means to achieve a goal, not about the goal itself. The end desired is less violence; the means being discussed is greater restrictions on firearms.
You see, having fewer guns available, or even outright banning private firearms (assuming such a thing could be done) is not the same thing as reducing violence. Again, don’t think I’m saying more than I am: for the purposes of the present discussion, it may have that effect, but my point is that it is not an obvious or indisputable connection. It is open for debate. If you make abortion illegal, then quite simply there are no legal abortions. There is an essential connection between what is enacted and what is achieved. That is objectively not the case with gun-control.
The key difference is that, when it comes to guns, the thing we desire to stop is already illegal and we are only discussing ways to further discourage it. When it comes to abortion, the thing itself is what we are trying to outlaw.
In other words, one is a matter of principle, the other of strategy. One is a debate over whether to permit certain practices that by definition involve killing people. The other is a debate over whether or not certain new laws would reduce violent crime and to what extent they would infringe on legitimate individual rights. This is not a matter for discussion: that is objectively what is at stake in each case.
The distinction is further complicated by the fact that guns are often purchased and used to protect lives. The justification pro-gun advocates use is precisely that they need guns to defend themselves, their families, and their rights, and it is simply an objective fact that guns are often used in this capacity. You can debate how great a need this is and how it compares to the potential for abuse, but you cannot argue that it does not exist. Furthermore, if you intend to argue that without guns those killed by them would be alive, then you have to accept the counter argument that without guns those who have used them defensively would be dead or at the very least assaulted. I don’t think either argument is very good, but the point is that can’t accept one without accepting the other.
As this indicates, you cannot simply claim that gun-control is ‘pro-life’ because it is an open question whether it will actually lead to less violent crime. You could just as well say that being pro-gun is pro-life because guns are used to protect life and deter crime. Again, I am not currently arguing one or the other; I’m saying that they are rhetorically equivalent and thus calling either one ‘pro-life’ – equating it with opposing the legal killing of innocent people – is disingenuous. It is claiming a one-to-one progression where none exists.
More importantly, it is dishonest. To say that being pro-gun control is to be pro-life is equivalent to saying that someone against gun control is anti-life: that is, that they want more violent crime, or at least think that violent crime is a matter of indifference. You see, it’s a disguised straw-man attack, obliquely misstating the opposing position to make it appear weaker than it actually is. It is the sort of thing a con-man or snake-oil salesman does: if you doubt the efficacy of his patent blindness cure, that means you think blind people don’t deserve to see.
Do you see the point? The objection is not to the intended goal, but to the proposed method of reaching it. You cannot describe a means to an end as being either pro-life or otherwise, because ‘life’ (here meaning the reduction of violent crime) is the end goal and the debate is over how best to achieve that. Whatever your views on the issue, please have the honesty to acknowledge what is being discussed.
…With a title that doesn’t really match the point. I didn’t want so much to make a simple ‘abortion kills more people than guns’ argument, but to point out how fundamentally different the two positions – pro-life and pro-gun control – really are.
Oh, well: go check it out for yourself
Of course the most obvious distinction is in the subject matter: one favors limiting or ending gun owners, the other limiting or ending abortion. Let’s consider the two subjects, for here the crux of the matter rests.
Gun rights deal with a person’s right to own a particular tool for a particular purpose. Put briefly, a gun is a weapon; weapons are used in fighting. People want to own guns so if they ever need to fight to defend themselves, their families, or their rights, they can do so effectively. There are obvious and legitimate reasons why they would want this, ranging from violent attackers to civil unrest.
But, although they have legitimate uses, guns by nature are open to abuse. They allow a person with evil intent to inflict more damage than he would otherwise. Gun-control advocates argue the potential for abuse is greater than the legitimate need for private firearms, at least with regards to certain weapons. In other words, gun control advocates wish to limit access to guns in order to limit their potential for abuse.
Abortion rights deal with a person’s right to do or have done a particular procedure. This procedure, by definition, destroys a human life: specifically the human life the people in question created by having intercourse, whether consensually or violently. They desire this because, to one degree or another, the life to be destroyed is unwanted or inconvenient and was not intended to be created.
Although the reasons for wishing to destroy this life may be understandable, abortion still destroys an innocent human life. Moreover, in most cases that innocent human life was created by other people voluntarily engaging in an act they knew could lead to this outcome. Pro-life advocates argue that deliberately killing an innocent human being simply cannot be justified, save in cases of direst need such as when the life of the mother is at stake.
In other words, pro-life advocates wish to forbid a particular action that, by definition, destroys a human life.
Note the difference: one involves a right of possession, the other of action. To own a gun says nothing of how it is used, and there are clearly legitimate reasons someone would want to own one. To perform an abortion, on the other hand, means to kill a human life, and the only question involved is whether such an act can be justified. Gun-control advocates argue that the undeniable potential for abuse outweighs the undeniable goods derived from gun ownership, while pro-life advocates argue that abortion itself is an unjustifiable action.
Here’s a good article in The Federalist arguing why law abiding gun owners might want to own a suppressor and why (as usual) Liberals don’t know what they’re talking about. The best part is when the author quotes a Washington Post piece that claims a YouTube video of a man firing a suppressed .22LR demonstrates that “silencers make high powered rifles have no more sound than a pellet gun,” a sentence that made me think of the words of that great entertainer, Kermit the Frog: “You know, it’s amazing, you are 100% wrong. I mean, nothing you said was right!”
To put things into perspective, the sound of firing an unsuppressed AR-15 — the most popular rifle platform in America — is approximately 165 decibels, or dB. A jet engine from 100 feet away is approximately 140dB. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration bans employers from exposing employees to 115 decibels for more than 15 minutes per day without providing them sound mitigation or hearing protection measures.
Physical pain and potentially permanent hearing damage begins to occur at 140dB. Eardrums will begin to rupture at approximately 150dB. If you fire an AR-15 without a suppressor and without any hearing protection, the overpressure generated by the gunshot will blow out your eardrums, as well as of those of anyone else in the near vicinity. If you were forced to defend your home from armed invaders and had to shoot one of them in a small hallway or bedroom, you and your family would suffer permanent hearing damage from the sound of the gunshot alone.
A decent suppressor for an AR-15 (.223/5.56mm) can reduce the sound of that rifle being fired by 30-35 dB. Thus, a quality suppressor can turn what would’ve been a 165 dB, eardrum-bursting gunshot into a mere 135 dB gunshot — roughly the same volume as a jackhammer you might see a construction worker using. Remember that pain and permanent hearing damage begins at 140 dB.
By all means, read the whole thing.
I notice when arguing with Liberal friends and family members that ideas culled from movies and other works of fiction inform a lot of their thinking. This isn’t limited to leftists either; fiction has an extremely powerful, and often unrecognized influence on the mind, which is part of its glory. But you have to be sure when discussing facts that you aren’t basing them on anything you’ve read in novels or seen on film, because facts are a secondary consideration of such things. We should make it a rule to never trust any fact offered in a work of fiction until we’ve verified it.