I’ve been making the rounds on Facebook in regards to the inevitable catcalls for more gun control. Two things have jumped out at me.
1) The people who are calling for more gun control (whatever that means) are not very good with numbers. I suspect this ignorance is of the obstinate kind.
For example, when I politely pointed out to a friend-of-a-friend that, statistically-speaking, gun-related violence amounts to almost nothing, he responded with a half-assed blog post by a DC policy wonk with a title that read something like “9 Things You Need to Know About Gun Control.” There were at least 12 things on the list.
The friend-of-a-friend then proceeded to let me in on his little secret of how he was feeling about the issue of gun control. It was one of his two “things” he felt very passionate about. Underlying his argument was the tacit assumption that those who disagreed with him simply do not care about gun-related violence.
I replied, in my typically polite manner, like so:
Thank you so much for sharing your feelings with me, and for drawing a clear distinction between those who want to end gun violence and those who don’t. I wish I could remember the name that the Greeks gave this fallacy.
Look, if there was some sort of case for implementing gun control laws – like a rise in gun-related crimes, a rise in mass shootings, a rise in gun-assisted suicide rates, anything – then I would be happy to rethink the second amendment. Fortunately, there have been no such trends in American society. Unfortunately, there are a lot of power-hungry people out there who think that their imaginations are more important than the facts on the ground.
Oh, hey, whattya know. I just figured out why I like the second amendment so much.
Throughout the thread I was greeted with condescension and another blogger at NoL, Dr. Delacroix, was labeled a “douchebag” more than once. It was groupthink at its finest. The people I was having a debate with were in their late twenties or early thirties. Both went to State U.
I expect ad hominem attacks and passive aggressive snark from garden variety Leftists. Such tactics go hand-in-hand with their obstinate ignorance, blatant hypocrisy, and penchant for authoritarianism. I wouldn’t argue with them in the first place if I knew I wouldn’t get those type of reactions. Later, I went back to the thread to finish them off, and the comments made by the friend-of-a-friend had been deleted. Somebody wanted them never to be seen or heard from again.
Another example of a Facebook thread and gun control didn’t involve my words or thoughts at all. A friend of mine posted something about an email he had received from “law students at Harvard and Yale.” These students were supposedly looking for ways to attack the second amendment. My own view of law students, even the ones at good schools, is that they are more often than not morons who have learned how to do as they are told very well.
Anyway, a friend-of-my-friend spoke up on the thread. This gentleman could not spell worth a damn. His profile gravatar said he lived in Carson, California. Carson is a municipality in Los Angeles that is famous for race riots, crime, poverty, drugs and gangs. The friend-of-my-friend proceeded to bravely defend his right to defend his family from aggression, presumably from either intruders or (unionized) policemen, with the use of firearms.
I wanted badly to jump in, because there are few things I enjoy more than burning the idols of statists (having a threesome is one thing, reading a good book is another, thanks for asking), but the friend-of-my-friend who could not spell to save his life did a fine job defending the right to bear arms from overzealous-but-undereducated college students.
I went back to check on the thread a few minutes later and it had been deleted. A gold mine full of examples of democracy in action had just been ruthlessly plundered, pillaged, and destroyed by somebody who did not want it seen or heard about.
The second phenomena to jump out at me, if you have not already guessed, is the disdain that Leftists, even the garden variety kind, have for open and honest (unregulated) debate.
These examples seem, to me, to be clear-cut cases of Leftist delusions of grandeur. Just think:
Leftists don’t really care about the facts on the ground. If they actually cared about the facts on the ground, they would read sources from both the Left and Right that don’t already confirm their own biases. They wouldn’t post half-assed lists produced by DC wonks in an hour for me to read in order to bolster their view. If Leftists really cared about the facts and being fair, they wouldn’t obstinately remain in such a state of ignorance.
Leftists don’t care about fairness, through debate, in dealing with issues as they arise either. Time and again, when debate would flare up, largely through a provocative post produced by a Leftist, it would last for a few back-and-forths, and then – presto! – the entire debate would disappear forever. If the Leftist actually cared about fairness then the entire debate would be left unmolested for curious eyes to see and curious minds to digest. Leftists, of course, don’t really care about fairness though. Underlying their approach to society’s political quandaries is the old “freedom for me, but not for thee” attitude: the Leftist’s argument should be heard by all while counterarguments should be removed with the click of a mouse button. It is the ultimate sign of blatant hypocrisy.
Leftists simply want an excuse to impose their will on everybody else because, I think, they believe themselves to be smarter than, or morally superior to, everybody else. Arguing with Leftists in the aftermath of a horrible mass shooting has taught me this. On the issue of gun control Leftists don’t want to be bothered with inconvenient facts like the statistical irrelevancy of their arguments. On the issue of open debate Leftists don’t want to be bothered with the trifle, inane inconveniences of arguing with people who are obviously more stupid than they. They want, instead, to have their voices heard and their demands met immediately, no matter the costs, no matter the objections, and no matter the means. This attitude deeply pervades Leftist discourse today, and it is just one more example of the Left’s penchant for authoritarianism.
In other news today, people in North Korea are still starving to death. They still live in fear and ignorance. And in Cuba, a dictator of well over 40 years continues to be granted interviews by mid-tier Western journalists that are watched uncritically by perhaps millions of Western citizens. Castro’s words are digested like gospel truths.
PS: I am well aware of Orwell’s observation that the political world is not so much divided up between Left and Right as it is between libertarians and authoritarians. I honestly wish that I could write about the differences between libertarians and authoritarians. Unfortunately, today’s Left is a homogeneous bunch, and with an army of goose-stepping morons to back up you and your thoughts, who needs Orwell’s nuanced distinction?