Dec 082015

prepare for securityYou gotta admire the NRA for their dedication. They are the embodiment of heroic responsibility, IF one restricts that responsibility sole to defending a right to own firearms.

I enjoy fiction about bad-ass motherfuckers, in the sense that they absolutely do whatever is necessary to Get Shit Done. Takeshi Kovacs and Rorschach are these sorts of bad-ass motherfuckers. Harry J. Potter-Evans-Verres is another. Because being a bad-ass motherfucker does NOT mean physically beating the crap out of someone. It is a state of mind. It means when something has to be done you trust no one else to do it, and you don’t take even the slightest chance it could go wrong, because it’s too goddamned important. Almost no one behaves this way about anything, because it’s destructive and dangerous. But that sort of bad-assness makes my blood sing. :)

The NRA is that way about gun rights. I seriously doubt most NRA supporters actually want to make anti-tank weaponry legal. They want handguns and rifles. But the NRA knows that if we even get to the point where we’re considering discussing limits on handguns and rifles, they’ve already lost. They need to keep the discussion as far from that as possible. In an ideal world they’d be able to keep the discussion on “should we limit people to just TWO rocket launchers?”, so that nothing ever gets even close to infringing on small arms. That’s how important that right is! You don’t take chances on something like that, you leave as wide a margin as physically possible.

Which is why I support making it illegal for people on the No-Fly List to buy guns. As we all know, the No-Fly List is fascist bullshit. People are placed on it without notice and without charge. The process that leads one to be put on the No-Fly List is unknown, and there is no way to challenge or dispute the placement. No appeal, no recourse. It is arbitrary government impingement on one’s ability to travel, and I suppose I should expect that by now, but by god is it vile! The ACLU, because they are principled as hell, opposes any sorts of liberty restrictions based on this bullshit black list.

Normally I’d also be against it. Restricting liberties arbitrarily should never be allowed. Demonstrate why a particular person should not denied their constitutional rights first! But in this particular case, I say – do it. Because the NRA will have a goddamn stroke. Perhaps they will throw their considerable weight behind the effort to make the No-Fly List accountable to some sort of fucking oversight, or have it trashed utterly and relegated to the history textbooks as another embarrassment in our claims of being the land of freedom and bravery. If anyone could do it… well, it’ll probably be the ACLU, actually. But it’d be nice to see the NRA using their wealth and power to do something that’s actually good, for a change.

  13 Responses to “Using the NRA for good”

  1. You posted this just to make me yell at you, right?

    My answer:

    My opinion is that any American out there who doesn’t want a mandatory identification microchip implanted in their ass had better go buy an NRA membership this week.

    The Democrats -really- want to do this. They’re slavering and drooling over the idea of a No Gun list that they can put anybody on at whim. It’s like porn for them. National ID card, national gun licenses in a variety of levels, national gun registry. Just like Canada.

    Speaking as a Canadian, it’s stupid, expensive and futile. We just got rid of our national registry because almost nobody was complying with it. Seven million scofflaws. Imagine Texas.

  2. If I read this right, you consider the NRA an entity more powerful than yourself, and you consider them to be “destructive and dangerous” BAMFs.

    You then say that you want to cause them to (metaphorically) “have a goddamn stroke” and bring this power against the No-Fly List, because the No-Fly list is even worse than the NRA is destructive and dangerous.

    To this I reply:
    Do not call up that which you cannot put down.

    In all seriousness, I doubt that it is a good idea to do anything like this. Attaching something somebody doesn’t like to something they don’t mind much in order to get them to destroy both is a form of manipulation which I expect would backfire as often as not.

    • Yeah, as a nation we’ve got a pretty long track record of trying to pit two enemies against each other and it biting us directly in the ass. I actually agree with you strongly. But the fantasy is just soooo sweet. :)

  3. The whole ” Restricting liberties arbitrarily should never be allowed” excuse for gun ownership is hilarious. Who doesn’t want a chance of mass homicide coming to a neighborhood near them. That aside I am not so certain that you would really get the result you want if the no-fly list also became a no gun list.

    Should make the NRA membership list the no-fly list and then make it the no gun list. Now that sounds like some riotous fun.

    • I think in this case “arbitrarily” means “because somebody is on the no-fly list”. IIRC, he is also against some other forms of gun control, but that’s a different issue. The point here was that restricting guns based on being on the no-fly list is arbitrary. If you want to allow guns for most people but have a no-gun list, then it should be harder to put somebody on that no-gun list than it currently is to put somebody on the no-fly list.

      I agree with the arbitrariness point. If I remember his attitude towards gun control in general correctly, then I disagree with it, but again that’s unrelated to this post.

    • “The whole ” Restricting liberties arbitrarily should never be allowed” excuse for gun ownership is hilarious.”

      A casual, passing familiarity with history makes it obvious that liberties WILL be restricted arbitrarily, and the only hope you have of stopping it is widespread, unrestricted, gun ownership.

      Sooner or later, somebody or some institution is going to decide it is very inconvenient for you to have the right of free speech, free association and free movement. If you and everybody you know has a gun in the house, they will be forced to tolerate the inconvenience, because simple fear of the consequences will keep them from pissing you off.

      If nobody has a gun, you will be crushed under their feet and the result will be Syria. As the day follows the night, it will be so. Has always been, will always be. How did Syria get to be the way it is now? The place was civilized until the 1970’s.

      Why do you think it was illegal for peasants to have a sword in feudal Japan? Or feudal France, for that matter? Too difficult to push them around when they can fight back.

      Tell me again how funny it is now, hm?

      • I think you *greatly* overestimate how much the government is frightened of you. Like, almost laughably so. If you and everyone you know has a gun in the house, the government will continue to do exactly whatever it wants, because you can threaten them about as much as an ant with exceptionally large pincers.

        If you want to affect government policy with violence, you need to organize or join a structured para-military group. You know, like ISIS did in Syria. I’m not sure why you think gun control laws had anything to do with that war, care to explain?

        Come to think of it, last month you promised you could prove that “Gun control is a fabrication created by fabulists to get money.” How is that coming along? Because I’m still waiting.

        • I thought I told you this already. The Canadian gun registry. Two billion dollars spent to register two million gun owners and a few million firearms. A database you could run on a laptop and easily contain on a USB stick. Maybe a quarter of the gun owners in Canada registered. Two Billion with a B dollars. A lie, created by the Liberal Party of Canada, to get two billion dollars.

          Try to imagine how much of your money gets diverted by the alphabet soup agencies of Washington, then expand tour attention to every level from Federal, to State, to local. Start with the entire budget of the BATF.

          All of it utterly wasted, or stolen.

          • Oh come on, that is *weak* sauce! A government program costs more than you think it should?? You went from

            “I read every single paper in the medical, criminological and other journals. John R. Lott may have read more than I did. Maybe. [Gun control is] a lie. Gun control is a fabrication created by fabulists to get money. I can prove it.”

            to “This database cost too much”? I’m extremely disappointed. I could make a similar claim about every single government program.


            • Do you math much?

              Two billion dollars to register two -million- people? How much is that each? Where did the extra money go? (Hint, it costs any level of Canadian government roughly a hundred bucks to register one person for anything. Private industry does it for about two bucks.) (Hint hint, the excess money is $1.8 BILLION dollars.) How much does it actually cost to create a database infrastructure to record two million people’s info? (Hint, laptop. If you wanted it fault tolerant and gold plated, a couple hundred grand would be the -most- you could spend. Two million would be abject insanity, or business as usual for government. They spent two Billion. With a B.)

              From the other side, what -good- did the program do? How many criminals were prosecuted and jailed as a result of not having the proper paperwork? (hint, none. Not kidding, NOT ONE PERSON was ever charged and convicted for having a gun and not having a permit.)

              There’s 30 million people in Canada. Two billion is a hefty chunk of change in a small country. They stole the money. That was the purpose of the program. To steal the money. Where did it go? Many places, most of which coincidentally were run or owned by friends of the governing party.

              What happened to the murder rate in Canada? Nothing. What happened to the suicide rate in Canada? Nothing. What happened to the rate of accidents? Nothing! The rates of these things went up and down, as they always do in a small sample like 30 million, completely unaffected by the gun registry.

              Gun control is a lie, made up by fabulists. This is the proof. That other government programs closely resemble this one in their promised effect and their actual outcomes should tell you something about the people running your government.

              Have you been following the “Common Core” textbook scandal story? Very similar scam. The purpose of the Common Core curriculum is not to improve education, it is to SELL TEXTBOOKS. Otherwise known as stealing the money. All the weasels in Big Ed are on board with it, because they get more money too.

              How does one generally tell when something is a lie? The liar says “X will happen!” and when it doesn’t happen, they insist that it did and demand more money.

              Gun control is a lie. It never, ever works, it always comes with a new tax, and when it doesn’t work they say it did and demand more money to make it work better next time. See DeBlazio’s New York. There’s wilding in the parks again, and people getting swarmed on the subway. But they by God have gun control!!11!!!

              Shall-issue gun permits, where state authorities are -compelled- to issue a permit to everyone who wants one, work -every- time. They -never- come with an extra tax. Whenever you hear the fabulists braying “There Will Be Blood In The Streets!!!”, then the bill gets passed and Joe Dirt gets his permit, and a couple years go by, and you think about it one day and ask “hey, why isn’t there any blood in the street? Where’s all the dead bodies they warned me about?”

              More proof. Did you expect stone tablets and special effects? Life doesn’t work that way.

              Medical literature challenge. Pick any paper in JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine that has “gun” or “firearm” in the title. Read it. See if the relative risk numbers seem realistic. Extrapolate from them. If they are true, what should the death rate be given the gun sales we’ve seen in the last eight years?

              Or just keep being a good little mushroom.

            • You claim to be a leading authority on gun control studies. You consider yourself one of the most well-read people on the subject. Therefore, I expect something of some sort of substance. Something that maybe cites some studies, or uses a few statistics. I expected something similar to Scott Alexander’s post. He doesn’t claim to be anything more than an interested party with access to the internet, and his post is orders of magnitude more informative than yours. When you claim top-level knowledge on a subject, I expect something more than just “This government program I don’t like is too expensive!” You sound like a baby. Everyone has government programs they don’t like, and they all cost too much. Suck it up and present some actual data.

              You’ve been an interesting source for the emotional core driving the other side. But you’re getting monotonous, and I now strongly suspect that you are a caricature that makes your side look much worse than it should. Step up your game if you want to stay relevant. Comments like “Or just keep being a good little mushroom” are seriously hurting your cause.

            • So, you expected me to do the amount of work Scott Alexander did, just to impress you? Seriously? I’m going to do a month’s work just for some hipster on the intertubes? I don’t think so.

              Plus, you read Scott Alexander’s blog post, and you’re giving me grief? The guy just told you it doesn’t work. Do you believe him? I don’t. Here why:

              I’ll tell you a raging, gaping flaw in his methodology, and it’s a very common one. He uses national and state homicide rates as if they represented the actual situation on the ground. They don’t. Gun murder rates are highly geographically concentrated. You cannot conflate numbers from downtown Chicago with suburban Chicago, for instance. The two populations might just as well be on different continents for all the commonality between them.

              Spelling it out in long hand, it is POINTLESS to compare national homicide rates. Utterly pointless. A national homicide rate has no informational value. It takes wildly disparate populations and pretends they are the same. That’s not science, it’s propaganda. See?

              If you look at any, and I mean -any- study in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Lancet, BMJ, CMAJ, they all have flaws like that or bigger. They are not science. They are propaganda. Lies.

              I can say that with some authority because I read them all. You should too. It’ll shock you, I guarantee it. They are so full of shit it is amazing.

              Now if you want to believe me when I say that, and believe John Lott when he says the same thing, fine. If you don’t want to believe it, GO SEE IF I LIED. If I didn’t lie, you’re pretty well stuck with that as being the facts.

              This is your freakin’ country we’re talking about here, not some disagreement over a Spiderman comic. Take a look at Canada and Britain, gun control doesn’t work. Take a look at Germany! Guess what, after the rape-fest on New Years in Cologne, peace loving Germans are loading up on every weapon they can legally buy.


              If gun control is so effective, why are they doing that? Obviously it is -not- effective, they know it, and they’re taking steps to protect themselves.

              And by the way, just so we are clear as crystal. I’m not crying that a Canadian government program cost too much. I’m telling you it cost an entire order of magnitude too much. You can’t have an over-run of a billion and a half dollars on something like a simple database and claim it was mere incompetence or bad luck. Numbers like that are proof of chicanery.

              I cannot help it if you want to believe in studies that do things like compare Canadian national homicide rates to American ones. There’s a whole bunch of Americans who believe Elvis is still alive, it’s impossible to ague with them too.

              Here’s the kicker, for me. You are resolutely ignoring the facts. The fact is that the US states and particularly cities with the most gun control have the highest murder rates. The cities with the highest gun OWNERSHIP have the -lowest- murder rates.

              Compare Phoenix AZ to Chicago. If gun control works, Phoenix should be a giant bloodbath and Chicago should be totally safe. Phoenix also has a big problem with Mexican illegals streaming through and drug gangs etc. that Chicago does not have. The place should be Mad Max.

              The reverse is true though isn’t it? Chicago is more dangerous than Bagdhad, and Phoenix -isn’t-.

              Gun control is a scam, created by fabulists like Josh Sugarman and Sarah f-ing Brady, for political purposes. And you, mushroom, are buying it hook, line and sinker.

    • Yes, exactly what Daniel said (thank you!). The no-fly list is arbitrary and should be destroyed. Gun control itself is a tangential issue.

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