Why the Left Should Love Guns and Hate Gun Control
“Few things are as destructive and limiting as a worldview that assumes people are mostly rational.” ~ Scott Adams
Ok, sanity check: Raise your hand if you hate children. Did you raise your hand? No? Good, because neither did anyone else reading this.
"But what about those ... ?"
No! I promise you, they didn't raise their hands either.
"Well, what about the ... ?" Nope.
"Or the ... ?" No.
"Ok, but the ... " No.
"Or ..." No.
"How about the ..." Wrong!
"But surely the people who ... " Try again.
"With the ... " Still no.
"And the ... " No, no, and no.
"Ok, but that one group of people from the ... I mean, they definitely must ..."
For the love of god, what part of "no one hates children" do you not understand?!
Apart from pedophiles, but that's a different story. Glad we got that cleared up and we can all start out on the same page for once. Now that that's been settled, let's begin.
When it comes to the gun debate in America, most proponents of gun control tend to use emotional appeals to make their case. Just look at the #MarchForOurLives group or the #GunControlNow group or #MomsAgainstGuns and the way they hold up teenagers and children as their front runners and say, "Won't someone please think of the children?!"
They use fear and visual imagery - a very powerful combination, because of course what heartless monster doesn't care about the lives of children? The same techniques that ultimately got people to quit smoking after seeing pictures of lung cancer for decades.
They use the Persuasion Filter and that's why they're gaining ground.
Those who staunchly defend the right to bear arms, on the other hand, tend to snub their noses at this approach and use cold statistics instead. People like Ben Shapiro and Sargon of Akkad often say off-putting things like "facts don't care about your feelings," which is true - gravity certainly doesn't care how you feel about walking off a building, it'll still kill you - but this sort of rhetoric is not particularly persuasive, at least not by itself. Facts matter to outcomes, so you still need to have facts on your side, but they don't matter to persuasion because people tend to plant their flag based on emotion and then justify it afterwards based on reason and evidence that confirms their particular bias.
To combat this, you have to fight fire with fire, or emotion with emotion in this instance.
Case in point, how did it make you feel when I said that gun control advocates "hold up" teenagers and children? If you're a parent, or even a teenager, how does that make you feel hearing that? You don't like it, do you? It sounds horrible, right? As well it should, because that's a horrible thing to do. It makes you picture a gun control advocate as either dehumanizing children to mere objects, using them as props to score political points, or even in this specific case (since we're talking about guns) holding them up the way a robber might hold up a store, essentially making the children hostages, which is even worse.
I'm not saying that's what people on the left are doing, necessarily, or at least that isn't what they intend. I'm sure they care very deeply about children. I'm just bringing that up as a lesson in political persuasion. Essentially, it's an emotional appeal that flips the frame on its head by using visual imagery (you can picture someone holding a child in the air or holding them against their will) and that invokes feelings of shame in the person doing it such that they might be tempted to change their behavior or at least their attitude.
That's how you weaponizes feels.
The Ben Shapiros of the world ramble off facts as they sit there mystified in how to obtain this elusive Holy Grail when what they should be doing is pointing out that gun owners care just as much as anyone about the lives of children.
That's WHY they are gun owners!!
This is an issue where we should all be on the same side. Everyone on both sides of the issue cares very much about human life. We all care about human life and the lives of children especially. We all agree on the problem. We all agree on the appropriate level of priority that the problem should hold in our minds. The only difference is in what we think the most effective solution to that problem would be.
Let me say that again, because repetition is important:
We all agree on the problem, we just
disagree on what the solution should be.
The left thinks the solution is total disarmament, the right thinks the solution is giving individuals the freedom to choose to be armed in whatever way makes them feel safe. There are probably those of you who say you just want common sense gun control in a few cases. That you're not looking to ban all guns, just the really bad ones. Actually, yes, you do wanna ban all guns. Maybe not right away, but eventually that's really what you want because your mindset is to view guns as intrinsically the problem, not a neutral tool to be used by problematic people, and when banning the "bad guns" inevitably turns out not to fix the problem you'll just shift the goalpost, saying it wasn't expansive enough, rather than reconsider your position on guns as a whole. Right? Riiiight ... ??
Honesty is important, so let's at least be honest that that's what you actually want so we can work to address the root of the problem, which is how you feel about guns. You don't like guns. They scare you, so you'd prefer if they just disappeared forever such that you never have to think about them.
Can we agree on that?
In general, the left wants to limit people's options for self-defense, preferring to consolidate it into the hands of a few "good guys" (who may or may not be good, which is why that's in air quotes), whereas the right wants as many people armed as possible so that they can take charge of their own defense and the defense of others (directly or through herd immunity) without violating anyone's free will.
There, is that a better way of putting it?
Which of those two solutions leads to less violence is a testable hypothesis, and this is where the data becomes useful, such that we can point out the fact that most of the crimes happen in places where people are disarmed, both currently and historically. But until we get passed this crap about impugning each other's motives regarding the value of human life, we can't have a reasonable and honest discussion about the data.
“If you are for gun control, then you are not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. So it’s not that you are anti-gun. You’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns. So you’re very pro-gun; you just believe that only the Government (which is, of course, so reliable, honest, moral and virtuous…) should be allowed to have guns. There is no such thing as gun control. There is only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small political elite and their minions.” ~ Stefan Molyneux
Remember that young girl with the shaved head who made a passionate speech on gun control, telling everyone, "Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job"?
She's exactly right. You should fight for your lives instead of delegating that responsibility to someone else. That's precisely why people own guns and learn how to use them in a safe and responsible and moral way, so as to never feel like a victim in waiting.
"When seconds count, the police are minutes away," as the saying goes.
Those same police that the left says are a bunch of racist Nazis who shoot people's dogs for no good reason. The same military the left says goes around bombing children and invading foreign countries for the benefit of private companies. These are the same people you wanna trust with your lives? These are the same people you wanna give the job of fighting for your life and the lives of your family and of children? You trust them more than you trust yourself, do you?
Keep staring at this image until one of those positions falls away.
I can understand maybe you don't trust yourself and that's fine. Maybe it's better that you, specifically, don't have a gun, but that shouldn't stop other people from owning them. I happen to agree people should be trained in how to use guns as a condition of ownership, but I'm not going to presuppose what their level of competence is, and neither should you, especially if you're not competent with them yourself, by your own admission.
It's like trying to tell someone how they should run their business when you've never even held a job; you're just not a credible voice in that discussion.
Most people operate on the assumption that human beings are rational 90% of the time and just act irrationally about 10% of the time. The Persuasion Filter flips that and operates on the basis that humans are irrational 90% of the time and simply use reason and evidence to justify their actions afterwards. As I said, facts matter to your results, but not to changing people's minds. Facts matter to outcomes, but not to persuasion. This is scientifically verifiable.
In terms of convincing people, facts ought to care very much about your feelings, because you're not gonna change their minds until you first change how they feel about the situation.
This is why I'm mostly making appeals to pathos in this article.
People should be more afraid of would-be criminals and tyrants than they should about peaceful, law-abiding citizens owning a piece of hardware and using it in safe, responsible way to protect themselves and their loved ones. I saw a sign from the #MarchForOurLives rally that asked whether freedom was more important than security. I would say that's a false dichotomy. That you can't truly be secure unless and until you have the freedom to take your security into your own hands; otherwise, you're forever living in fear and dependent on the good nature of others.
In other words, you're still incredibly insecure.
The only people who don't care about human life are the ones who don't want people to have the means of protecting themselves, which is why dictators generally seek to disarm the populace while claiming it's necessary for their security. Really, it's just a consolidation of power in the hands of a few, and you know what they say about the corrupting influence of power.
Once you have a dictator in place, your laws don't mean shit anymore; and I would argue they didn't mean shit to begin with if you wound up with a dictator to begin with. At that point, the only thing that's going to unseat them is a good guy with a gun looking to help your friendly neighborhood despot eat all the bullets, all of them. So eventually, you'll want guns on hand regardless.
If Trump were really Hitler 2.0, then all the people at the #MarchForOurLives
rally should take up arms and storm the White House. Problem solved.
I would generally advise against that, though, since Trump's not actually the monster you imagine him to be (not even close). In fact, I'd argue part of the reason we've never had a big problem with true despotism in this country is because a third of the country is well-armed and willing to act on the same revolutionary spirit that birthed this country.
My statement was just to prove a point that your actions are not really consistent with your beliefs.
People on the right carry guns because they're worried about criminals and despots and don't trust their fate to the hands of untrustworthy strangers. That's at least consistent behavior, regardless of how paranoid or unnecessary you think it might be when measured against actual reality.
No one's saying you have to carry a gun if you don't want to - that's a personal choice. Do I think it'd be better if teachers and citizens in general were armed? Yes, but I'm not going to force people to carry weapons against their will either, because that's also illiberal and tyrannical.
Again, you don't have to own a gun if you don't want to, but can you at least agree to support the option for those that need it, same as you'd ask the right to do for abortion?
You can read my thoughts on that particular issue here.
A lot of you maybe are starting to warm up to what I'm saying in principle, but you're still worried about how to actually implement it in practice. That gun violence is still a problem.
Yes, it is a problem, a very big problem. There will always be some amount of violence in the world, unfortunately, regardless of what you do; but things are actually getting better over time in spite of the media hype, which again is where statistics are valuable, but we can't talk about statistics if you're still getting your information from the media-political complex.
Even Jon Stuart knew back in the day that the mainstream media (what we'd call Fake News today) cared less about facts and more about sensationalism and confirmation bias; and what could be more sensational than posting images and video of gun violence all day everyday non-stop to wind people up into a panic so that they beg their political masters to come and save them from the boogie man?
That's not to diminish the very real and justifiable fear that survivors of gun violence face.
But in the case of mass shootings, at least, I put it to you that disarmament of people people coupled with media glorification of these murderers is what ultimately put you in that position more than anything else.
Network talked about this back in the 70s. Disturbed and Immortal Technique wrote songs about it. Still no one wants to listen. No one ever thinks the media is the real problem when it comes to the issue of gun violence. Well, almost no one. A few people in the alternative media do - the Jon Stewarts and the Ben Shapiros of the world.
So, the first thing you need to do is turn off your TV and stop watching the news.
The second thing you need to do is get over this utopian idea that a few more laws are going to fix all the world's problems and there will never be any gun crime ever. You could totally rid the world of guns, there will still be gun crime, I promise you. We know that's true because if it were the case that just passing a law stopped crime, there'd be no rape or murder, since those things are illegal. There'd be no drugs or prostitution either, and all our politicians would be squeaky clean.
You're all intelligent people reading this, who can understand nuance, so your first response to that statement will naturally be, "Well, yeah, obviously, just having laws isn't enough, you need to enforce them too, and make it harder for people to commit crimes."
Right! And I put it to you that nothing adds friction against crime quite like the presence of lots of guns.
Even just having the "Armed" sign up creates friction.
Again, I'm not saying you have to be armed if you don't wanna be. I'd recommend it, certainly, but I won't force you to, just don't be stupid about the fact that you're not armed, because all that's doing is broadcasting that you're a victim in waiting.
Obviously, I would never wish violence on anyone, but my first thought when I saw the photos of the million or so people at the #MarchForOurLives rally was: Here's a group of people who are known to be unarmed - every last one of them - all packed into a tight space with nowhere to go. How easy would it be for some deranged lunatic to take a gun and just mow down countless hundreds of them, potentially, before anyone put a stop to it? Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.
Hell, you wouldn't even have to have an automatic weapon. Just a few shots into the air and this crowd is so neurotic about guns, they'll trample themselves to death just trying to flee like the worst Black Friday Sale in history.
It wouldn't even have to be a gun, necessarily. You could have a firecracker or a speaker or a car engine that just sounds like gunfire and suddenly hundreds of paranoid people are dead in the streets.
You wanna talk about stopping tragedy? What's the anti-gun solution to that?
At least in a society where everyone is well-armed and well-trained in the use of those arms or is at least reasonably comfortable in the presence of firearms, not only would that exact scenario be unlikely to ever happen, but you'd probably get a few heroes - as is often the case - rush towards the danger, instead of away from it, trying to track down the shooter and take them down before they can do anymore harm.
That's what it means to take your life and your security into your own hands. Common sense gun control means (or should mean) being in control of your weapon at all times and not being an idiot.
I'm sure somewhere out there, a gun-owner is probably installing red lights on
their porch right now specifically to catch any would-be burglars.
To you school children carrying around buckets of rocks to throw at mass shooters, you obviously acknowledge a need to be well-armed and defend yourselves in these places that have otherwise disarmed you. I would simply suggest that, rather than trying to stone criminals to death like we're in regressive Saudi Arabia, you consider picking a weapon that a person with a gun will actually find threatening. If they come in wearing padded clothing or a hockey mask, your fruity pebbles aren't likely to do much to stop them.
Here's an article you really should read talking about how, prior to 1969 (and even sometime thereafter), kids routinely brought their rifles and shotguns to school with them and there were virtually no mass shootings nationwide and almost no gun crime at schools.
Care to take a guess as to why that might be?
To you women out there, especially those of you in the #MeToo movement or who at least support it, how many of you are carrying? No? Not even a Derringer in your purse?
How many of you at least have mace or pepper spray? How many of you know martial arts and could reasonably defend yourself if a man tried to force himself upon you? Probably a few more of you than own guns. So, much like the students, you at least recognize the importance of being able to protect yourself, because the police or even friends aren't always going to be there when you need them. I put it to you that guns are just another form of that, and in fact a predator would probably fear the barrel of a gun a lot more than pepper spray.
Obviously, violence can happen to anyone, and there are no guarantees in life, but I'd be willing to bet that conservative women face a lot less of this type of abuse than do liberal women on average.
And for those of you who don't have any of that stuff I just mentioned, why not? Forget about what you're wearing, broadcasting to the world that you're a harmless damsel is asking for trouble to come find you. Again, even if you really don't like that stuff for whatever reason, at least pretend like you do and stack the odds in your favor.
Better yet, rise above your fear and learn how to defend yourself like the strong, independent woman that you are.
Just like a law is only a piece of paper. Just like the Constitution is only a piece of paper.
You can bet your ass I'll teach my daughters martial arts and how to shoot as soon as they're old enough to learn and mature enough and competent enough that I can trust them to do it safely, sanely, and responsibly. Absolutely!
Lesson 1: Assume every gun is loaded.
Lesson 2: Use this for defense only.
Lesson 3: See lessons 1 and 2.
Gun control advocates wanna claim that gun owners don't care about the lives of children? Absolutely wrong! It's because I care that I'd teach them how to defend themselves, because I certainly can't be there for them all the time, nor can the police, and I'm not gonna wait around for men to learn that rape and assault are not ok, because no matter how many of them learn (and obviously, I'd teach my sons to respect women), there's always gonna be at least one left.
The world is full of snakes and wolves, and always will be; but if you teach your children how to defend against them, you guarantee they will be safer than if you sent them into the world unarmed.
I'm guessing you probably teach them to be helpless victims,
who are wholly dependent on authority to solve their problems for them.
Speaking of victim mentality ... to the folks at BLM, to the SJWs, and to the progressive left, who are quick to point out the police killings of all these unarmed black and hispanic youths, let's just run on your assumption for a moment that they're all completely innocent and didn't do anything wrong. They're not (at least not all of them, some of them absolutely), but let's just go with that for sake of argument.
In hindsight, would you have at least wanted them to be armed and able to fight back?
You might be tempted to react and say that having a brown kid with a gun makes it more likely he gets shot by police. I'm not going to claim it won't increase the risk, but by and large we're talking about innocent people who were unarmed and got murdered anyway, with the claim that the officers were "in fear for their lives," so at least in those specific cases, having a gun might have actually given the officer pause to consider a more diplomatic approach, knowing their own life was actually at risk, instead of just speculating.
Police in red parts of the country deal with this all the time. You get pulled over, you tell the officer you're armed, you put your gun on the dashboard, and you have a conversation.
Does shit sometimes go down? Yeah. Obviously.
Again, there's no utopia to be had, but the crime rate in those places tends to be a lot lower than in blue districts that have had gun control for a hundred years and are vicious murder pits (see: Chicago).
Essentially, though, if you use police escalation as justification for disarmament, you're buying into the exact same logic behind racial profiling and the soft bigotry of low expectations in saying that people of color are somehow less trustworthy with weapons than is the average person. I think we'd both agree that's an incredibly racist position to hold. We can all agree that the police have a problem with racism in this country, but the solution is to elevate people of color up by respecting their rights, not bringing everyone else down by trampling on theirs.
If people of color have the same human rights as everyone else (which of course they do), then that includes the right to bear arms.
While we're on the topic of social justice and racism, let's talk about a related issue: drugs.
The left are generally opposed to the War on Drugs and rightly cite how incredibly racist and abusive it's been, going right back to its origins. Marijuana was banned to discriminate against Mexicans. Cocaine was banned to hurt blacks. Opium was banned for its connection to the Chinese. The incarceration of non-violent drug users disproportionately impacts minorities and just generally is an affront to the concept of human liberty and self-ownership.
If there is one thing I agree with the left on regarding Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, it's that the War on Drugs is a complete failure, a waste of tax dollars, and perpetuates institutional racism.
Now, having said that, what if I were to tell you that the same applies to gun control?
That not only does gun control not work, not only does it lead to more crime instead of less, not only is it a waste of money and an abridgment of human rights, not only does it fail to stop access to weapons by the people we'd all agree shouldn't have them in the same way total drug prohibition failed to stop drugs and actually made them worse by driving it underground, but it's also incredibly racist going right back to its origins with the Cruickshank case in 1876 and continuing to present day.
You've likely never heard this argument before, which is why I'm bringing it up in an article entitled "Why the Left Should Love Guns and Hate Gun Control," because I know you're categorically opposed to institutionalized racism in all its forms and gun control is categorically racist as fuck.
I'll let Styx explain, since he does a good job:
(Relevant part at 4:50)
The whole video's worth watching, but the main point is, you probably had no idea there was no gun control in this country prior to the 1870s. Did you? Just like you didn't know that the Democrat-founded KKK were among the first to push for gun control, not as a means of protecting the children, but as a way to stifle newly freed blacks from getting access to guns.
Keep in mind, this was on the tails of the Civil War, in which a bunch of rich white racists in the South just lost their slaves, lost a shit ton of money, lost political control of their country, many lost their lives, all to see the emancipation and suffrage of black people as their equals.
So when you're out there protesting, remember that.
The social justice left is always calling for a remembrance of history, particularly racial history. Good. I want you to remember that gun control had its origins in the Reconstruction Era and the Jim Crow era as a way to deny blacks their equal human rights to protect themselves. I want you to remember about stop and frisk and the other parallels to the racist aspects of the drug war whenever you think about imposing gun control.
Because they're exactly the same.
I want you to think about your children being unable to protect themselves, knowing mine will be fully capable because I taught them how to be and then ask yourself which of us cares more.
Oh, and one final thought I wanna leave you with. I plan on homeschooling my kids, because the education system is completely fucked in this country for a variety of reasons.
All those people who got together for mass walk-outs to protest gun violence, you may wanna do the same. Pull them out of government schools and plot them down in front of Khan Academy. I know you have at least one device in your home that can service it, so don't tell me you're too poor to afford it or that you don't have time. These are your children. Make time, if you really truly care. Go to the local library if you have to, but get them out of these government indoctrination camps we call public schools, which will save tax dollars and their brains, and that will solve a lot of problems.
You know what else you don't have to worry about when homeschooling? School shooters!
Indeed, the only school shooting you'll find at home is if you choose to take your kids to the gun range, which I'd highly recommend you do. For their sake, of course. And while you're there, you may as well sign up as well and enjoy it as a bonding experience.
Because you care about the lives and liberties of your children.