Gun Permit Holders Substantially More Law Abiding

The other day, the New York Times published a story with data that demonstrates that gun permit holders in North Carolina are 20x less likely to commit a felony than the average American [not entirely sure the math is right here, but the crime rate among permit holders is certainly lower than the average].  Of course, the Times readership does not want to hear that, since it does not fit their world view.   So the Times, ever sensitive to its readership's needs, writes the article as a scare story about why we need tighter gun control.

  • Benjamin Cole

    I don't understand the left's fixation on guns. About 12,000 people a year are murdered each year in the USA with guns. About 30,000 a year die in auto crashes. We are a nation of 300 million. These are not important problems.

    On the other hand, in the terrorists' best year ever, 2001, they killed 3,000 Americans, or about one-tenth the number that died in auto accidents in that year.

    Since 2001, about 300,000 Americans have died in auto accidents.

    But we spend $1 trillion annually for the Defense, Homeland Security-VA megaplex, or about $3,333 for every man, woman and child in the USA. #143 for an average family of four. If you add in debt costs from recent wars, the number goes higher.

    The left should forget about gun control.

    The right should take a chain saw to our incredibly expensive, parasitic, coprolitic and wasteful defense sector.

  • Freedom Lover

    The sad thing isn't that the NYT is doing what it consistently does. The sad thing is that the average reader will totally misunderstand the math and listen to the almighty NYT's rant that has no basis in fact. The enemy of our freedom is very much the lazy and afraid people who enjoy it.

  • Ted Rado

    I have been a gun owner since I was a teenager. I als have a concealed carry permit. When the anti-gun stuff got into high gear, I decided to investigate the matter myself rather than blindly believe Sarah Brady or the NRA. There were books written showing that more guns resulted in less crime, due to armed citizens deterring the crooks. The anti-gunners wrote books showing the opposite.

    Florida then passed the right to carry law, and the anti-gunners predicted an OK corral situation. Nothing of the sort happened. Most other States have followed suit, and the crime rate continues to fall. Thus there is considerable empirical evidence that an armed citizenry deters crime.

    Gun ownership is an American tradition enshrined in the Constitution. Why get everyone upset unnecessarily when the evidence shows that eliminating gun ownership wouldn't reduce crime anyway? All it would accomplish is make the anti-gunners happy and perhaps increase crime. If I ever saw a case of mindless zealotry run amuck, this is it.

    As to gun permit holders having a much lower crime rate, one must be fingerprinted and checked out by the police before getting a permit. One must also take a course that teaches gun safety and firearms law. It is therefore no surprise that the crime rate among such people is very low. I imagine gun accidents are much rarer as well.

  • me

    Thank you guys for your comments - Benjamin, your point about wastefulness and misdirection in public spending is spot on incredibly well put. And I have to admit that I was about to write a comment about your second point after reading your first sentence but you made it better than I could have.

    Ted, thank you for pointing out the statistical confounder (post hoc ergo propter hoc), that was my second reflex :)

    Merry XMas and a Happy New Year.

  • Benjamin Cole

    Me-

    Thanks for your comment.

    BTW, from today's news--

    "Aecom Wins U.S. Contract to Train Afghans
    By DEBORAH CROWE
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011
    The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Aecom Technology Corp. a contract, worth up to $177 million, to provide professional, technical and management support services to help people in Afghanistan better respond to instability in their country...."

    Now, this is not as big as the $550 mil wasted on Solyndra. But no one in the right-wing echo chamber will peep about it, I assure you. And this is just one contract of thousands......

    You can't vote for the Dems, or the GOP.

  • John O.

    Benjamin Cole:

    This is exactly why I jumped to the Libertarian Party in 2004. The GOP and Dems adopted the same tactics and for intents and purposes act the same and neither give a damn about the Constitution and its principles.

  • SuperMike

    This is so obvious. If you've made it to 21 (or better yet 25) without having been charged with a felony, what are the real chances you'll commit one later? (especially a violent one, considering the creep in what's considered a felony)

  • Roy

    Benj and me: consider an alternate reductio. What if we spend zip on defense? Do you suppose that we can reach no conclusions from the historical fact that zero atomic weapons have exploded in any U.S. city?

    While I, errr, buy the idea of doing a cost vs benefits analysis, and even sorta agree with quibbles that defense spending could get reduced without compromising safety, I'm not willing to concede you have a blanket point.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    Ted, the mistake you make is in allowing them to place the argument on turf they have the slightest chance of winning on, which is guns-vs-crime. This is a place where emotional appeals can gain traction, however senseless they may be -- they can point to the child of some moron who left their gun out and the child killed himself with it, or someone who mishandled a gun and shot a child, and that outweighs a hundred self-defense never-happened assaults that can be used to counter it.

    The purpose of citizen gun ownership is now and has always been not to deter crime, which is an incidental benefit, but to help constrain our government from over-reach. This is the EXPRESS PURPOSE for guns which was used to argue for passage of the Consitution by Madison in Federalist #46:

    The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.

    (Note, BTW, how it makes a hash of the notion that the National Guard or anything else is what is intended by the "militia" -- the militia, by this lone paper, is clearly nothing less than the whole able-bodied adult citizenry of a Free and Sovereign people).

    The argument would be, of course, that the modern Federal Army has "tanks and fighters and artillery"... which would render it exceptionally difficult to fight such an army. Indeed, I concur. It would be most difficult.

    To which argument I respond, "So, to oppose this army without guns would be an improvement... HOW?"

    No, the presence of guns in the hands of the citizenry is a clear and blatant check on overreaching government power, as it is and has always been intended to be. It makes certain that there is always a threatening counterforce to any attempt to instill anything less than the will of the people onto the populace as a whole. That the people need only put up with as much Federal overreach as they deem, that it is always in their hands to say, "NO! This, and no farther!" and make that pronouncement stick.

    "A monarch should always have their necks in a noose. Keeps 'em upright."
    -- R. A. Heinlein --

    "Among other things, being disarmed means being despised."
    -- Machiavelli --

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    Benny is an idiot, and has been one since his days over at Carpe Diem. Go over there to see how preposterous some of his comments get, and how clueless about economics.

    I concur that our defense establishment is a typical government screw-job, that they do everything possible to prevent any true reduction in spending -- just like virtually EVERY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY.

    The notion that "defense" is the current problem is, however, asinine, and anyone who actually LOOKS at the pie chart for the federal budget -- esp. if they compare it to even vaguely recent history -- would know this.

    Defense spending is VASTLY outweighed by social security, medicare, and so forth. Hell, defense spending is only twice what we pay to service the national DEBT (probably less than that, since the Great Big 0 took office).

    We were supposed to have a "defense dividend" when the cold war wound down, as we pulled money out of defense.... did we use that to reduce the national debt? Oh, HELL NO -- we put every dime of it -- and more -- into entitlement spending. That's "wealth redistribution" to those of you not familiar with "governmentspeak".

    OK, so the thing that we need to look at FIRST is reducing entitlement spending on a wide array of levels, and at ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, not just the Federal.

    >:-/

  • Rob

    @IGotBupkis

    Whenever I use the "guns to keep govt in check" argument, I receive the "you're a conspiracist and govts don't do that in this day and age" response.

    Got any good comebacks besides "if I can't be trusted, how can govt composed of the same fallable species be trusted"?

  • Benjamin Cole

    Roy-

    I do not propose spending zero on defense. Properly done, we should be able to protect our borders with 1 percent or less of GDP.

    Submarines are terrific weapons, and very hard to track. A submarine fleet, some with nukes, some hunter-killer, would prevent any foreign force from landing on our shores (the idea is slightly comical---and why would another nation invade the USA?).

    We may have to give up various foreign expeditions with a smaller military. Can you say we have benefitted from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan? We are talking several trillion dollars in expenses on just those three wars.

    For the record, I am happy to trim entitlements.

    But I do find it odd that "conservatives" are hot to cut entitlements---payroll taxes that come back to taxpayers in the form of cash or medical care, with little DC overhead---but not agency spending, which is money taken from us and put into the black hole of the federal government, where only bureaucrats and grifters benefit.

    When you send $3,333 every year to pay for Defense-Homeland Security-VA (that's $13k for an average family of four) to Washington, DC, you really think you are getting your money's worth?

    Sheesh, hell yes, cut back that by 80 percent, and totally eliminate the USDA, the HUD, Labor and Commerce Departments.

    Actually, our Founding Fathers wanted a citizen military (see 2nd amendment) and deeply detested, loathed and held in contempt standing militaries. The right wing used to insist on demobilizing after wars---so much so that after WWII, we had not the troops or equipment to properly invade all of Korea.

    It was Eisenhower to pulled out of Korea, a war that was Truman's. Nixon pulled out of Vietnam, a war that was LBJ's.

    Then, rural districts went to the GOP, and defense became a GOP patronage machine, along with the USDA (both were FDR-LBJ-Dem money machines, and now are GOP slop). Read your history. Now it is GOP'ers who are warmongers--nest to Vietnam, have any wars been as useless as Iraq and Afghanistan? Or so expensive? We are fighting guys armed with homemade bombs, and who have no tanks, ships, artillery, airplanes, trucks---from what I read, they have light arms only.

    And we are in for $4 trillion on Iraqistan. I guess we are drowning them in Ben Franklins.

    But hey, let's rant and rave about Solyndra for several weeks (a crappy use of taxpayer money it was also).

  • Gil

    The Constitution doesn't mention individual gun ownership - just militia ownership. The context of the militia has always been about the government summoning people to become an impromptu army when the formal army isn't enough. The Constitution quite clearly states that the militia is there to help suppress insurrections, i.e. a Second American Revolution. Hence the Swiss legally differentiate between the miltiia weapons people own and store when they are called to arms and their private firearms for their personal use. The Founders didn't mention private individual gun ownership for its own sake because it was a standard tool for most people as they were all farmers. Unfortunately the Founding Fathers couldn't envisage a time when most people aren't farmers and it isn't really an everyday tool in any meaningless sense but something to have when once-in-a-blue-moon someone is sneaking through your window hence it wasn't enshrined in the Constitution.

  • Gil

    Actually why is necessarily a right to carry a gun in public? On your own private premises it's your domain and you have a trump card against an intruder. Shoot someone on the streets and it's your word versus theirs and you have to prove your safety was imperilled enough to shoot someone otherwise you're going to prison while having to pay the other guy's medical bills. Maybe you'll face someone else with a gun but any criminal whose willing to put a gun in your face will shoot you before you can get your gun out of its holster. This reminds of the saying that if you can afford martial lessons to the point of earning a few dans then you're a middle-class person who can't afford to rack criminal charges and lawsuits. Likewise most people who romanticise shooting someone on the public streets without legal repercussions watch too much action movies. Even legal fees from a successful verdict of self-defence will be well into the thousands of dollars. A no-good criminal has the advantage over the average person: they have little life prospects, they don't have assets or money to pay lawsuits, they're willing to do serious time in prison, they don't care their criminal history blocks them out of any real jobs. Libertarians/Conservatives must be spitting venom where they hear experts advising to not play the hero cowboy in real life but it's true.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    Gil: HOOEY. I cited you the ACTUAL DISTINCTION and argument given to the American peoples in terms of why they should support the initial vote for the Constitution by its very own primary author. That's what THE FEDERALIST PAPERS were.

    The FP #46 openly states what is meant by "the militia":

    The "militia" is nothing less than the entire able-bodied adult citizenry of the USA itself. The people of these United States never made any other distinction.

    And it was not to be "called into action" by the government, it was to be the people themselves, captained by men of their own selection, in order to put a period on any effort by the Federal government to overreach their proper bounds.

    And where in the HELL do you get the unmitigated folderol of "The Constitution quite clearly states that the militia is there to help suppress insurrections"?? That's such an utterly obvious crock of bovine excreta as to be laughable. Again, see Federalist #46. Then quote me the line in the Constitution where you pulled that idiocy from.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >>> Maybe you’ll face someone else with a gun but any criminal whose willing to put a gun in your face will shoot you before you can get your gun out of its holster.

    Says someone with no experience of guns and who has managed, by the miracle of modern Media Coverage, to miss the vast array of instances where someone utilized a weapon directly and indirectly to stop a crime.

    There was, for example, the case of Kip Kinkle, who decided to bring guns to school and mow down his real and imagined nemesis. One of his victims, already shot but not incapacitated, recognized the sound of his gun running out of ammo, and knew he had a few seconds to charge him and bring him down prior to his being able to reload. This, of course, barely made it into the media.

    There was another, similar case, where a youth brought a gun to school with infamous intent, and one of the teachers/administrators, whose gun was in the glove box of his car (in spite of Federal regulations banning such), retrieved said gun, and held the boy at bay until authorities could arrive.

    The fact that crime goes DOWN when concealed carry laws are relaxed should be more than adequate justification for such. It should be rather clear that it adds a substantial element of random chance risk to any effort to hold people hostage or to just shoot them for the hell of it. Even the fastest police call, made at the swiftest sign of danger, by the most conveniently available random police officer, could result in a good 5-10 minute delay before help can arrive. A person with a clear mind and a good understanding of their weapons' capabilities can end such a scenario long before the police could even hope to arrive, and, unlike the police, is usually going to be within a scenario rather than trapped outside of it. You can make all the arguments of how this only "encourages Western-style 'shootout'" all you want. The fact that they DON'T occur regularly in such locations as have relaxed carry is more than adequate counter-argument to put "FAIL!!" on that claim.

    Strangely, there is a substantial array of reported and unreported (officially, that is) instances where some miscreant was considering mayhem and decided, upon being aware that the/a potential victim was armed, decided that some other, less dangerous target, was the better part of gaining infamy.

    Criminals are rarely stupidly ready to toss away their lives, they have just as much of a goal in mind as anyone else. That generally entails the least amount of risk for the most potential profit. Adding risk to the mix only discourages adventurism on their part.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >> I do not propose spending zero on defense. Properly done, we should be able to protect our borders with 1 percent or less of GDP.

    Submarines are terrific weapons, and very hard to track. A submarine fleet, some with nukes, some hunter-killer, would prevent any foreign force from landing on our shores (the idea is slightly comical—and why would another nation invade the USA?).

    1) Submarines are almost certainly vulnerable or potentially vulnerable the instant any seriously capable nation decides to make them so. The "shroud of concealment" which the oceans offers was already, even in the *EARLY* 1980s "at risk", once blue lasers became available. You might notice this consumer entertainment tech called "Blu-Ray"? That would be "Blue Lasers", cheap enough and available to pretty much anyone on the planet, with most of the "how to" reasonably available for something like military development applications.

    2) You completely ignore the peacetime uses of much of the military hardware you're whining about -- having a self-sufficient floating city with a huge power source available to it makes it a very effective tool in instances of near coastal areas (which is where most cities are, anyway) undergoing disaster. Like Haiti. Like Fukishima. Like Indonesia. The latter two in particular where instances of one Carrier task force making all the difference in the world to not just hundreds but thousands and tens of thousands of lives.

    3) America has always had an issue historically with being late to the party, when it comes to military tech. And, since ca. 1890, we've also had a major problem with the fact that our wealth makes us targets regardless of how we behave. When you're the top dog on the block, there is a benefit to anyone who can strike out at us -- and provocation is not required -- it's called "counting coup". When you have a foreign policy as goofy as ours (schizoid best describes it, since it changes radically almost every 8 years) it's a good idea to have a decent military.

    4) "Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan" Vietnam was won, but the Left media lost it for us. This has been acked by members of the Vietnamese military after the debacle (on the Vietnamese side!) of the Tet Offensive, which the leftmedia managed to turn from a resounding defeat, the last gasp of an enemy ready to collapse, into a resounding defeat of the USA, by making the enemy realize that all they had to do was hold on. Iraq and Afghanistan, "go to hell" -- it's the left media doing the exact same thing over again, doing their absolute damnedest to prolong the war and to turn it into a defeat in both cases.

    5) "next to Vietnam, have any wars been as useless as Iraq and Afghanistan? Or so expensive?" Yeah, genius. Libya and Yugoslavia -- THOSE were time and money wasting abortions with no potential for benefit to the USA. None whatsoever. Strangely, you missed those in your summation of 'bad wars'. I'm not going to make the slightest effort to tell you why you're so blatheringly, droolingly wrong about Iran and Afghanistan, Benny, because you've already been told a hundred times on this elsewhere, you're nothing but a two-bit hack who's selling a bill of goods built out of bovine excreta. And you know this, but you refuse to either refute the arguments to justify maintaining them or to drop them as a bad effort. Instead, you just keep repeating them like the idiot you are, figuring that some people reading might be too stupid or clueless to know the answers. Iraq and Afghanistan BOTH had reasons for happening, and they were good. Period.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    Minor correction:
    "Like Haiti. Like Fukishima. Like Indonesia. The latter two..."

    Like Fukishima. Like Haiti. Like Indonesia. The latter two...

  • me

    Well, now I am interested. What are the benefits of the latest wars and how do they compare to the aggregate cost?

  • Gil

    Actually, IGB,DTOM, I do believe you and fellow Libertarians fantasise about romanticised shootouts in real life where a shop clerk guns down armed robbers, stops a crime wave and gets a medal to boot. In real life the armed robbers would walk in casually, surprise the clerk with guns in his face, frisk him for weapons if they thought he could have one and disarm him. If they didn't check for a gun and he tries to be a cowboy he'll probably get shot dead since real life good guys aren't bulletproof or faster any more than real life bad guys aren't bad shots.

    However you fail the notice that I pointed out the difference between an altercation on the public streets and in a private residence. If you shoot a burglar then it's up to him to prove why he shouldn't have been shot. However the burden of proof on the public streets is on the shooter to show it was self-defence.

    Gee, where would I get the idea that militia is there to help out the government? The Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) allows the government to call forth the militia to suppress insurrections. What is a "insurrection"? It's when the people try to overthrow the government. On the other hand, the militia has also been defined as able-bodied free men between the ages of 18 to 49. So quoting one paper like it'll hold in court doesn't count.

  • Ted Rado

    Gil:

    The idea that citizens armed with rifles could resist a modern army is fanciful indeed. Although that was the intent of the founding fathers (remember George III), it is no longer feasible. Modern armies are armed with more than rifles.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the right to bear arms is an individual right, not limited to members of the militia. Constitutional scholars have been pretty much of that view forever. The idea that the Second Amendment means that you can carry a gun if you are in the military is ludicrous. Meanwhile, almost all the States have passed right-to-carry legislation and the crime rate continues to fall. Many states are expanding gun carry freedoms.

    I don't understand your fixation with doing away with private citizens having guns. The empirical evidence shows that it helps reduce crime. Between this and the American tradition of gun ownership, why would you want to stir up a hornet's nest to no purpose? Politicians have learned the hard way to leave peoples' guns alone. You keep making "OK corral" noises which have long since been shown to be nonsense. Nothing of the sort is happening. In the carry permit training class, most of the time is spent pointing out the horrible trouble you can get into by misusing your weapon. All carry permit holders are WELL aware of the potential pifalls.

    As regards accidents with children and unfortunate outcomes with store owners defending themselves, this is a matter of individual choice and responsibily. I taught all my kids safe gun handling when they were young. I lock up my guns when I have children visiting. Gun accidents with kids are easily prevented and are inexcusable. Whether to have a gun for home or shop defence is an individual choice. One must accept responsibility for one's decision and act accordingly. If someone chooses to put their hands in the air when attacked, that is their business. If one decides to resist, that is their business also.

    On a personal note, I and members of my family feel much safer because I am armed. It is like having a security blanket.

    I don't understand why anti-gunners want to push their views down my throat. I wouldn't dream of insisting that everyone own a gun. I'll make you a deal: don't tell me whether I can carry a gun and I won't tell you that you MUST arm yourself whether you want to or not.

  • Benjamin Cole

    Bupkis--

    Libya and Yugoslavia seemed to have turned out okay, and notably, in each case, we did not introduce ground troops, but relied upon on-the-ground allies of dubious virtue. Those two wars were but the merest sliver, in terms of costs, of Vietnam, and Iraqistan.

    That said, I am not sure our intervention in either Libya or Yugosloavia was warranted, and I am reasonably sure that Vietnam and Iraqistan were gigantic wastes of taxpayer money, based upon utopian and idealistic dreams, bureaucratic greed, and a grifter class that wanted contracts.

    Our Founding Fathers detested and loaded standing militaries, and wrote about the dangers of a large professional army. Up through Eisenhower, the GOP was very conservative regarding military outlays, which up through the 1960s were somewhat regarded as "D-Party" turf.

    In the last 50 years, military outlays have become GOP poop, along with the USDA.

    Below is list of largest federal agencies financed by income taxes. Where should we cut?



    Defense 3,200,000
    Veterans Affairs 240,000 

    Homeland Security 200,000
    Treasury 162,119 

    Justice 124,870 

    USDA 100,000 

    DOT 100,000
    Health and Human Services 62,999 

    Interior 57,232 

    Commerce 41,711 

    NASA 19,198 

    EPA 18,879
    State 18,000 

    Labor 16,818 

    Energy 14,000 

    GSA 14,000 


    I know, let's whack NASA.

  • Benjamin Cole

    I will add this: When I first started posting on "right-wing" blogs a couple years back, espousing what I considered to be "true" right-wing sentiments, I was met with universal derision. The right-wing wanted more and more federal outlays on defense, farms, rural districts, homeland security, VA etc etc etc.

    In the last two years, a new wing has emerged within the right-wing, less enamored of runaway federal agency spending, and that is to say defense-homeland security,VA and the USDA.

    Now I find as much support as scorn, and the scorn seems high on ad hominem and low on content.

    I doubt this new right wing will have much clout--after all the decadent right wing has federal purse strings in their hands, and you will get those purse strings out only of their cold dead hands.

    But at least the "new right" recognizes the corrupt lard-bucket that is the current-day GOP.

    And no, the D-Party no better.

    BTW, I don't give a hoot about gun control. Given the puny number of deaths every year associated with firearms, who cares? Carry your concealed weapons all you like, I don't care.

    Remember when the last big push came to limit handguns? After Ronald Reagan and Jim Brady were shot. I guess everything is politics.

  • http://www.ianrandom.com Ian Random

    I would love to do concealed carry, but new legal stupidity is that you must be able to guess when the target is incapacitated. A woman shot a would be rapist twice, turns out the first shot paralyzed him so the second shot was murder. Plus the criminal's family is allowed to profit from the attempted crime of someone you kill by suing you for everything you got.

    Ben you're just another libertarian perfectionist and post the same !#!$ over and over. Research the Freedom to Farm Act aka Freedom to Fail Act which attempted to end it and the ensuing scramble to re-subsidize everything. You like enumerating agencies well Cain proposed getting rid of useless lawsuit subsidizers like the EPA. Remember they found 500+ poison gas artillery shells in Iraq and there is the Euphrates river radiation incident too. Nutters will get guns and don't pay attention to stupid feel good weapon free zone signs. Look at the latest round of shooting all in gun free zones like malls and schools. Republicans are the grow slow party of government while Democrats are the grow fast which is what Harry Browne said. But unlike losertarians, Republicans can get elected like Ron Paul and son have. I care about market competition and investment which don't happen under regimes like Jimmy Carter II we have now. Please take over my party and steer it that way. Rush rails daily against the establishment party members that are scared to death of the Tea Party influence.

  • Benjamin Cole

    Ian--

    I still don't see any arguments justifying the $4 trillion unloaded on Iraqistan, and still rising. How is this perfectionism? I rethink Vietnam was a huge mistake too.

    There are plenty of hard-core right-wingers who agree with me.

    To you my viewpoints may seem like libertarian perfectionism, but to me they are old-fashioned right-wingism.

    And what about the fevered utopian, idealistic dreams that led us into Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanie (aided by money-grubbers, grifters, and federal hangers-on)? My perfectionism next to that seems rather tame and conservative.

  • Gil

    The Founding Fathers didn't detest anything much hence a new government was installed that was much the same or decidely worse depending on who you were. If anything, Thomas Jefferson probably said it best "no freeman will debarred from the use of arms". "Freeman", how many of the population would have been "freemen", 30-50% of the population at the time?

    On the other hand, I belive the last Supreme Court ruling stated that the individual's right to "bear arms" for self-defence only applied to private residences not the purblic street.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >>> Actually, IGB,DTOM, I do believe you and fellow Libertarians

    Dude, stop making claims and start making arguments based on reality. Perhaps you've heard of it?

    FACT: Where concealed carry is allowed, crime consistently goes DOWN. In a statistically significant manner.

    FACT: Where concealed carry is allowed, "wild west shootouts" are a rare thing, if they occur at all (which occasional occurrence I'll presume unless shown otherwise).

    Either refute those two facts which BLATANTLY fly in the face of your assertions, or just STFU, you have nothing to say which has any basis in reality. Period.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >>> . If anything, Thomas Jefferson probably said it best “no freeman will debarred from the use of arms”. “Freeman”, how many of the population would have been “freemen”, 30-50% of the population at the time?

    Again, stop making irrelevant crap up: Federalist 46 is self-evident in its intent, and it was being argued by the guy who wrote the damned thing in this specific case. perhaps you've heard of him, a guy named "James Madison"? And he was writing it specifically to the American citizens who would vote on the piece of paper, telling them what it meant in his mind, and should mean in their mind.

    And even IF you accepted the ludicrous limitation, how the hell do you figure it lessens the gun possession rights of MODERN "freemen"??

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >>> Ben you’re just another libertarian perfectionist

    Don't be fooled, go hunt up his posts on Carpe Diem. Benny is a socialist tool of a "useful idiot".

    >>> I still don’t see any arguments justifying the $4 trillion unloaded on Iraqistan, and still rising. How is this perfectionism?

    It's not, it's flat out stupidity on your part.

    How much would a nuclear rogue state cost... one, two weapons given over to terrorists would cost how much directly, and how much indirectly? What's 10-50 THOUSAND lives worth? Hmm?

    If we did not intervene in Iraq, we'd have that right now. Saddam would be nuclear, and would be throwing his weight around the ME like gangbusters. This is NOT really debatable for anyone with a brain.

    Afghanistan was the base from which 911 was plotted. The "government", the Taliban, was shielding the plotters from being sought and brought to heel. You might notice that Al-Queda is doing a hell of a lot worse now than they were 10 years ago. So of course, in Benny's revisionist world, there was no purpose to it. That Obama has been messing up all the work done by the military in both places is a slap at HIM, not at the two fronts, nor at the goals and accomplishments there. But Benny, again, wants you to not think of this fact, he just wants to make excuses for how something being done poorly *now* is an argument for never having done it at all.

    Saddam is not in power, and the Taliban is not in power and should not be regaining power, were our current sorry excuse for a PotUS not fornicating with every canine he can lay his hands on...

    That's worth several trillion, beyond any doubt.

    Vietnam wasn't a mistake, backing the FRENCH side of it was the mistake. But that's geopolitical water long passed under the bridge. Going into it with the half-assed idea that it would not need to be pursued seriously was a mistake. Winning it as of the Tet Offensive was not a mistake. Letting the media throw all that away and dooming 100+ million people or so to abject slavery and a generation of political repression -- that was a mistake.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >>> That said, I am not sure our intervention in either Libya or Yugosloavia was warranted

    How clotheaded do you have to be to grasp that they weren't even VAGUELY warranted? In neither case were American interests threatened, nor were the governments offering any threat to America or American people? You're "not sure"?? Feh.

    >>> Our Founding Fathers detested and loaded standing militaries

    Not in dispute. The problem you fail to grasp is that the nation, AND the world, were very different places back then. The USA was a backwater not worth attacking. The USA was protected from significant military adventurism by two very very large "moats" we call the Atlantic and the Pacific, from such.

    The USA is now "top dog", and there is ALWAYS benefit to striking at us, even if we're the most benign and pleasant guys anyone could ever meet. There will ALWAYS be those for whom "counting coup" is worthwhile, and the USA is a clear and obvious target for such, esp. given our penchant for trying to "be reasonable" with such unreasonable bastards.

    In other words, the arguments for isolationism are defective, and WWII showed that was the case -- if we'd taken steps to prevent German adventurism in Europe, instead of thinking it was "none of our business", then literally millions of lives might have been saved.

  • I Got Bupkis, Don't Tread On Me

    >> Below is list of largest federal agencies financed by income taxes. Where should we cut?

    Carefully rigged to paint it in the incorrect manner.

    I don't care if any agency has 100 workers or 10,000,000 workers. I CARE about their BUDGETS AND OUTLAYS (which are NOT the same thing).

    So, if you're going to cut budgets and outlays, then the FIRST ones to cut are the ones which ARE NOT and never have been in any way, shape, or form, the proper Constitutional role of the Federal Government.

    This would include mostly this bunch, with lesser cuts to the others:

    USDA 100,000 

    DOT 100,000
    Health and Human Services 62,999 

    Interior 57,232 

    Commerce 41,711 

    NASA 19,198 

    EPA 18,879
    State 18,000 

    Labor 16,818 

    Energy 14,000 


    Emphasis on the first three, especially NUMBER 3

  • Gil

    IGB,DTOM - I suppose your assertion that crime goes down is based John Lott Jr. study? Crime has generally been going down all over the West over the past two decades. Even I still argue that the 2nd Amendment was designed to mean the people could be expected to be called up and serve as a militia to help out the government when needed as they couldn't imagine a time when the gun was not a farmer's tool and thus saw no need though they probably would have if they could foresee the future. Alternatively, the Founding Fathers had no problems with a standard army as the Constitution allows the government to tax the people to raise armies. Quite frankly, quoting James Madison makes about as much sense as quoting some guy who wrote a letter to the editor in your local newspaper about gun ownership as it's a personal opinion not hard law.

  • Ted Rado

    Gil:

    Get over your anti-gun fixation. The States have almost universally agreed that law-abiding private citizens ahould have the right to carry concealed weapons, after proper training and screening. You are refighting the last war, which was horribly misguided in the first place. You certainly have the right to NOT arm yourself, but you DO NOT have the right to tell others to follow your views.

    The number of guns in private hands continues to go up as the crime rate goes down. None of the empirical evidence suggests that more privately held guns causes a problem. In fact, very much the opposite. Zealotry is a wonderful way to avoid careful objective thought.

    Every time there is a bad gun incident, the antigunners come out with cries of "down with guns". They never mention the fact that an estimated 2 million crimes per year are stopped with guns. In almost all cases, the mere brandishing of a gun scares off the bad guys, with no shots fired. I know of a couple of cases myself.

    As with most public issues, calm objective analysis will bring us to a logical conclusion. A bunch of hysterical zealots screaming at each other serves no useful purpose, but only polarizes everyone and precludes coming to a resolution.

    Gun owners have never argued that everyone should carry a gun. There are all sorts of restrictions on who can own a gun, and all sorts of restrictions on when one can use a gun in self defense, so let's knock off this OK corral crap.

  • Roy

    Thanks, IGB and Ted Rado. Both of you provided info that I vaguely suspected was there but did not know about directly. Eg, for several decades I've been nearly certain the purpose of the 2nd Amend was restraint on gov't, but, despite much reading over those years, had never encountered your cite of Fed #46, IGB. That utterly cinches the original intent (and rebukes me for not having yet read all the Federalist essays ;^( .

    BTW, to further advance that restraint of gov't idea: OK, not even an M-60 machine gun much less a pistol or deer rifle will suffice to take on an M-1A1 tank or F-16 fighter. Hence, out with 2nd Amend. So goes the argument. But for a very readable, enjoyable rebuttal, see Steinbeck's "The Moon is Down", where a citizenry willing to resist takes on an occupation force. Ponder that possession of this book was a capital offense in WWII occupied Europe. Recall that in WWII the resistance in Europe significantly influenced the war. If a people won't stand for restraint on gov't, eventually they will get tryanny. (The N Viets got exactly what they didn't resist for: their great grandchildren are slaves. The "didn't resist" far more accurately describes what happened than does "fought".) Point is: at some place that guy flying the F-16 lands, goes out of his military base prison, maybe even has a home. He is not always invulnerable even to a baseball bat.

  • Ted Rado

    Roy:

    The US is an unique place, where individual liberty is highly prized. Giving up these freedoms for the "common good" is proposed all to frequently. Many others in the world succumb to the idea with bad results.

    In addition to the points already made, to me the Second Amendment is a bond of trust between the citizenry and the government. If the government respects the rights of the people, it has nothing to fear from an armed public. Thus it has much symbolic as well as practical significance.

    One thing that keep popping into my head on all these sorts of issues: If I am able to get the government to force my views on others, what happens if a new administration comes in to power? Am I prepared to allow other views I don't like to be forced on me? You can't have the one without the risk of the other. This situation is easily avoided if we follow the Constitution and quit pushing our own views down others' throats. Seems like a simple idea, doesn't it?

  • Gil

    Ted Rado - note I differentiated between gun ownership on private premises versus in public streets. Gun owners are wanting everyone to own a gun as they believe any restrictions on one group of people can be expanded to any group of people not to mention they think the 2nd Amendmnet is supposed to negate any gun control measures. On the other hand, I thought gun sales were up because of Obama as President with good hope of a second term as well as the chances of Ron Paul being President is slim to none.

    Then again the 2nd Amendment say "arms" not "guns" - should people be able to stock up on anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry if they can afford it? After all, it's safe to say a people fighting a tyrannical government will be up against tanks and aircrafts (as Roy pointed out).

  • Gil

    Furthermore Ted Rado so people have the right to carry concealed guns, then what? You can only shoot someone in self-defence when your life is imperilled and not before. Some would probably reply with "I'd rather be taken away by the police than be the one bleeding in the gutter wondering if he'll live or not". But still do most people really live in dangerous streets let alone willing to do jail time if they fire their gun at the wrong time?

  • Ted Rado

    Gil:

    Private ownership of guns is limited to rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Cannon, machine guns and similar weapons are outlawed and have been since the 30's.

    As regards when one can use deadly force, this is clearly spelled out in the law. One can't start shooting without meeting these conditions. You apparently have no idea of the real legal situation. You might find it interesting to take a carry permit course, where all this is spelled out, even if you have no intention of carrying a gun. Thus, it is unlikely that a person would start shooting unless these conditions are met. If he does, he is in deep doodoo. We had a recent case here in OK where a shopkeeper was convicted of murder for doing something very stupid to a holdup man.

    For example, if someone advances toward you who is armed or clearly means to attack you, you may start shooting when he gets within 20 ft of you. You may shoot anyone who breaks into your house. Etc. etc. There ia also the "reaonable man" rule, which asks how a reasonable man would respond. For example, if a 200 lb athlete is attacked by a bare handed 150 lb old man, he can't pull out a gun and shoot the guy. If an 80 year old man is attacked by a bare handed 200 lb youth who is trying to beat him t a pulp, he is free to shoot him. Almost every conceivable situation is covered in the class. Thus the chance of being accused of murder is very unlikely if you follow the teachings.

    Everyone has the right to defend himself in his own home or business premises. No permit is required. The carry permit is only required outside the home. In your home, you may with impunity shoot any intruder who breaks in.

    In England, where noone has a gun, home breakins are common. A farmer went to jail for shooting a burglar. Private citizens are discouraged from using force to defnd their own homes. The UK has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Here in Oklahoma, a great way to exit this world is to break into a home, as most Okies are armed. Hence home invasions are rare. As I pointed out before, most encounters stop when a gun is brandished. Very seldom are shots actually fired.

    I respect your right to be against guns. This is a free country. I suggest you learn more about the subject before you try to foist your views off on others. Whether one chooses to arm himself in defence of home and loved ones is a personal choice. When asked by someone interested in arming themselves, I emphasize the need to study the subject thoroughly, especially gun safety and gun laws. Take a course at the local gun range. Then do a lot of shooting so as to be thoroughly at home with the weapon. Noone should rush out and buy a gun without doing these things. One can cause injury or get into trouble if one charges ahead without thorough preparation and sudy.

    You seem to think that gun owners are a bunch of cowboys bent on mayhem. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Study up on the subject instead of blindly mouthing antigun zealotry. As I pointed out earlier, almost all states have passed concealed carry legislation. This would not have happened if it was clearly a dangerous and/or stupid thing to do.

  • Ted Rado

    Gil:

    One further point. Noone argues that the Second Amendment negates all restrictions on gun ownership. You cannot posses a gun if you are a convicted felon, mentally deficient, an alcoholic, an illegal alien, etc. If there is someone on the premises fitting that description, noone in the house may have a gun. You can get a list of restrictions from your local gun dealer or police department.

    For concealed carry permit holders, there are many restrictions on where one may have a gun. You cannot carry a gun into an airport, a police station, a school, etc. etc. You really need to study up on these things before charging off.

    Also, noone argues that everyone must own a gun. That is a purely personal decision.

  • Gil

    Oh noes, Ted Rado, the tyrannical gubmint has banned the public from the best weapons to repel it!

    You keep forgetting, like I Got, that I wasn't against private gun ownership on private premises. Even then most Western jurisdictions are more-or-less the same: until you can be reasonably sure you are going to seriously hurt or killed then you can't shoot otherwise you'll be the one going to prison. On the streets such an onus is harder to prove without independent witnesses.

    Finally, if you read the 2nd Amendment to mean individual gun ownership then it makes no provision for convicted felons, the mentally deficient, etc. Pro-gun ownership groups are against such restrictions because if one group can be disarmed then the government continue to identify "at risk" groups. Not to mention preventing gun carrying at airports, schools, etc., means that's when people are now most likely to be a victim of crime.

  • I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism

    >>> that guy flying the F-16 lands, goes out of his military base prison, maybe even has a home. He is not always invulnerable even to a baseball bat.

    Dude, forget the guy in the F-16, you're not after him, he's mostly just doing his job. The ones you want are the ones ultimately giving him orders -- the politicians and high-level bureaucrats.

    They are ALWAYS scared of the populace really grasping how easy they are to whack.

    That's one reason they went after Jim Bell so ruthlessly. His treatise "Assasination Politics" scares the bejezus out of them.

    One thing guns certainly do is make assassination easier by far. And that means the politicians always have to be concerned that something they do will make someone else pissed off enough to be willing to surrender their life for the pols.

    I repeat:
    “A monarch should always have their necks in a noose. Keeps ‘em upright.”
    — R. A. Heinlein –

    An armed citizenry is the noose in a democracy...

  • I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism

    >>> Gun owners are wanting everyone to own a gun as they believe any restrictions on one group of people can be expanded to any group of people

    Nice straw man. Did you have fun re-stating your aleady made and destroyed straw man points to it?

    No one rationally argues for zero controls of any kind. And pretty much EVERYONE who has commented against you has stated that. But any control MUST be clearly necessary and justified and without another effective alternative -- because you seem to fail utterly in grasping that "expanding laws to ANY group of people" is what the government DOES.

    The "Rico Statutes" were passed, supposedly to allow the government to get at the assets of the high-ranking mafia which they purportedly could not touch. The SCotUS has made it clear that they CAN be (and hence HAVE BEEN) applied to you and me. I dunno about you, but I have no "mafia connections".

    The "Patriot Act" was passed to give the government increased access to terrorists. Within less than six months, the USJD was holding SEMINARS for LEOs around the country about how TPA could be used in cases NOT involving terrorists -- that is, they were already prepared to, and teaching others how to, apply it to you and me.

    These are HARDLY atypical, they are instead utterly typical of government behavior.

    How clueless do you have to be to grasp that government is NOT your DADDY or your MOMMY. They don't HAVE your best interests at heart. What they do is designed to increase their power. Period. That's not just the US government, but ALL governments, for the most part. The kind of combination of people and minds and attitudes that produced this country and its government are pretty damned rare, if not unique, in the history of mankind.

    ===
    >>> Oh noes, Ted Rado, the tyrannical gubmint has banned the public from the best weapons to repel it!

    Gil, are you just naturally this retarded or did you do some kind of self-trepanning exercise?

    How long did it take for the relatively benign Weimar Republic to start gassing Jews? Hmm? Not long, not much over a decade if that. And you figure the American people are SO PERFECT that nothing like that can happen here? Hmmm?

    I wasn't really out to insult you, but you seem to be determined to state and re-state the same talking points regardless of how often they get refuted, never actually doing anything to argue against the refutations, just repeating your position like some dumbass broken record. When people start wasting my time that way, I stop bothering to be reasonable and polite.

    >>> Finally, if you read the 2nd Amendment to mean individual gun ownership then it makes no provision for convicted felons, the mentally deficient, etc. Pro-gun ownership groups are against such restrictions because if one group can be disarmed then the government continue to identify “at risk” groups. Not to mention preventing gun carrying at airports, schools, etc., means that’s when people are now most likely to be a victim of crime.

    Do me a favor and identify the powerful gun lobby group which advocates guns for felons and for those... well, like yourself.

    I'm not saying you can't find anyone who does such, only that it's a minority bunch of, yeah, "gun nuts". The NRA, for example, has pretty much NEVER seriously fought ANY gun law passed in the history of the USA during their existence.

    As far as locational proscriptions, yeah, I'm against them, they're based on a sort of retardedness that sort of underlies almost all liberal thinking. First off, as you note, they make those areas into "gun free zones" which encourage crimes to occur there, and, as is usually noted, if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns. Which points up "second off", which is that the law abiding citizen isn't the problem in those areas, the outlaw who isn't going to pay attention to the law IS. It's just as bass-ackwards as you can get.

  • Gil

    So, I Got, you're for gun control and then are quick to point how new government powers to deal with the extremes of society end up allowing the government to screw decent folk. Actually that's why you should be against all gun controls: the violent criminals who ought to be disarmed will be the first to arm themselves illegally anyway. The government hasn't your best interests at heart? Who knew? Who else has your best interests at heart but you? Your mom?

  • Ted Rado

    I Got Bupkis:

    I admire your patience. I will not argue with Gil any more. It is pointless. I enjoy a rousing discussion of controversial issues. We all may improve our understanding thereby. Once in awhile, though, one encounters someone who is so irrational as to make such discussion a waste of time.

  • Gil

    Gee, Ted Rado, can't see the hyprocrisy in I Got's post?

  • Gil

    Or to put it another way - do you believe in gun ownership as defined the government's legal whim on the day or whether people have a right to arm themselves in spite of what the government says?

  • I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism

    >>> Actually that’s why you should be against all gun controls: the violent criminals who ought to be disarmed will be the first to arm themselves illegally anyway.

    No, that one breaks down since it allows them to be arrested simply for "hanging around" with a gun... as they would typically do when casing a target. I'd ack the idea has merit, let them get shot for their troubles... but since part of the goal is to allow most people to go around unarmed, it does make sense that certain elements abrogate that right by their behavior.

    And no, you don't get to put me into any trap of absoluteness. NO RULE is absolute in any sensible regard. Anyone who understands math knows about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. If you can't make a system without exceptions in mathematical language, then there is no chance in hell of doing it in anything as sloppy and "multiple-meaninged" as English.

    In other words. That there are exceptions isn't up to dispute. Only that those exceptions be directly tied to the reasoning behind the Constitution's abolition, and don't violate it substantially. Unless and until the government starts randomly charging citizens with "violent crime" such that it is abrogating the right of the average law-abiding citizen to keep and bear arms, there's not a major problem with the notion that people who have committed violent crimes against society (as opposed to the government and its members, which is the primary distinction one could make) losing, if not permanently then at least for a period of time, the right to bear arms.

    The same goes true of free speech. Free Speech does not give you any right to stand up in a crowded theater and yell "Fire!". The Rights accorded citizens also come with them the responsibility to use them properly. Endangering others -- either by yelling "Fire" or by committing crimes -- is not to use them responsibly. So you, either temporarily or permanently, lose those rights in limited ways, just as, by committing crimes, you lose your freedom.

    Taken to the logical conclusion of your ludicrous assertion, the government has no power to even imprison those who commit crimes. There's this thing called "common sense", y'see? And the Founders did presume that those reading it would have some. I grant common sense has fallen into GREAT disfavor in the last 100 years or so. But it is essential to grasp how the limits on government properly work.

    >>> The government hasn’t your best interests at heart? Who knew?

    Apparently not you. Otherwise, why do your arguments all seem to favor giving the government more power over people?

    =========

    Ted:
    You're missing the point. I'm not arguing with him, I'm fencing with him. The goals are twofold:
    1) To sharpen my own skills, and force me to review my foundational points for my own position, which, to someone intellectually honest, can change with time and experience and new information. I grant, he's got a dull blade but it's still good practice to fencing wits with him, in lieu of better opposition.
    2) Others may not be so dense, but may not have thought it through or be unaware of the facts, since, thanks to modern media, you pretty much have to hunt them out for yourself... and if you don't know these facts exist, you might not even know you need to do so. By laying out at least part of the case, it allows lurkers to see the arguments.

    In other words, Gil isn't a target. He's just a tool.

  • Ted Rado

    I Got Bupkis:

    It would be nice if everyone was well informed and rational. These discussions would then be informative and illuminating. I'm glad that you have the patience to "fence" with Gil. I most certainly do not.

    Very often, those not well informed on a subject are anxious to learn. Obviously, Gil does not fall into this category.

  • ruralcounsel

    Gil's militia argument was quite popular in the 80's and 90's, when debates about Constitutional interpretation could gridlock the debate. The SCOTUS settled the matter pretty definitively in the last year or two, and the milkitia argument has been placed in the historical dustbin. Second Amendment is a personal right, not a collective right of the states militias. Gil is either way behind the times, or is trying to rehash settled law out off shear desperation.

  • Hunt Johnsen

    John Locke's Second Treatise on government, pretty much the philosophical basis of the American Revolution, proposes that the rights of ownership of self and property, and hence self defense, are bestowed by God. It follows that the Second Amendment may codify the right to bear arms, but the right to self defense, with or without arms, is Divine and preempts any man made law.