Tuesday, March 01, 2011

You both get muddy and the pig's still retarded.

A lot of people enjoy going out and doing verbal battle on the intertubes with people who hold diametrically-opposing views. For example, if it weren't for all the gun rights activists showing up to argue in the comments section, your average gun control blog would only be read by the author and his mom; it's almost like they're written solely out of masochism.

In these arguments, reams of statistics and the outcomes of all manner of surveys get lobbed back and forth, which is one of the reasons I never participate, and rarely even go read. See, I don't really care about the statistics or the efficacy (or lack thereof) of gun control laws. My right to own a gun (or anything else, for that matter) is not contingent on what other people do with that right. It wouldn't matter if everybody else on the planet misused their firearms every day, that doesn't have a thing to do with me or mine; group punishment doesn't belong outside of prison, basic training, or Mrs. Krabapple's third grade classroom.

Rights belong to individuals, not groups: Just because all the other kids jump off the bridge, it doesn't mean you can push me off, too.


Standard Mischief said...

By giving no quarter to the gun-banning bigots, we hope to influence the remaining undecided 40-45%.

There's plenty of people out there who don't really have strong opinions on the RKBA. They're gun-ignorant, and they may have "guns are icky-poo, why can't we all just get along" attitude due to years of Hollywood sitcoms and biased news sources, but they're damn easy to turn with just a few fun range sessions or that home invasion that hits just a little too close to home.

I'll happily salute the dedicated volunteers willing to go 'rassel in the brady bunch pigty.

Mike W. said...

Amen Tam! Using social utility arguments as justification for the infringement of my rights is meaningless.

Ultimately we have all the facts on our side, but if we didn't that wouldn't change the nature of rights.

Tam said...

Standard Mischief,

Oh, I don't have any problem with folks going and arguing in those places, I just don't think that there's any "undecided 40%" audience there watching.

I mean, there is an "undecided" group, but they're not reading gun blogs or Mike B's; they just really couldn't give much of a crap and are reading TMZ about Charlie Sheen.

jimbob86 said...

"Just because all the other kids jump off the bridge, it doesn't mean you can push me off, too."

Carefull, Tam: You underestimate the raw power of Groups: though you would be absolutely right they would be wrong to push you off the bridge, it does not mean that they CAN'T .... prescence/abscence of deceleration trauma would be the final arbiter of that...... which is a fine reason to hold onto your guns!

@ Standard: It is a far better use of time to work on the "gun-ignorant" than to jump in the sty:


Earl said...

Reading Bloodlands has convinced me that Guns are exactly like governments, in the hands of the wrong people deadly.

Fred said...

Even in Basic it generally doesn't last past week 5...

TBeck said...

One hundred and fifty years ago Democrat politicians had scores of reasons why the slaves could not be emancipated; many of those reasons claimed to be in the best interest of the slaves. The same type of thinking applies today on gun rights.

NotClauswitz said...

Don't even start with the OC group...

Standard Mischief said...

Tam - yea, probably no where near my estimated silent ignorant minority. I'll take that one half of 1% though.

jimbob86 - the fact that we have the overwhelming majority of volunteers vs. a few paid shills means we can afford to fight on all fronts. No Quarter.

Divemedic said...

Odd that so many gun owners are against the group punishment of gun owners, but are all for eliminating the assembly and speech rights of public employees by supporting laws making collective bargaining illegal.

Tam said...


Odd that so many people claim to support individual rights and then turn around and vote for closed shops.

Anonymous said...

Tam - My right to own a gun (or anything else, for that matter) is not contingent on what other people do with that right.

What "right" to own a gun? Where is that written down? I think there's something in some moldy old document that talks about the states being able to have National Guard units that can have guns, but I am unaware of any "right" to own a gun... or anything else, for that matter.

So saith the hoplophobe. Since they can't quite get a majority of people to (A) ignore the plain language of the Second Amendment; (B) forget the history of gun ownership in America; and (C) buy into the idea that the government CAN tell you what you can and can't own, they pile up reams of statistics and sob stories to influence the non-gun owners* into believing that guns are sooooo dangerous that people just can't be trusted with them. This isn't "group punishment", you understand: it's group PROTECTION.

Sigh... You'd think that the whole idea that "no person... shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law" wouldn't be so hard to grasp.


(*) I include "casual" gun owners - the folks who have grandpa's rusty, dusty ol' deer rifle shoved in the back of the closet or even a rusty, dusty ol' .38 in the nightstand "just in case" - as non-gun owners.

Tam said...


I'm still trying to figure out where in the constitution people think the government derives the power to ban the possession of anything at all. As recently as 1919, Americans understood that "banning" something took a Constitutional Amendment...

Dwight Brown said...

"...group punishment doesn't belong outside of prison, basic training, or Mrs. Krabapple's third grade classroom."

When I was in elementary and middle school (long enough ago that we would go outside and throw rocks at the dinosaurs during recess), the student handbook specifically banned group punishment of students.

(Of course, this being a government organization, that provision of the student handbook tended to be ignored whenever it was convenient to do so. But I was always impressed that someone managed to get that into the handbook in the first place.)

Divemedic said...

Tam: I agree. Requiring union membership through a closed shop is as much an infringement on my First Amendment rights as prohibiting it. The freedom to assemble also includes the freedom NOT to assemble.

Anonymous said...

Hear her! Hear her!

Ken said...

My right to own a gun (or anything else, for that matter) is not contingent on what other people do with that right. It wouldn't matter if everybody else on the planet misused their firearms every day, that doesn't have a thing to do with mine...

If there were ever a settled issue, it ought to be this one.

Reading Bloodlands has convinced me that Guns are exactly like governments, in the hands of the wrong people deadly.

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern: every class is unfit to govern. --Lord Acton

Matt said...

I'm with you on this Tam. I don't really understand why anti-gunners vent on gun blogs. The anti-gunners are firmly convinced they're right and nothing is going change their minds.

@ Divemedic
The problem isn't collective bargaining. The problem is that one side (the public unions) invest LARGE sums of money in getting people elected that will be on the opposite side of the bargaining table from them. Hardly fair to the taxpayer that actually has to foot the bill.

Josh Kruschke said...

Docjim505 -

Her's a history lesson for you militia means armed populous. In 18th century everyone was expect to own gun to defend their family, their community and their colony. If a group of militia men got together and trained they became an organized militia. They could of been organized at the behest of the community or colony.
Today we think only of a militia as an organized militia.


The National Guard or US Military as professional soldiers are not considered militia.


Anonymous said...

Tam - I'm still trying to figure out where in the constitution people think the government derives the power to ban the possession of anything at all.

It's an emanation of a penumbra of the 23rd Amendment of the Commerce Clause, or something like that. Or maybe it's in the Angolan constitution. Either way, four or five of the justices on the court are totally cool with it.

As for me, I'm old fashioned: a citizen can have anything he wants and can afford*, but woe betide him if he hurts somebody with it or otherwise breaks the law.


(*) It's a shame that I have to add the caveat about being able to afford it, but in this day of "I have a right to X" = "somebody has to buy X for me", it's regrettably necessary.

Josh Kruschke said...

For the last 100 years people have been twisting the English language to meen what ever they want it to meen. Rather then what was intended.

Sorry, Tam I'll get off my soap box now,

Josh Kruschke said...

Ouch my brain hurts know. If anyone wants to know what the US Constitusion means read the Federalist papers, or if that's to much atlest read the "5000 Year Leap."


Ps. If you want to read it in story for read "Tempest at Dawn"

Anonymous said...


I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, the hoplophobe, usually through willful ignorance, doesn't understand the definition of a militia or its historical context.

Even worse, he doesn't understand the vital idea, proved over and again by historical example, that an armed people is a people that cannot be long subject to despots. To the contrary, he thinks that it's an absolutely swell idea that only the government should have guns because, hey! governments NEVER use their guns on their own people!

I recall reading "The Diary of Mother Jones" several years ago; she describes several instances where working people were terrorized and tyrannized by their employers as well as state police / troops acting on behalf of the "moneyed interests" because they weren't armed. By the same token, blacks and other minorities in our country have been similarly victimized at times because they were unarmed. Yet, unions and "civil rights" organizations are among those groups who support gun control. If I was charitable, I'd say that these people are ignorant of their own history. However, I'm not charitable: I think they learned how important it is for a would-be oppressor to disarm his intended victims, and the obvious conclusion is that they intend to do some oppressin' themselves.

Ken said...

Actually, one doesn't need to understand the history of the militia, although doing so is a good thing on the merits, to understand that the National Guard isn't one: Perpich v. DoD (1970) spelled it out without ambiguity.

JFM said...

Here's a link to a bit of history that most Americans are ignorant of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

It speaks to the reasons the 2nd Amendment and unions are imporant to the freedom in this country.

Josh Kruschke said...

docjim505 -

I can go along with some of that. Some at the top probably do realize what they are doing. The useful idiots at the bottom are more probably just buying into what they are being tought in school.


Josh Kruschke said...

Tam -

I might be mellowing. I going to get out of this conversation; while, I'm still in a good mood.


Divemedic said...

The problem is that one side (the public unions) invest LARGE sums of money in getting people elected that will be on the opposite side of the bargaining table from them.

and how is that different from the recent ruling (that Republicans supported) that said corporations supporting political candidates is free speech? How can it bee free speech when a corporation, or a group like the NRA or AARP does it, and not when a union does it?

Anonymous said...

Corollary to the post's title:

Sooner or later you realize the pig is enjoying it.


Tam said...

Anon 3:08,

That's half the source of the post title, yes. ;)

Tam said...


Bad analogy. There's a difference between public and private sector employees and public and private sector unions. To use the two lobbying organizations you mentioned, the salaries and employment policies of the NRA and AARP personnel aren't paid by the people they lobby or campaign for.

Although I will agree with P.J. O'Rourke's statement that "[w]hen buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.".

Matt said...

Amen Tam. Besides, if the NRA or AARP employees decide to go on strike the garbage is still gonna get picked up, criminals arrested, sewage treated and students taught.

Divemedic said...

So are you saying that the Constitution doesn't apply to people who are receiving money from the government?

If cashing a government paycheck negates my rights to assemble and petition, what other rights do I lose?
Right to a jury trial?
Right to due process?

Anonymous said...

Divemedic, that doesn't sound like a bad idea.


Don M said...

Legally, Title 10, section 311 defines militia. That includes men from 17 to 45, women if they are in the national guard, and those who were previously an officer in the services from 45 to 64.

Given that Tam is a far better hand than I am with a pistol or rifle, I would support amending that bit to expand membership to include her and folks like her.

Apologies if she is, and I just don't know enough about her to recognize that she is already covered by other provisions.

Matt said...

Honestly Divemedic, hyperbole isn't a good way to win argument, besides, this conversation is going the way of those gun blogs Tam was talking about. Therefore, this will be my last post on this subject.

You do understand that collective bargaining isn't a right guaranteed by the Constitution? In Wisconsin they bragged about how legislation was passed 50 years ago allowing CB. What the legislature can give, the legislature can take away.

That doesn't mean you can't assemble or petition, it just means that you may not be as effective at it. But what it really comes down to is that in this country no one owes you a job. If they change your conditions of employment, you, like everyone else are entitled to leave that job and find another one.

One last thing, before I got laid off a while back I had to take a 20% pay cut. I didn't like it but the housing industry was (and is) in such bad shape there wasn't any other choice. At the same time the teacher's union in Maryland was complaining loudly because they were only going to get a 5% raise instead of 7% while the economy was tanking.

And Done !

Matt said...

@ Don Meaker

Good point about the meaning of militia.

The other thing that many forget or didn't know is that "well regulated" didn't refer to legislation controlling a militia. Its usage during the colonial area had more to do with the militia being well trained and disciplined.

http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html gives a pretty good break down on the exact meaning of the 2nd.

Divemedic said...

Matt: What do you think collective bargaining is? A group of employees get together (assemble) and negotiate for working conditions (petition government for a redress of grievances). To make it illegal for me to do so is just as wrong as making assault weapons illegal. After all, you can still use the weapons for defense, you just won't be as effective at it.

The Amendment says "Congress shall make NO law..."

Just what do you think "no" means?

Matt said...

I'm tried very hard not to, but I have to answer this.

Divemedic, here's the difference between collective bargaining and petitioning.

If you petition, legislators have a right to say no to your petition to bargain with them. You carried out your constitutionally protected right to petition and they carried out their protected right to say "No".

In collective bargaining, legislator's (and by extension the taxpayers) don't get the right to say "No" and are forced to bargain with a union. That's why Wisconsin had to pass a law allowing collective bargaining in the first place.

If one side's right to say no is taken away then they are the one's losing their right to free speech.

Truthfully though I'd like to agree to disagree with you on this subject, I'm obviously not going to convince you and you're not going to convince me and stalemates can be soooooo boring

Tam said...


It was a tradition in the U.S., up until fairly recently, that officers in the military did not vote.

Then again, they were officially gentlemen, whereas garbage collectors and kindergarten teachers are not.

People are free to decide which group they find more worthy of emulation.

Roberta X said...

Collective bargaining in the form of a union usually means a closed shop, too. Where's the "freedom" in being required to join?

In my line of work, there are a lot of remnants, tiny union shops with little or no exclusive jurisdiction, which poison relations with management and rarely get members anything in the way of better pay, benefits or hours. But we're stuck with them as long as the law allows closed shops. (And $DEITY help you if you should push the one or two buttons over which they still have jurisdiction).

But even aside from that observation...

Government employees are different from other employees because their employer is different from all other employers. Even if their employer "gos broke," it doesn't go away; and when their employer runs low on cash, all it has to do is shake down the taxpayers. Even FDR had problems with unions for public employees.

Anonymous said...


One, you assumed we were anti-union.
We are not.

The unions are not wrong because they are unions. They are wrong because of HOW they act.

For example, there is nothing wrong with being a salesman, but it is wrong to be a high pressure salesman.

Unions are often good, but those that think THEIR collective "rights" trump EVERYONE else's rights need to pull their collective heads out of an ass.

Josh Kruschke said...

Point clarification:

I was talking about how the Founding fathers understood and used the word Militia, when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. If I want to understand their intent I will read their words.
For the last 100 years we have what is called case law, and it's been the slow corruption of our understanding of the law and the Constitution. We no longer have legal system based on the Constitution but in case law.
So we are know left fighting battles over an over in the courts.


Dedicated_Dad said...

Andrew Wilkow (Sirius/XM Patriot - 144/166) is IMHO about the best (perhaps ONLY TRUE) conservative talk-show host on the air. The points which follow are his, perhaps paraphrased as I'm not near as eloquent as he.

Why is it that - if their ideas are so **GOOD** for everyone - The Collectivists always make them MANDATORY? If they're so great, then optional should be enough to make everyone join -- right?

Examples (few among many): Union shops. Social(ism) Security. Taxpayer-funded schools.

As to the "public employee unions - they are illegitimate, and a clear conflict of interests.

Taken out of the public context, the "elected officials" would be "The Board of Directors", and We The People (taxpayers) would be the Corporation.

In private business, The Board negotiates with the Union, and represents the interests of The Corporation and/or its shareholders.

If The Board fails to act in the interests of The Corp/Shareholders, they can remove them and replace them with others who will.

In PUBLIC however, this is corrupted. First, it represents a clear "conflict of interests."

The "elected officials" **PROPER** position, when "bargaining" with We The People's employees, is to represent the interests of ITS shareholders (We The People) - but that is not what happens.

The Unions elect politicians (read: Democrats), who then shower perks and favors on the Union - who then can afford to contribute more to the election of more Democrats, who... and so on, and so on, and so on -- all at the expense of We The People.

This is further illegitimate because if a Corporation gives excessive leeway to a union, contrary to the interests of the shareholders, I have the right to sell my shares in that company.

In the "public sector" however, I have no such rights. My property -- my very LIFE (or at minimum 10 working-hours per week thereof) -- is extorted from me at the point of a .gov gun, which is held in the hand of one of the aforementioned union-members. Further, any disputes I may have with them -- even the terms of our interactions -- are decided by "union members" and enforced by them as well.

The fact is that if you ran *YOUR* business this way, they'd put YOU in PRISON!

Frankly, even if the aforegoing were not so, I will always oppose public-sector unions (and - honestly - private-sector as well) for one simple reason: they are the epitome of Collectivism, and perfectly illustrative of the worst of the evils thereof.

Since We The People cannot disband our "Corporation", or sell our shares therein and remove ourselves from the liabilities thereof, We The People have the right to decide whether our "corporation" will be unionized or not.

Pure, common sense.

Josh Kruschke said...

Dicated_Dad -

I would like to add we still have a choice whether we work in a closed shop or not up intill they make it 'mandatory' to go to your job by the force of arms.


Dedicated_Dad said...

That's ridiculous.

Try getting a blue-collar job in a "blue state" without joining a union.

That's a new low - which is saying something -- really.

Michael Barone (http://liten.be//3g4cL) summed it up best:
"...In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party..."


Josh Kruschke said...

Dedicated_Dad -

Someone holding a gun to your head forcing you to live in a blue state. Here's a an idea move to somewhere more to your liking. It irritates me when people play the victim cause the choices open to the are not to their liking.

1. Do nothing accept what ever job comes a long.
2. Accept a closed shop job while work towards right to work.
3. Move to a state with right to work.

Oh wait that's easy for you to say, what about if I don't have money to move?

4. Accept any job, save and move.

A new low....sigh. How takes some f'n personal responsibility and control for your own life.


theirritablearchitect said...


You've crossed something up in your argument, here, and it has to do with who's holding the gun to whose head for that extra compensation you're talking about.

Get it?

Sebastian said...

I will admit that I comment over at Joan Peterson's blog purely for entertainment value, and not much else. I find something amusing and vaguely fascinating about her thought processes. I can't figure out if it's the same way I'd find a train wreck vaguely fascinating, or it's more like a kid with an ant farm kind of thing.

atlharp said...

The day it became common-place for the less than American among us to insist that government could them a right (whether it be collective bargaining or free cable), they had sold their soul to the devil. There is simply no freedom or liberty with a belief like that. At the end of the day you and whatever you earn belong to someone else.

There is a good reason why rights come from God. It's because they can't be repealed unless someone can walk on water, raise the dead, or better yet, outrun a bullet. Yet they can be turned over and swapped for shiny trinkets (like how we got NY, which in hindsight I think we overpayed). My greatest fear is not of us descending into a mob, but of us all falling asleep. Seriously, what can we call the last 100 years in this country but the Big Sleep? We have lost more of our souls in the last hundred years and for what? What have we gained out of it except a bunch of broken promises and a permanent class of self-entitled beggars who contribute nothing but "shit, misery, and red tape?" For some reason true liberty always seems to be on borrowed time....

Justthisguy said...

Joshkie, as I said to you over at Rory's blog, I love you, bro'.

However, may I beg to suggest to you that a spell-check program could be your friend, so to speak?

Josh Kruschke said...

Justthisguy -

Doesn't help when I use a correctly spelled word wrongly, and I do a lot of this on my my iPhone. Say I miss type a word leaving out a letter, once I hit space it will throw (see I almost used through here) in a word that it think I ment and it's never even close.
Sometimes I want to find the head programer for apple spellcheck and beat them about the head with an iPad.


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