Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gun Nuts

Editor's note: Corey makes his glorious return to UNHblog to intelligently discuss the "From the Left" column from last week's TNH. The Bold words are direct quotes from the column. Enjoy, this is some of the best writing this blog has seen.

Politics makes for strange bedfellows. On that website that shows your political placement on a compass (politicalcompass), I am nestled in the bottom left-corner of the bureaucratic spectrum. That makes me look like some sort of hyper-liberal that wants to create drive-thru abortion clinics and allow for marijuana dispensaries in daycare centers, but I am not like that. Drive-thrus encourage air pollution. There are things that I am somewhat conservative about, and one of those things is gun laws. Before you huck your vegan split-pea soup at your Macbook Pro, let me explain.

Guns, unfortunately, are one of those things in our country that you can get your hands on really easily if you tried hard enough. Us enterprising Americans have been implicit in the creating of a system that allows for pretty much anyone, with the funds and the clearance, to get practically anything you could ever want from other countries with different regulations, i.e. all of them. You or I probably couldn’t sneak a crate of guns onto a boat or a plane, but some people have found ways. And that market would receive a healthy stream of paychecks if a prohibition on firearms were to take place. Violent crime would most certainly go up, as well. All the governmental regulation in the world would never stop that. There are some common sense reforms the country could enforce to cause some good (enforcing background checks at gun trade shows and not selling guns in a bank are swell places to start, but getting rid of all guns, or attempting to anyway, is a ridiculous idea. People truly abreast of the make-up of our country wouldn’t suggest attempting to get rid of all guns if only for the Constitutional ramifications and a candidate for office surely would never suggest the idea. I’m usually wrong about this sort of stuff, though since I try to use a logical frame to analyze things, and there’s often nothing logical about politics, but maybe the President and the Vice President of the College Democrats understand that better than anybody.

The Third Amendment was designed to disallow the federal government from housing troops in residential homes during peace time, which is what colonial Britain used to do when they still ruled in America. That hasn’t been an issue since the 1770s. But, you’re right. The Second Amendment is the Amendment on the bubble. America, please continue to keep those Brits out of my icebox.

In 1791, as many of us know, the Bill of Rights was ratified. We were a new country with a new government that a lot of people were wary about. People thought that the government would impinge on their rights, and not be able to provide adequate security to its people. The Second Amendment was established in the Bill of Rights. It states that a person is able to keep and bear arms and cannot be impinged upon.

In 2010, as most of us are aware, we are all being protected by adequate security constantly. Between Regan’s “Star Wars” and bald eagles dropping cluster bombs on unwelcome neighborhood guests, we have figured out security. Adequately
The question now-is the right to bear arms still relevant?

The word you are looking for is “necessary.” As in, is the right to bear arms still necessary? The asking of the question “is the right to bear arms still relevant?” makes the question relevant automatically since you asked the question and attempted to write a well thought out answer to the question. If the question truly was not relevant, this op-ed would have never happened.

In 1791,

I sense a pattern…

[T]he country was extremely young, and many people were still unsure of its duties and responsibilities, so it seemed necessary for the people to have rights against the states. In the unlikely case that the government was not working or abusing its power, it was the people's duty to revolt against the government to defend themselves. Looking back at history, we can see now that there was really no need for this because it never actually happened.

A few things…

First of all, many people STILL are unsure of the duties and responsibilities of the United States Government. Some people think that the Government needs to bail out companies that made shitty business decisions to maintain homeostasis. Some people think that the Government’s central purpose is to keep gays from adopting children and visiting their loved ones in the hospital. Some people think that it’s a good idea to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep people from smoking pot. The rest of us are very, very confused about what people think are good ideas. Probably because we smoke too much pot.
Secondly, the best way to prove you don’t pay any attention to politics is to start a sentence with, “In the unlikely case that the government [sic] was not working or abusing its power….” There are three kinds of politicians in our country. The first kind is a politician who doesn’t work or is ineffective. The second kind is someone who abuses his or her power. The third kind is someone who is good at keeping secrets. Watch any news program on any given weekday and you will hear about at least one of these three types, I promise.

Has the Government ever tried to create a police state and create an extreme need for a revolution? No, but don’t rule it out happening at some point in the future because we end up getting so paranoid from all the pot we smoke.

So why do people still need guns?

Hunting. For sustenance. There aren’t any Whole Foods in Siberia. If you meant to ask “why do Americans still need guns?,” it’s probably because we have violent home invasions occurring fairly regularly. And hunting. For sustenance.

Many people are under the impression that they need them for their own safety. People point to robberies and other crimes that violate personal safety. Are people really going to shoot, and maybe even kill a robber, over a television? We would hope that people care more about a life than they care about a materialistic possession.

If I’m watching Boardwalk Empire while a robber attempts to take my television, they will get shot. That’s a promise.

You’re right in thinking that people normally don’t shoot people over televisions, but they do shoot people when protecting their home and family. Habitats and families are important enough to protect not only in the human world, but in the rest of the animal kingdom. If one were to try to walk into a bear den and take pictures of the cuddly cubs and they were armed with nothing but a camera and love, they would still be killed. It is basic animal instinct and our instincts tell us that unwelcomed guests into our homes should be considered dangerous.

There is new technology that can create the same fear that a gun would do to a robber.

Like Javelin missiles and C4. Why use guns when you can blow up fools?

Now we do not want to promote any type of violence, but wouldn't a Taser do the same thing as a gun?


It would be able to paralyze the robber for a short time

Definitely not the same as a gun.

[G]iving the victim time for the police to arrive at the scene of the crime, and ultimately would be better than a gun.

A Taser gun incapacitates people for about 10 seconds, depending on the size of the Tasee. The average police response time to the reporting of a crime is between 10 and 11 minutes. It took me 35 seconds to look up both of those facts.

If a person had a gun and shot it, the robber would most likely be murdered.

If a person had a taser and shot it every ten seconds the police don’t arrive, the robber would most likely be “murdered.”

Also, no district attorney in America would charge someone who shot and killed a home invader with murder. The operational definition of murder is the unlawful killing of someone with malice. Unless someone tried to purposely lure someone into their home with the promise of ten of the world’s most awesome TVs and then killed that person while swearing at them, then that is murder. The word you were looking for was “killed.”

Although criminals are definitely a menace to our society, we know that we would never want to live the rest of our lives knowing that we killed a person over a stupid television.

Out of context, that is the weirdest sentence I have ever read. In context, it’s still pretty damn weird.

In the twenty-first century, people still believe that they need to stock up guns and buy as many as they can, in case the government tries to come and take them away.

The United States Government has a limited amount of trucks, so if you have too many guns you may be able to get away with keeping some of them.

These people actually believe that they will be able to fight the government with these guns. This is a completely ridiculous point. As you can all see, when the government is in a war, guns aren't always used as a method of attack. There are nuclear weapons-bombs and gases-you name it and the government has it. How is a gun going to protect anyone from a nuclear weapon? It's not.

I can’t believe the writers left out eagles dropping cluster bombs as another method of attack.

How do the writers go from essentially saying that our Government isn’t corrupt, doesn’t abuse its power, and we have no reason to expect them to harm us in anyway so we should get rid of our guns to reminding us that the powers that be could nuke a household if they don’t give up their Beretas and we should just give up defending our Bill of Rights? It seems mighty irresponsible and power-trippy to nuke a three-bedroom ranch in Trumbull, Connecticut just over a few guns. One thing that I cannot stand in any writing I read, regardless of the writing being an op-ed such as this or the work of a nationally syndicated columnist, is when writers lose track of their previously made claims.

When using a gun against a highly dangerous method of attack, a person has no chance. With all the new technology, it seems like people should find other ways to protect themselves…ways that don't include owning a gun.

I haven’t read the latest issue of Wired Magazine, but I am pretty sure nothing would protect a home from a nuke being dropped on top of it. I’d say your SOL at that point.

Most of the time, guns fall into the wrong hands.

I know that you two love to start your paragraphs with a few words about when things happen, but in this instance, the claim about this time frame is absolutely dead wrong. Most gun owners are responsible people. Most people lock their guns in safes, in specially made cases, or in incredibly secure rooms. Yes, guns do fall into the wrong hands as our crime statistics clearly indicate, but if guns truly did fall into the hands of people looking to inflict societal damage more often than not, then we wouldn’t have guns at all.

These people are usually the ones that jeopardize our safety. Statistics frequently say that fatalities can be prevented if guns aren't present in a given area of danger. There have been many cases in which a child has accidentally killed someone due to the fact that there was a gun in their house and they were simply curious. Many people who are licensed owners of guns, are not trained very well. Many states do not require training before a person buys a gun. Public safety should be left to trained professionals, such as police, who will be less likely to shoot an innocent bystander.

This is just terrible, under-researched hackery. What the hell is a “given area of danger?” A snake pit? A room full of bear traps and dirty needles? The Aggro Crag?

What number of cases constitutes “many” children have accidentally killed someone due to the fact there was a gun in the house? And, how do you know that these kids weren’t acting with malice?

I do agree that training for the use of guns should be better, but I don’t think that specific sects of public and private safety should be left to just the professionals because there are a small amount of professionals, the professionals are often there too late and sometimes the professionals aren’t very good at their jobs despite being professionals.

In 1791,

Change up your introductory sentences, young writers. Teachers will think you’re creative. It’s like you two aren’t even trying to write, let alone properly convey your party’s ideals.

[G]uns were a relevant issue, but they truly aren't relevant anymore.

Again, you’re using the word “relevant” incorrectly.

People believe that they need guns for their safety and everyone wants to protect their family's safety. We know we would try to do anything to protect our families, but the danger is too great… much too great to have a gun hanging around in case we need to kill someone over a possession. It is often said that people are stocking up for when the government tries to take all the guns away. If you disagree, well, we hope everything works out for you and that you find a way to use your guns to protect yourself, especially from a nuclear weapon or a high-tech bomb. Good luck!

Thanks for the well wishing! I hope your student organization doesn’t resent you after representing them in this half-assed fashion.

Guns belong in a warzone or on a battlefield. Guns don't belong in domestic settings where they really aren't needed.

I disagree. My guns really bring the feng shui of my great room up a few levels. That, and the doilies.

We are in the twenty-first century.

Oh, so not 1791? Glad you finally cleared that up.

People used guns to fight wars hundreds of years ago, back before washing machines were even invented.

Now, we just throw washing machines at each other. Just the Energy Star rated ones though, since we’re going green.

Today, we're much more technologically advanced in so many ways. We even have the iPad.

Yes! Use your iPads to defend yourself! You can either download a gun app or throw them like Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat and cut suckers’ heads off. Steve Jobs is quite the innovative arms dealer.

Do we still need to use guns?

In the strictest sense, no, we usually don’t need to use guns. In fact, most people who support gun rights would most likely agree that guns are to be used when there are absolutely no other options. It’s the crazies you have to worry about and our background checking system is pretty good about weeding them out. If we want to lower gun crime, then we would have to do a better job at closing the black market channels, not deny normal citizens from acquiring them.

The solutions offered in this op-ed are under thought and lazily defended. Writing is not particularly easy, and the two writers aren’t members of the writing staff at TNH, but when submitting something like this that is supposed to be a good indicator of your group’s ideals, be more careful. A good chunk of our country has got some issues against liberals that are unfounded and providing fodder such as this doesn’t help the left-wing’s rep. However, the year is still young and I don’t doubt that the College Dems can redeem themselves. It’s not like they have any right-wing competition at UNH, anyway.


  1. By far probably one of the best written posts on this site.

  2. I read the Op-Ed in the TNH. I couldn't believe how poor the "From the Left" was written. I'm no English major myself, but I can't believe that either of the two authors passed freshman English. Their opinions were very off base and unsupported. My personal favorites were the washing machines, nukes, and iPad references.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post.

  3. "Steve Jobs is quite the innovative arms dealer."
    -Innovative? Yes. But he's no Delonte West on a motorcycle. Delonte's a real OG.

    It's a bit upsetting to think that there are people who consider themselves to be American when they say "The question now-is the right to bear arms still relevant?" -

    If I had seen this in my school paper, "Now we do not want to promote any type of violence, but wouldn't a Taser do the same thing as a gun?", I probably would have pooped a chicken.

  4. Win. These people make democrats look like crazy uneducated morons. Congratulations on doing exactly the opposite of what you wanted to do in your article.
    This blog post was amazing. And the Aggro Crag? Completely genius. Kudos.

  5. Reading the actual article the other day in TNH made me laugh/disgusted/angry. This article made my day. Someone needed to say something on this article and you said it very well.

  6. The poor writing of that Op-Ed is truly amazing. Good job tearing it apart.

  7. iPad vs. 50 cal

  8. "Are people really going to shoot, and maybe even kill a robber, over a television? We would hope that people care more about a life than they care about a materialistic possession."

    Wrong question. That television represents the portion of my life spent earning the money to pay for it. By stealing it, the robber asserts his ownership of that portion of my life. Sorry, no one enslaves any portion of me. Not without a fight.

  9. This writing is so shockingly bad, I'd suspect it was a plant.

  10. "People believe that they need guns for their safety and everyone wants to protect their family's safety. We know we would try to do anything to protect our families, but the danger is too great… much too great to have a gun hanging around in case we need to kill someone over a possession. "

    This passage in particular is shockingly muddled.

    They're asserting that they would do anything to protect their family's safety, and also that this is a universal human value. Then, within the same sentence, they assert that the danger [of gun ownership for home defense] is too great.
    I'd like to know exactly what danger they're referring to. Do they find simply owning a weapon for home defense to be an unacceptable risk? If so, why?

    But that's beside the point that they've just stated that they "would try to do anything" to protect their families, and then contradicted themselves within the very same sentence. They'd do anything except gun ownership, apparently.

    Because somehow gun ownership immediately slides the discussion from "protect our families" to "kill someone over a possession."

    Clearly anyone who breaks into your home is only after your material possessions, and would never consider doing harm to you and yours. You should let them take your stuff, because after all it's only stuff.
    And equally clearly, if you owned a firearm you'd HAVE to kill them.

  11. "Bear traps and dirty needles", eh? Apparently, somebody watched the "Saw" movies.

    I catch a thief in the act, too bad. By committing a crime, his life is forfeit. Besides, how do I know he isn't dangerous beyond stealing the fruits of my labor? A lot of criminals are killing people now, just so there are no witnesses.

    There is at least one major drug cartel in Mexico, and it's no longer just a criminal enterprise, but an internal enemy vying for control of Mexico. Why hasn't the Mexican government dropped a nuke on their casas? Besides, if the gov't did decide to bomb us, they couldn't get us all. Then THEY would be the grass, and WE would be the lawn mowers.

    "Public safety should be left to trained professionals, such as the police..." Like the police who shoot the wrong person at a ratio of five to one compared to the armed citizen? Those police? And let us give thanks to Lee Paige, he who shot himself in the foot after declaring he was the "only one in this room professional enough to carry" his Glock fo-tay, for immortalizing the expression "Only Ones".

    Your screed (the one being fisked by Corey) is a product of your socialist indoctrination at college, and Socialism is one of the nastier products of human nature. Guns, and the Constitution ARE still relevant, and necessary, because human nature has NOT changed since 1791, except maybe to get worse.

  12. The Second Ammendment: It's not about hunting. It's not about self defense. It's about making your government hesitant to oppress you.

  13. I am 100% against the second amendment and completely on board with the idea that all guns be illegal for citizens, but damn Corey you ripped them apart. Nice work.