Saturday, July 28, 2012


Dr. A who is a regular poster at EvC forums, whose Course in Geology is often quite good but whose other posts are usually not worth reading in my opinion, has just posted a really amazing piece of sophistry on the thread about Gun Control.
Don't arguments about overthrowing the government cut both ways? I mean, if it is possible for a bunch of private citizens with guns to overthrow a tyranny and replace it with a democratic republic, then wouldn't it also be possible for an armed citizenry to overthrow a democratic republic and replace it with a tyranny? There is, after all, nothing particularly bullet-proof about democrats.
Uh yeah, but there would be no MOTIVE to overthrow a nontyrannical government. When there is such tyranny you can be sure there will be plenty of buzz leading up to any sort of action, such as was the case before the American Revolution. Where there is no popular motive to overthrow a government the people's possession of guns nevertheless acts as a deterrent to the development of such tyranny, and in any case provides protection against garden-variety criminality which is going to be a problem in any society, less in one where more guns are owned by citizens.

And in this context I might as well respond to a statistic that keeps coming up on that thread to the effect that America has more guns per capita than any other nation on earth and YET we have more homicides too, so that the guns are not acting as a deterrent. Well, consider the fact that there were NO guns in the possession of audience members when the theater in Aurora Colorado was invaded by a homicidal maniac. Had there been even one or two he might have been stopped in his tracks and many lives might have been saved. Same with all the mass murder scenarios we've been plagued with over the last couple of decades, such as at schools. There should be armed teachers, armed members of churches, just more armed citizens out there in the world in general, if the homicide statistic is to be reduced.

Case in point is the situation of the internet cafe in Florida where just a couple weeks ago a 71-year-old man in possession of a legal concealed gun DID rout a couple of robbers, one of them armed, who might have done harm to many except for him. Moral of the story: It doesn't matter what the statistics say, obviously we need MORE upright citizens carrying guns.
So, yes, it might be a good idea if the Chinese had more guns, but what about the USA? If our citizens have enough weaponry to overthrow the government (which I doubt, but for the sake of argument let's say they do) then since we are currently a democratic republic, what they would be doing would be overthrowing democracy in favor of tyranny. Since we currently have liberty, guns can not currently be used to give us liberty, but to take it away; if it is possible to use them to overthrow the government, they are not a bulwark of liberty but rather a threat to it.
Sure, we may not have enough citizen-owned guns to pull that off, but again, why would anyone want to if we are truly the democratic republic he says we are, that provides that we "currently have liberty?" Of course there are those who would dispute that characterization of our current situation, but obviously there isn't enough motivation OR citizen gun power, either one, to do anything about it. But again, it is only if enough recognize that the government is NOT "a bulwark of liberty" that any such use of citizen firepower would be attempted. It would probably have to reach the level that even Dr. A himself would agree that tyranny is indeed the proper word for the situation at hand.
To conceive of guns defending our liberties, we have to be thinking two revolutions ahead. Once someone has taken our liberty away, then maybe we could use guns to put it back. But right now, since we have liberty, they can only be used to take it away.

On this basis, whether or not guns are good would depend on the state of the particular nation in question. In China, perhaps they could be a force for liberty; in the USA, they imperil it.
Silly sophistic distinctions, Dr. A, just word games. It's possible to be under government tyranny and it not be recognized by a majority because it hasn't yet reached a certain level, but the most likely scenario is that it WILL be recognized if it reaches a level that pinches the majority, and then it would be very sad if we'd already succumbed to government confiscation of the people's guns or laws that violate the second amendment by imposing extreme restrictions. Overthrowing the government is of course the remotest of all the reasons for an armed citizenry when you HAVE an armed citizenry, but it could rapidly become urgent and immediate if guns were taken away.

The common feeling is that the more guns the more danger, the opposite of course of the reasoning behind the second amendment that the more guns the less danger. Here onifre at EvC is arguing that in New York city jar's position that guns should be carried openly would be extremely dangerous.
Have you seen the subways? Have you seen the amount of people in those things daily? Can you not see how maybe in this particular case, unlimited open carry (like in a holster) is a terrible idea?
Unlimited Open Carry does not mean that there must be no limitation.
but it does mean that if someone carries it should be open, displayed
. Again, that's a terrible idea where I live.
The more guns the more fear of danger, but is the fear realistic? The founding fathers apparently thought the opposite and in fact statistics that I've heard of seem to bear them out. When guns are confiscated crime goes up, not down, and when guns are owned by a majority the reverse occurs. This makes sense. Criminals generally are not going to want to risk being shot.

I haven't given it thought before now, but I don't think I'd want guns to be carried openly as a matter of course. Better that the criminals have no idea how many guns might be drawn against them than be able to make their plans around the ones they can see and possibly avoid the danger. Keep them in the dark.

So, are there no upright citizens that ride the subways, Onifre? If everybody is a potential homicidal maniac wouldn't there still be a deterrent to their inclinations in the fact of more guns versus less?

But if you specifically have openly visible guns in mind, as I say above I probably wouldn't think that the best situation, but still, if most people had them I would think it would have some deterrent effect rather than be the danger you think it is.

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