Comment of the Day (1): “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Chelsea Clinton”


Over the weekend, J. E. Houghton contributed this excellent comment, spurred by Chelsea Clinton’s semi-incoherent declaration that seemed to admit that her mother was determined to reduce the Second Amendment right to bear arms to a nullity.

I apologize to J.E. for posting it as a main post later than I intended, though I am now glad I did. Chelsea’s inartful utterance confirmed what anyone paying attention already knows, but that is still a small minority of the public: the only way  anti-gun politicians can achieve the progressive nirvana alluded to by their rhetoric where there is no gun violence except when the government inflicts it is to make self-defense unavailable to the average American. It is important to emphasize what is wrong—as in unethical, undemocratic, unconstitutional, anti-autonomy and totalitarian—about this seductive and sinister position, and as attention on topics here tends to be fleeting, it’s good to have the topic exposed for another week.

Here is J. E. Houghton’s Comment of the Day on the post, Unethical Quote Of The Week: Chelsea Clinton.

 I have been interested in the 2nd Amendment debate for over a quarter of a century. In the early days, I honestly believed that there were good points on both sides of a reasonable debate both consistent with the idea that the 2nd Amendment is a fundamental individual civil liberty.

At some point in time, I concluded that there was a certain faction of political thinking that had no interest in an honest debate at all. But rather, this political faction was in fact a political elite that feared the political power of the American people and especially their potential “last ditch” power of armed insurrection if things got too far gone.

Today, about 100 million Americans own about 300 million small arms and the government really doesn’t know exactly who these people are or where they keep their guns. This is a frightening thought to those political elitist who realize that the American military presently has only 1.4 million personnel in active duty and about another 0.8 million in reserve, for a total of only 2.2 million personnel in the military. And then there is the problem, that according to the American way, we are not supposed to use our military against American citizens. There is also the problem that an insurrection, if it occurs, will not be fought according to conventional rules of battle. So, we have left various federal law enforcement agencies, FBI, BATF, DEA, HS, and maybe a few others, and the various state and local law enforcement agencies to deal with this potential problem. But these political elitist don’t trust them either. So it is a worrisome quandary. What to do? Their answer: Some how, take away the civilian owned guns… or at least most of them. Short of that, create a meta-database so that the government knows who owns the guns and where they sleep at night.

A couple of years back following Sandy Hook I believe, Tom Brokaw on one of the morning news talk shows suggested smugly, and with a straight face that Americans could certainly keep their privately owned guns but perhaps the solution to the gun violence problem was to require that private citizens store their lawfully owned firearms in a community armory and that when they wanted to use them they came down and checked them out and then returned them when finished.

Clearly, Tom Brokaw did not understand the basic concept of the 2nd Amendment or how his idea was obviously a serious abridgment of the 2nd Amendment.

Of course, Hillary Clinton is of the same mindset. All of the present day gun control organizations are the same. They emphasize “common sense gun “safety measures.” They all say the same thing and they rarely use the words “banned” or “forfeited” or “confiscation”. But that is, in my humble opinion, the end game for some political elitists in the United States today.

I will also take issue with the claim that American has a out of control “gun violence problem”. Some communities do have a gun violence problem, but it is not wide spread over every region or extending to every community or to every demographic. This is, where it exists, a highly localized and explainable problem.

Nor are there large numbers of little innocent children who are accidentally killed through unsecured privately owned guns. Yes, there are accidents but those accidents are small in number in a nation of about 315 million Americans… about 600 accidental gun deaths in the last reported year I believe. Only a fraction of those were actual innocent children accidentally shot by unsecured guns.

So basically, the gun control political activist have to make up a false narrative of an “out of control gun violence problem” to sell their ideas of “common sense gun safety measures.” (Does anyone remember the “Iron River” false narrative at the start of the Obama Administration?) But the end game is obvious. They want to drastically reduce the number of privately owned firearms in America. And the motivation is clear to me: fear of the American people.


17 thoughts on “Comment of the Day (1): “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Chelsea Clinton”

  1. As with a lot of debates that have to do with the use of force – policing policy, diplomacy v. military, war and peace generally, and so on, there are usually a big crowd of followers of what sounds good, a smaller core of principled true believers, and a very small core of unprincipled manipulators who are primarily interested in power and influence, who know how to work and do work the rest of their side of the debate to their interest.

    This is where the concept of moral gloss comes in. A lot of ideas may sound good on their face, and a lot of ideals can be used (painted on) to make bad ideas look good. As a result a few more principled people an a lot of followers get gulled into embracing ideas and proposals, that, if you think them through, don’t work, or can’t work, or are downright dangerous.

    You can paint on the principle of “peace” and push disarmament in the face of a predatory enemy, or hold back an intervention, or argue that defense = aggression. You can paint on the principle of “protect the children” and push gun confiscation de facto or de jure. You can paint on the principle of “love is love” and use it to tighten the legal and economic screws on certain segments of the population.

    Peel back the moral gloss, though, and you’ll discover that “peace” is as often as not a cover for cowardice, appeasement, or isolationism. “Protect the children” is as often as not a cover for imposing more and more burdens until the right of self-defense is meaningless, and all force is in the hands of the government or the criminals. “Love is love” is as often as not just a cover for placing increasingly high burdens on free exercise of religion. All of these ultimately are aimed at giving those in power more power and keeping them more and more secure in that power.

    There’s a lot more I could say on all three, but, to stay on topic, personal weapons control has a long and not very noble history. Through most of the Middle Ages, large numbers of people were bound to the land in serfdom. Part of being a serf was the ineligibility to own, possess, or carry any kind of weapon, so a serf was essentially at the mercy of the armed nobleman and his armed men-at-arms. Even the Magna Carta only gave the right of revolution against tyranny to the nobles, although at least it was a start. The same was true for centuries more in Tokugawa Japan, where only the samurai and daimyo could own or carry weapons, so anyone else was powerless to disobey anything they decreed. A big part of the beginning of the American Revolution was the attempt to disarm the public in Concord and Williamsburg, under cover of night, no less – the British knew damn well what they were doing and that it was wrong.

    The Ottoman Turks came seeking to collect weapons and raise new units of young Armenian men. Anyone who’s not a Turk knows what followed. Hitler’s regime pushed gun registration and later confiscation. Enough said about that. To this day Japan remains a very docile, controlled society with little individual freedom, and individual freedom and safety is stunted in Europe, where in the face of a riot or gang activity the average citizen has no recourse but to flee. However, the governments and their officials are tightly in power, and not going anyplace, pretty much no matter what they do.

    The US has already had one Civil War when the people of one region decided they were being ignored and bullied by the other region and took up arms. It’s partly because of that that the Federal Government for a long time respected the states and let them take the lead on a lot of policy matters. Bit by bit and step by step the Federal Government has regained a lot of the ground it lost with the Civil War, however it hasn’t become a true national (rather than federal) government, with truly unlimited power over the lives of its citizens, yet. It’s no secret that the current leadership in both parties is looking for more and more power to centralize, although the Democratic Party is more open about it. It’s of course much easier to grab that additional power if there is no way that anyone can say “no” and have it mean anything. An unarmed and cowed population isn’t saying no to anything or in a position to demand anything. If this nation keeps going in this direction, soon we may confuse “freedom” with “the ability to ask permission.”

    • Great post, though I am annoyed to have to once again deal with a Comment of the Day on a Comment of the Day.

      An aside on your aside: I would think eventually you would realize that your “love is love” lament is the reverse of the argument you make for the right of self defense and to bear arms. How in the world does what two law-abiding citizens choose to do with each other behind closed doors, and their decision to form a stable, legally recognized, unstigmatized union in any way “place increasingly high burdens on free exercise of religion”? This is like a conservative Jew proclaiming that for me to eat pork is an affront to his religion, and that if he sells me silverwear or a dinner table, or as a pharmacist sells me antacid when the pork gives me heartburn, he’s “participating” in what is forbidden for him and not for me.

      Just as I have failed to find a single Donald Trump supporter who can articulate a logical, reasonable, supportable, factual reason to vote for the fool, I have never heard antigay, antigay marriage advocates articulate a reasonable and persuasive argument why it’s any of their concern. The simple answer to an anti-gun zealot is : “Fine: don’t own a gun, then, but don’t interfere with my right to own mine.” At least they, however, can retort, “But innocent people are being killed because you have that right, and one of those people could be me, or members of my family!” It’s still a bad argument, but what’s the equivalent argument against gay relationships? They will make you gay? They pervert the culture (this is SMP’s refrain, along with “they threaten kids,” which is completely debunked)?

      “They infringe on my right to exercise my religion” is similarly garbage, unless we accept the unethical proposition that free exercise of religion includes gratuitously making the lives of people who don’t embrace that religion as inconvenient, unpleasant and difficult as possible. I don’t accept that, and nobody should, especially someone as smart and otherwise logical as you.

      • I didn’t say the right to do whatever in private or the right to the same benefits as hetero couples was wrong. I am probably splitting hairs here, but I think I need to make this clear.

        “Gay couples should have the same rights as straight couples” and “gays should not be harassed” and even “gay law-abiding citizens should have the same rights as all other law-abiding citizens” are not quite the same as “love is love.” The former are defensible, sound, and quite logical statements of policy. The latter is a platitude, used because it sounds better, for who can argue with love, to stifle policy discussion and accommodation of those who disagree.

        No one should give a damn if Adam and John are living together and want to be married. The problem is if they know full well that Jo the baker is a strong Christian and want her to make their wedding cake not because she is the only baker in reasonable distance, and not because they love her chocolate ganache (maybe they’ve never even set foot in her place prior to this), but so they can put her in an uncomfortable position, file a lawsuit, and put her out of business, then proclaim a victory over the forces of bigotry while saying “love is love.” That’s weaponization of a right and hiding it behind a platitude and that’s what I was driving at.

        And yes, just as an aside, it’s also like the Somali Muslim cab driver refusing to give you a ride from the airport because you are carrying some pork sausage you picked up in Germany or a bottle of wine you picked up in France, or your sis a ride because she has her dog with her. Yet if the authorities were to pull that cab driver’s medallion or even send him to the back of the queue, there would be a HUGE hullabaloo about his religion and culture not being respected. I think you’d agree that it’s not ethical to apply one set of standards to one group and another to another.

        • Steve-O:

          “And yes, just as an aside, it’s also like the Somali Muslim cab driver refusing to give you a ride from the airport because you are carrying some pork sausage you picked up in Germany or a bottle of wine you picked up in France, or your sis a ride because she has her dog with her. Yet if the authorities were to pull that cab driver’s medallion or even send him to the back of the queue, there would be a HUGE hullabaloo about his religion and culture not being respected. I think you’d agree that it’s not ethical to apply one set of standards to one group and another to another.”

          Well, yes, of course it’s not ethical to apply one set of standards to one group and another to another. But given that the Somali cab driver situation is, by all appearances, completely hypothetical, you’ve yet to show that anyone is exhibiting such unethical behavior in this case.

          You claim that people (presumably liberals) would be outraged on behalf of the Somali Muslim cab driver for refusing service to people who don’t follow his religion, but you provide no evidence of that. As someone who has been labeled a “typical SJW” in these parts, and as someone sympathetic to the problem of religious discrimination against Muslims in this country, I would have no sympathy for a person of any religion who refused service in the ways you describe. The fact that a Muslim cab driver might not personally consume wine or pork does not give him the right to discriminate against passengers for having those items in their possession. (I’m not sure what the dog thing is about–the Quran tells Muslims to discriminate against dogs? I haven’t heard that one.) Punishment from his place of business for refusing service on these grounds would be completely appropriate. Legal punishment might be as well.

          And yes, same goes for the Muslim baker that refuses to provide a cake for a gay couple.

            • What was? A Muslim cab driver refusing service to people for doing things he disagreed with? Liberals championing his cause under the guise of “freedom of religion?” Both? A citation would be handy.

              • Muslim cab drivers refusing service at the airports there for those reasons. Unfortunately this computer won’t let me copy and paste on this page, but if you Google Somali cab drivers refusing service, you’ll find what you need.

                • Interesting story–thanks.

                  I read a few articles about the cab drivers denying service, and I see no evidence to support this claim of yours:

                  “Yet if the authorities were to pull that cab driver’s medallion or even send him to the back of the queue, there would be a HUGE hullabaloo about his religion and culture not being respected.”

                  There’s no need to speculate over whether there would be a “HUGE hullabaloo” over cab drivers being punished for refusing service, because they were punished, and no such hullabaloo seems to have occurred. The cabbies even went to court to argue that their penalties violated religious freedom, and they lost. I can’t find any evidence of liberal groups, or anyone else, making a fuss over this. The ACLU sided against the Muslim cabbies and with those who were denied service.


                  So as far as I can see, no double standard exists. Muslim cab drivers who refused to serve customers carrying alcohol, pork and dogs have been legally punished, just as Christian bakers who refused to serve customers wedding cakes for being gay have been legally punished. There were outcries against both cases, but those outcries came mostly from *within their respective religions*–some Christians complained that being forced to bake a cake violated their freedom, some Muslims complained being forced to transport certain customers violated theirs. Both were found to be wrong.

                  If you have evidence of anyone supporting the former decisions but condemning the latter, that would support your initial claim of a double standard.

                    • 1) Of course. Just like some Christians squawked “Respect our religion” when they had to abide by public accommodation law. What is your point? You’ve still shown no evidence of a “double standard;” again, to do that, you’d have to show that those OK with punishing Christian bakers for discrimination are NOT OK with punishing Muslim cabbies for discrimination. You haven’t shown anything like that.

                      2) “The problem is still ongoing?” Is that why all your articles are at least two years old?

                      3) “Muzzies” is an ethnic slur, so you’re coming pretty close to giving away that your problem isn’t a double standard, it’s the existence of Muslims.

                    • 1) Thanks Chris, for the “Muzzies” note. I was going to raise it, and got distracted. Let us avoid slurs here across the board…I thought that was well-establishe since Ablative Meatshield removed himself as the symbolic exception here, as he was only capable of communicating with slurs and vulgarities.
                      2) I do think the use of slurs is a tell, though, in 99% of all cases. Which is the one reason they can be useful…
                      3) New York City has had a slew of incidents with Muslim drivers refusing to pick up pedestrians, and they get fined in there is a complaint and it can be proved.
                      4) The cabbie and the baker are materially different: no First Amendment speech issues are raised by cab-driving.

                    • As far as I know it’s just conservative slang for Muslims (from Freerepublic, sites like that), and I for one have no problem with it. I think my disdain for things Islamic is well-known and I make no attempt to hide it. If I wanted to slur a group I’d say raghead or something like that. However, if it’s on the list of prohibited terms here, then fine, I will abide by that.

                    • “As far as I know it’s just conservative slang for Muslims (from Freerepublic, sites like that)”

                      Then that’s a pretty damning indictment of sites like Free Republic.

      • P.S. Thanks. Hopefully this can become the beginnings of a longer note on moral gloss, although if you want “love is love” left off the list of glosses, there’s plenty more. BTW, I can think of only one reason to vote for Trump, who is pretty close to socking up the nomination: that you think Hilary would be worse, and that’s just a matter of opinion.

  2. The direction the progressives seem to be going is armed secret service agent
    protection for ex presidents and their families is common sense. As far as the little people, they can rely on the police who may or may not show up in time to prevent a felony from being committed. It is an elitist position that totally ignores the large number of crimes prevented by gun ownership.

    • The purpose of the police is primarily to investigate and apprehend the perpetrator later, not intervene on the spot. Supposedly a few studies show that gun ownership doesn’t prevent crimes, but it’s a little hard to count or track crimes that don’t happen, leave alone why they don’t.

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