Of COURSE! “Think Of The Children!” Takes The Next Irresponsible Step!

Why do I I keep over-estimating the integrity of progressives?  I think this is because so many of my friends, classmates, colleagues and family members would call themselves liberals, and I cannot believe they would ever allow their ideological passions to bring them to such a devolved state. I believe, indeed I know, that they are smarter than that.

But the gun debate is like Twitter: it magically lowers IQs. I have read dozens and dozens of screeds, essay, calls to arms, and, of course, debate transcripts, and anti-gun zealots have yet to come up with an honest argument, much less a persuasive one. Employing various levels of civility, they typically  begin by vilifying their opponents, proceed to making sweeping generalizations, usually with the help of misleading or fraudulent statistics. Then come the rationalizations and the emotion-based fallacies: If it saves just one life…”;”Guns mean more to Republicans than the safety of out children…; “If other countries can do it…”; “This has to stop!…” ; “Nobody needs a gun…”...and on, and on.

These are childish arguments, now framed by Rationalization # 57. The Universal Trump, or “Think of the children!”

 #57 is designed to end arguments before they start, using a conversation-stopper, dripping with sentiment, that only heartless curs and brutes can ignore. Bias makes us stupid, and since almost everyone is biased toward children, Rationalization #56 has the effect, and the intentional effect, of spraying Stupid Gas far and wide to ensure that reasoned analysis is impossible. It is an assertion that bias not only trumps legitimate objections to a course of action, but that it should….

Yet I did not see it-I DID NOT SEE IT!—that the next illogical step in the anti-gun crusade would be to turn the job of advocating for gun bans and confiscation to actual children. This is brilliant, when you think about it. They can’t make less sense than the adults in the debate, and since they are children, and in the case of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, survivors, they guarantee that their adversaries will hold their fire. (Well, not me, but most of them.) Some of the most villainous despots in world history have used children this way. It’s cynical and cruel, but since these people believe that the ends justifies the means, let’s trot out the kids!

So there have been youth lie-ins, protests and walk-outs. There is, of course, an on-line petition  at Change.Org, where bad ideas go, and a looming march with this crystal objective:

“The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

And what would such a magic bill consist of? Hey, we’re just kids! We demand, and the adults are supposed to deliver! Isn’t that how it works?

David Hogg is an articulate, impressive, passionate young man, but the massacre survivor is not smart enough to be thrust into the public role that some despicable adult activists have thrust him. This morning I heard him say, with a face radiating anger and determination, shouting to an equally intense crowd, that there was a clear choice for Congress: either stand for the lives and safety of children,  or accept the  NRA’s “blood money.”

This is what is called a “false dichotomy.” I don’t blame David for not knowing about false dichotomies—lots of Americans don’t, and I didn’t grasp the concept myself until midway through college. Nonetheless, that is a bad argument. It tells me, and anyone else with a knowledge and some facility with critical thinking, that the speaker is not a reliable advocate or messenger. David Hogg does not have the requisite perspective, education, reasoning skill or perspective to be making such manifestos, and the news media and anti-gun advocates should not be giving him the floor.

This is a desperate and nauseating tactic by the Left. We face difficult, complex and long-standing ethical conflicts and dilemmas, and they must be considered and solved, if they can be solved, by our best and most able adult thinkers, not our youngest, most callow and sympathetic. I can’t believe that I have to write this, but I guess I do: Policy can not be made my children. It is unethical to encourage it, and unethical to lead children into thinking it is something they have a right to attempt.

This brings us to former Harvard Law legend Larry Tribe, the once towering legal mind reduced by age, boredom and a Twitter addiction to that most dangerous of humans, a wackadoodle with a reputation for brilliance. I’ve documented some, but not nearly all, of Tribe’s recent imitations of Moe, Larry or Curly with a laptop. He has surpassed himself this time, though. Over the weekend he tweeted…

“Teens between 14 and 18 have far better BS detectors, on average, than ‘adults’ 18 and older. Wouldn’t it be great if the voting age were lowered to 16? Just a pipe dream, I know, but … #Children’sCrusade? … #ChildrensCrusade = #MarchForOurLives! Make this as big as possible. Retweet all messages like this one!”

So I guess Roy Moore should have been let off the hook when it came out that he had put the moves on a 16-year-old date when he was over 30, right Larry?  After all, she was fully competent; more competnet, or so you say, than a  25-year-old he might have picked up at a bar. She was able to consent; after all, she was 16! She wasn’t going to fall for his bullshit! Wouldn’t it be great if kids had the vote! It would certainly make it easier for infantile policy positions to find sympathetic ears.

Kids would understand that having immigration laws is just plain mean, for example. Bernie Sanders’ crypto-Marxist fantasies sound more brilliant and practical the younger and less educated you are. I would like to see the peer-reviewed research that says that kids are wiser than adults. My guess is that any such study begins with the bias that progressive cant isn’t bullshit, and conservative positions are.  In this Tribe is just relying on the phenomenon first described by John Adams, who wrote,   “A boy of 15 who is not a democrat is good for nothing, and he is no better who is a democrat at 20.”  The more famous version is sometimes attributed to Churchill, but was said by Clemenceau:

“Not to be a socialist at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.”

I never suspected that this theory would be weaponized to undermine the Second Amendment, however. It is amazing what some people will try when they can’t win an argument with facts and logic.

 

178 thoughts on “Of COURSE! “Think Of The Children!” Takes The Next Irresponsible Step!

      • No. You’re not a fucking moron. Cut it out. You’re just a man in a hurry. A very intelligent, conscientious man. In a hurry.

        Now, the first time I heard “moron” used in a sentence was when my grade school friend from right down the street, Phillip Leon, was called a moron by his mother, May Murphy. May, Irish Catholic right down to her toes but also a book keeper, was married to Phillip’s dad, Luis “Red” Leon. Red was a Cuban who’d been brought up in Brooklyn. When we saw Harry Belafonte on the Ed Sulllivan Show one Sunday evening, Red exclaimed, “Harry Fuckin’ Belafonte! He used to be a nigger in the neighborhood I grew up in!” Red and his brother Luis ran a Shell station on Eighth Street, now Calle Ocho, in Miami. In WWII, Red was a combat photographer for the Army Air Corps. Flew over Europe in B-26s (aka “The Widow Maker”) taking photos of targets before and after bombing raids). Red was a fucking hero in my book. God bless him. Were he and May great parents for Phillip. Probably not, but they did the est they could. God bless them. Last I knew Phillip, the moron, was in Raiford for grand theft auto. Sigh. Life’s a mystery.

        But you’re not a moron, Jack. Cut it out.

  1. Most of the analysis is “right on” logically, and we both operate on that scale. However, it is also not illogical to expect an emotional response from these children, who did experience the tragedy either directly or by connection. Nor is it illogical to expect them to react the way they are reacting, BUT it would be illogical and ignoring (for them, perhaps ignorance of) history if we did. Those of us who lived through the protests of the ‘60s recognize that responding by calling them immature is not an effective answer. Yes, they are immature. Yes, they are ignorant of the Constitution, the Second Amendment (including its background and its interpretation by the Supremes), and the logic of either the gun rights or the gun control advocates (which, based on Heller, I do not believe have to be mutually exclusive), the power of their emotional response can be ignored only at the risk of erosion of Constitutional principles based on emotional reaction to them and to the condescension dripping from some of the strongest advocates for unfettered gun rights ostensibly based on the Second Amendment. Now, my own emotional response no doubt devoid of logic. Bless them for getting engaged in the shadow of another tragedy. Try to educate them on the applicable law and principles so that their own approach can mature. Listen to them. Maybe there is one or more prodigy who will then teach us something.

    • If we can reasonably assume immature people to make immature claims or derive conclusions via emotional means, then the problem isn’t the children, the problem is undoubtedly the media *using* the children.

      Which, I’ve noticed the viral videos of people sawing their firearms in half in this “One Less” movement. All the videos are being promoted by news outlets.

      That isn’t reporting…that is advocacy.

      News: “Hey David Hogg, how did the shooter move down the hallway? Did he say anything as he went?”

      Advocacy: “Hey, David Hogg, what is your opinion of the 2nd Amendment?”

      An emotionally compromised victim can easily discuss the even but only a untrustworthy media establishment would use them for analysis of politics.

      I don’t get the push to lower the voting age, when, by all measures it seems like the voting age ought to be raised if it weren’t for other societal expectations we have of 18 year olds.

  2. My friend of 30 years sent me an unsolicited text today after reading a post, calling for the hardening of soft targets like schools, accusing me of all manner of hateful and ignorant things. Last week, I attended her 50th birthday party where she called me her closest friend. Her screed was nonsensical – the typical progressive anti-gun rant. She doesn’t allow her husband to have a gun in the home (an entirely different issue) but that gives you some flavor. To Jack’s point, she’s smart…and that’s what has me the most concerned. There’s no reasoning – no communication, just blinding ideological bias. I have no idea where this goes from here. Jack, I know this is exhausting. Thanks for what you do.

  3. I’ve never been one to join groups, although I’ve had my concealed carry license for a few years, and I do carry a pistol.

    In the wake of all this hysteria, though, I broke down and paid for a 5-year membership to the NRA. Yes, the left has gone off the deep end; and, no, I don’t think they’ll stop until they get all guns banned.

    Jack, in reference to your comment about your liberal friends: As the great Dennis Prager regularly points out, there’s a huge difference between liberals and the left. In fact, if you listen to conservatives nowadays, they sound an awful lot like the liberals of yesteryear, with the most obvious difference being with the issue of race. The liberals of old — the ideology I was brought up with — worshiped MLK’s wonderful statement that we should judge people by their character and not their skin color. The left thinks the opposite: People are to be judged by the group they were born into, not as individuals.

    I’m tired of this social Marxism, postmodern crap that permeates every nook and cranny of popular culture. Conservatives are now the counterculture; the left has infiltrated everything: media, Hollywood, public schools, universities — everything.

    So I did my part. I joined the NRA the other day. These people need to be fought.

    • Good for you, Tippy, to join the NRA. This post by Jack made me similarly grateful – reminding me I need to check my own NRA membership status, and either renew or extend it. There’s a good fight to be fought – and WON.

  4. Another natural follow-up to granting 16-year-youngs suffrage would be to let people of that age purchase semithermonuclear* guns, too.

    I just read today that that ol’ buzzard from Duck Dynasty said them thar sixteenies oughtta be the prime aged ladies for a-marryin’. Maybe we could get a TV show with Larry Tribe, ol’ Robertson, and ol’ Roy Moore all together, singin’ praises about the superiority of them darlin’ teen heifers – be they at the hitchin’ altar, in the bedroom, or on the hustin’s.

    And Jack, we must NEVER forget Joan of Arc. Every generation has one. But THIS generation – the Gun Control Generation – has MILLIONS of ’em!

    *”Semithermonuclear” is the term I have decided to use in place of “semiautomatic” from now on – particularly during discussions when someone brings up the latter term – so that I can update them with an even scarier, more emotionally inciteful (and politically insightful) term.

  5. Jack
    There may be something more diabolical at play.

    Using children on this emotional issue may be to mask a far broader strategy to water down Constitutional protections.

    My tongue in cheek post several days ago on point 2 which talked about these child shills as purveyors of truth may in fact be less about pointing out the obvious privacy losses these kids may face but actual plans to curtail real privacy protections.

    The gambit is to use the innocence of children to create the fertile ground to impose the means to roll back privacy protections. To create more extensive background checks that would require the ability to do a deep dive into one’s online and offline activities. To do that it will require authorities access to decryption algorythms from tech firms. In order for authorities to be able to evaluate an applicant’s online persona, tech firms will be required to archive all social media accounts to prevent someone from obfuscating their past. This was a major stumbling block for the counter terrorism agents handling the San Diego shooters.

    Having access to medical records will also be necessary to assess applicant’s mental health history or the process will require a full psychological workup which government authorities will use to permit or reject a gun backround check. How such information may be used beyond the background investigation is unknown. What is known is that such checks will dramatically stall the gun acquisition process because it will have to be done periodically because mental health can change over time.

    The two processes above will naturally create a database of all gun owners that attempt new purchases which has been a recommendation of anti- gun activists for some time.

    What Congress would not or could not pass to water down the 4th amendment and general privacy issue to ferret out terrorists they will attempt to advance the agenda by saying “if we can save one child” and, having a child say it just makes everyone’s brains melt.

  6. The unions trotted out the school children to protest against Act 10 and smear Governor Walker and the GOP in Wisconsin because the sky was falling* in Wisconsin and of course children are the “best” last resort to hold up a falling sky; the ends justifies the means. By the way, their emotional reactions were a complete failure in Wisconsin and they will be an equal failure across the country except for one subtle thing, it baptizes the participating children into the direct brainwashing tactics of Progressives propaganda. What better way to baptize children into massive brainwashing tactics of propaganda than to have them literally yelling the propaganda at the top of their ignorant lungs. In Wisconsin we now have a swath of terribly brainwashed idiot young adults that headed off to college to infest those institutions more than they already were. These brainwashed individuals are our future leaders, yippie.

    * The sky never fell in Wisconsin as the emotionally consumed knee-jerk lunatics predicted.

  7. #Children’sCrusade? I think that’s a phrase Larry Tribe has heard of, but is not familiar with. Does he know how that turned out?

    I have a better hashtag for him: #WildInTheStreets. I think (hope actually) that most of you won’t get that reference.

    • Didn’t the Children of the “Children’s Crusade” end up falling under the control of adults who used them for their own purposes…?

      (Though the Children’s Crusade may never have actually happened at all, but may be the cobbled together stories and legends of several disparate social phenomena of the time…ranging from slave dealers to gangs of orphaned street thugs)

      • Jack,
        I think the ends justifies the means has completely taken over the brains of Progressives and a huge swath of Liberals in general. When the brain gets to that point logical arguments have absolutely no bearing on their thought process the only thing that matters, when viewed through their twisted ideological blinders, is to promote absolutely anything that can theoretically push towards the desired outcome. The goal is literally blinding logic, intellect, ethics, and morals; it obsession and the political left is promoting it.

  8. Didn’t see this coming? I’m a little surprised. Afterall, it been done before. Didn’t you see that potty mouth princess video that was all the rage a few years back?

    • The topic of gun control could easily build the kind of momentum the Democrats need. The cynical abuse of children to grandstand for their policies will dampen that momentum, and done enough, could reverse any momentum the topic of gun control might build.

      • It depends how many people can properly use Google and think for themselves about the issue, vs. how many are easily swayed by such tactics without cynicism kicking in.

        The latter crowd are probably more vocal on the internet, so the ratio isn’t necessarily clear. What is clear is that the Democrats are really playing to the bottom tier here. This is the equivalent of the 5% Nation recruiting in prisons.

    • Gun control? Never. And as usual, the hand will be overplayed and badly played. The issue never has surfaced as one of the top concerns of voters at any time in my life.

      And the kids don’t vote.

      • Here is something to consider.

        There was a substantial increase in cynicism of law enforcement due to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which the Democratic leadership embraced.

        And now this same leadership is embracing people, who are basically saying that these cops, who habitually gun down unarmed black men, would be trusted to enforce gun control laws in an even-handed manner. That is pretty much a self-refuting statement if I ever read one.

        I wonder: Is this “war on guns,” really there to stop the violence or is it just another reason to incarcerate the innocent? Because if it were truly to stop the violence should we be going after the colonizer or the colonized?

        If black youth, that are three times less likely to engage in the illegal sales of drugs than white youth, are being imprisoned at unspeakably higher rates, then why would I believe whites, that are twice as likely to purchase guns, will be the one’s in which these laws are being targeted at? As progressives let’s not get caught in doing the same exact thing with guns, in which we accuse the conservatives of doing with drugs.

        Those that will be arrested and imprisoned will be those communities that have already been riddled and beaten down by Reagan’s supposed war on drugs.

        I get very skeptical when people start to talk about abolishing the second amendment by legislating new laws that will seemingly just incarcerate more black and working class white people (who ironically will vote for Trump) and also don’t realize that it doesn’t work that way. Yes, more whites purchase more guns, but gun violence disproportionately effects the fiscally poor and already oppressed.

        Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/the-war-on-guns/#V7dvDmEo4h7G8eKz.99

        This nuance, of course, is completely ignored by the spokesholes of the anti-gun cult. Their caricature of a “gun nut” is never a caricature of a black gangbanger. Some of them even claim that the 2nd amendment was ratified to preserve slavery. Apparently, in addition to dishonesty and invincible ignorance, they engage in projection.

        • Another nuance: The left wants to restrict their own gun rights while Donald Trump is president.

          Another thing: I’ve seen screed after screed about making guns more costly to Americans by requiring some kind of insurance – effectively advocating for the disarmament of poor blacks getting killed or victimized in job lots by criminals. Their theory, apparently, is that only rich white men should own guns.

          • Oh, but they are certain he won’t be President for long, since the smoking gun leading to his impeachment is slowly being uncovered. Mueller is closing in! The President is trapped! You’ll see! You’ll see!

          • Glenn, you have missed the boat on this one.

            Affirmative action and being WOKE demand that favored minorities should not have to have gun insurance, as they are the oppressed and incapable of gun violence, or it is all whitey’s fault, or something.

            Whites, due to their privilege, should not only have to buy said insurance, if they own a gun or not, but also pay for an insurance pool to cover their minority victims, some of whom will be forced to shoot someone (‘cus how he gonna get his money?’) due to white privilege, or something.

            Of course, many poor whites will not be able to afford their gun insurance, so will have to choose between their medications and food. But it is all likely their own fault anyway, since they are white, after all.

            Or something.

      • True, but they might influence a few voters, just like in the wake of 1994 the Democrats pushed the idea that the GOP wanted to hurt America’s children. A flip IS looking more and more likely, but that could be just the mainstream media playing up every special election that goes blue and the recent electoral map in PA, which is definitely getting challenged in court.

        • I am not so sure a flip is in progress… I think the partisan media wants everyone to think that.

          Notice how the media started calling close races for Democrats to suppress GOP turnout in states with polls still open. (It did not work last time)

          I believe the resist movement has killed the Democrats anywhere but in deep blue states.

  9. The latest anti-gun crazies are merely hastening the day when the big cities, the small towns, the isolated populations in semi-rural and rural environs, are all ruled by gangsters (the only members of the society who will own and use guns). The culture of Mexico is expanding northward, and will continue its expansion, no matter how open or closed the old “southern border” is. The gangsters called “government employees” will have the biggest guns and least accountability, of course.

    • The scary part is when government starts making side deals with gangs to allow them a certain amount of free reign in exchange for keeping the violence down and the drug dealing out of the public eye. No one gives a damn if one gangster is shot dead by another. The problem is if someone goes into an area that the government has sort of handed off to the gangs and gets caught in the crossfire.

  10. Hi, I´m a high school student who has heard about many school shootings and has seen how both the political left and right respond to these actions. The political left always uses school shootings as a means to demonize conservatives and guns. The left stands on the graves of the dead children and use the argument ¨Well if you actually cared about the dead kids you would want to ban …….etc¨. This is the lefts desperate attempt to slander anyone who disagrees with them during this time of mourning. Yet Liberals miss a key point , EVERYONE GRIEVES OVER THE DEAD CHILDREN regardless of partisanship. Yet the left continues to promulgate the idea that ¨Republicans care more about guns than kids¨. This is false. But this time around the left is taking another approach ¨Let the kids speak¨, I have witnessed the many kids at my school who will ẅalk out the 14th. Many that I have talked to say they will walk out merely to get out of class. Using children to push your political motive is a low and desperate attempt by the left to further push for gun control. The fundamental error with this movement by the left is that they fail to address what they actually want you will hear all progressives scream ¨ban guns ” but you will never hear why. This topic is talked about often by Ben Shapiro on the daily wire about how the left screams ¨Gun Ban” but never addresses what type of legislation.
    Thank You.

  11. Its me again, from the La Jolla controversy, to explain my thought process as a student and a young adult. I do not feel safe at school. From all of the anti-bully presentations(with video and photos from the columbine shooting) to the fights. I do not feel safe at school. The mass shootings at schools, colleges, airports, and everywhere else put holes in my heart and my head. Data shows 146 mass shootings between 1967 and 2017, with an average of eight people dead including the perpetrator. The math: 146 shootings with the average of 8 deaths per shooting = 1168+ deaths. Brutal unneeded deaths of innocent people. If you do not remember, here is a refresher:
    Las Vegas shooting 2017
    Orlando nightclub shooting 2016
    Virginia Tech shooting 2007
    Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012
    Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017
    Luby’s shooting 1991
    San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre 1984
    University of Texas tower shooting 1966
    Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018
    San Bernardino attack 2015
    Edmond post office shooting 1986
    Columbine High School massacre 1999
    Binghamton shootings 2009
    Camden shootings 1949
    Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982
    Fort Hood shooting 2009
    Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013
    Aurora shooting 2012 12
    Geneva County massacre 2009
    GMAC shootings 1990
    Atlanta shootings 1999
    Red Lake shootings 2005
    Umpqua Community College shooting 2015
    These shootings could have all been prevented if we had stricter gun laws. If the insane people who wanted to kill did not have access these weapons I would not have to worry about this issue, but everyday I do. What civilian needs a Semi-automatic/fully-automatic rifle. Who in their right mind needs that power? For recreational use? To hell with that. Why does someone need such weapon. This walkout is for us, the fearful students, to stand up and give our support to 1. The people of the Douglas High shooting 2. Show Mr. Gunman in office that we are scared to attend school. 3. Show the silver-lined pockets of congress to take their thumbs out of their ass and do something. This is not okay, and I will be participating in this walkout. This gun issue needs to get resolved, so I can feel safe and all high school students, college students, adults, elderly civilians can feel safe too.

    • The problem, Doug, is that your position is built on a blatantly false assumption: “These shootings could have all been prevented if we had stricter gun laws.” You’re obviously smart.It you stop accepting talking points and look at law and reality I am certain you can disprove that sentence. Begin by defining “stricter gun laws.” The firts step to effective critical thinking and ethical analysis is to reject conventional wisdom and vague generalities. Once you find yourself at, “We’ll never know unless we try!” and “It’s better than nothing,” or “OK, but if it saves just one life..” you know you’ve failed.

      So try it. I have faith in you. I’m serious.

      • Doug, from one internet stranger to another, I would also like to encourage you to really examine what the specific gun control laws you believe would help our country. We cannot solve problems with abstract solutions. Do some research and bring forward specific ideas that you believe can improve things so we can get down to a real examination of the cost and benefit of implenting those new laws. I say this as someone who vehemently disagrees with the idea that disarming the lawful public by force makes our country safer for any of us. I ALSO think that we have a horrifying problem with senseless violence. We have a duty to put our best efforts into changing things for the better. I applaud your sincerity and bravery in trying to make the world a safer place, and for putting yourself forward both here (by reading and commenting) and in the real world (by protesting) even though I disagree the views you expressed. It takes real guts to make a comment like yours knowing that you will have many people here disagreeing strongly with it. I think you can channel that into real change for the better, so please take that responsibility seriously and make sure that your aim and your actions line up.

        Jack, I want to thank you directly for this blog. There are so few places left that I can find that address ethics in a way that looks towards actually solving problems, and you have hands down the best comment section I have seen on the internet. Thank you for all the time you take to maintain and moderate this sitea

    • Doulas said: “These shootings could have all been prevented if we had stricter gun laws. If the insane people who wanted to kill did not have access these weapons I would not have to worry about this issue, but everyday I do”

      Douglas, unfortunately, there is not now, nor is there ever likely to be any proof (or even an indication) that your initial assertion is, in fact, true. More to the point, all indications are that it is outright false. I understand the futility of trying to argue this point as you are simply spouting talking-points right now. I would urge you to actually do some critical thinking about this issue and actually gather facts, rather than lists of 35 years of shootings. I note with some interest that you have not listed any murders in major cities, many of which involve already-illegal firearms. Making them illegal did not, apparently, curtail their use

      • I can’t blame Doug for thinking this, though. All of his peers believe it; the news media, celebrities, and so many vocal advocates. You have to actively seek perspective, and then prepare to be miserable if you try to pass it on.

        • I don’t either Jack, but and this a big ‘but’, pretty much everything he posted I’d bet is something he has been told, and, since he posted it as truth, he believes it without checking it or verifying it. Probably the fault of his education, granted, but this lack of critical thinking has now become, no pun intended, critical. Doug is one of a number of students who think that they somehow have all the answers. Unfortunately, having a answer requires knowing what the question is and these kids do not. And, if they can’t find out, they will never be able to provide ANY solutions to ANYTHING. Admittedly, Doug is only one person, but if one person could be convinced to THINK, it would be a start. Not that I actually think he will, bt it’s worth a try.

          • Look, I understand that I am younger, I have less life lessons, and I do fall under the same bias that “most of the young generation is liberal.” One thing that I believe is that young people are over looked. Dragin_Dragon proves my point.
            “Doug is one of a number of students who think that they somehow have all the answers.”
            “pretty much everything he posted I’d bet is something he has been told, and, since he posted it as truth”
            I will say this once, I do not let outside thought interrupt my train of thought and interpretation. I speak whats on my mind, and what I believe. I find that your disrespect for my comment leads me to believe, even though I’m younger, your immaturity is far greater than mine. It is important for us “kids” to get our voices out there. Even if we clash heads with few, people will know my voice exists and is important to me. I am not speaking for any of my peers. I am speaking for myself and myself only. People are allowed to support me, and people are allowed to disagree. I understand my points are not backed with research. that was due to the time constraint I was under, and I apologize for the lack of content, but I stand by my points and I have thought them all through. Just me. By me. For all. Some of us “kids” , I prefer young adults(senior in high school), have ideas, and thoughts that could change our world for the better. Even though we are all not the same age, I believe our voices have the same amount of impact.

            • Doug, your annoyance is justified. There’s no excuse for bias and condescension: a great idea and argument can come from any age, any background. You persuade me that you are, in fact, not “one of a number of students who think that they somehow have all the answers.” Those are the students that we are seeing on CNN, however, so you should pardon the confusion. Gun violence is NOT the NRA’s fault, and it is not a “terrorist organization.” Comparisons with other nations and cultures ARE invalid and facile. The Second Amendment is a core value. Semi-automatic weapons are NOT “machine guns.” There is no “right to feel safe” or to “be safe.” Etc. A well-reasoned argument, pro or anti-gun, using real rather than slanted data and acknowledging that it is a complex problem will always be respected here.

              I apologize on behalf of Ethics Alarms for any present or future disrespect you experience based on your age or status.

              • And I apologize, for myself only, for being condescending. But, I want to make one thing clear…I am 72 years old. From my standpoint, EVERYBODY, even Jack, is a kid. Further, your age should never be a determining factor in evaluating anything you say. Lack of accuracy, however, should be, as well as erroneous conclusions based on inaccurate data.

            • There seem to be a flurry of posts by students, which is great. I’d like to take a quick survey that shouldn’t violate privacy to any compromising degree:

              1) What state are you from?
              2) Did a teacher point you to Ethics Alarms or how did you discover this?

            • I agree that your voice and the voice of your peers are important. That is one of the reasons I think the current protest in the form of “walk outs” from students is such a bad use of time and energy. A show of outrage is not enough. Time is a finite resource. It sounds like you know several dedicated and passionate people, maybe next time you could try and mobilize your peers into researching these issues and coming up with solutions instead?

                • Absolutely. Whether or not that was the reason behind most of the students plans, it is certainly being viewed that way. My younger brothers’ school actually had some students planning to walk out today. it was too cold out for follow through.

            • Even though we are all not the same age, I believe our voices have the same amount of impact.

              Aha, but should they carry the same weight? ‘Impact’ is not the same thing.

              I have a child who is a junior in college, and two high school sophomores. I come from a family of teachers, and married one, so I have a lot of experience with high school age people. I am not allowed (!) to be dismissive of their point of view, and am not being so now with you. Instead, I seek to engage in adult conversation, which involves challenges to each of our worldviews.

              There is a reason some opinions are more valued than others. Experience, accomplishment, fame, and education all play into this valuation. To get at why this occurs I have to take a detour. Have patience, I am setting the table for our repast!

              There are physical, developmental reasons that kids are not allowed certain activities, be it drinking, smoking, buying guns, or driving.

              The first two are especially physically damaging to immature bodies and minds. Society has determined that the risks to those under a certain age should limit the legal availability of these substances. Don’t feel bad about this protectiveness: there are substances I am not allowed by society to possess, or allowed to possess only under restrictions, for my own protection. Prescription drug and illegal drugs fall into these categories.

              The last two are functions of judgement. Why do car insurance companies charge those under 25 more than those older? Why do boys get charged more than girls? The odds say these have more wrecks than older people. Brain development continues until about 25, for most people. The last part to fall into place is judgement. Driving experience also plays into this phenomenon.

              Now that we have this baseline, let’s discuss why a younger person’s opinion, their ‘voice’ might not carry the weight of someone older, or with better credentials.

              Young adults (teens) have every right to their opinion, and the right to voice that opinion. Older people also have the right to evaluate the content and source of those views. Often, as noted here, they dismiss these items out of hand. This is wrong on its face, but not always malicious. Essentially this is lazy on the part of adults: most opinions they encounter from teens tend to be shallow, simplistic, and self serving. Adults remember who they were as teens, and how they grew out of that (for those that did so, of course.) Many adults raised teens into adulthood as well, so know that with which they are dealing.

              When a young adult voices a reasoned, logical argument, they should be listened to. They should expect to have their opinions treated as adult conversation, which means content is evaluated, tone and grammar are noted, and motivations are judged. Despite what passes for debate in the media and on the Internet today, this is what adult communication looks like. Life experience is a part of that evaluation: a doctor’s opinion on cancer should be more valued than a game show host’s opinion, at least by a discriminating listener.

              Therefore, let us evaluate what you have written, from a rational, adult vantage point. Remember, I am not saying you are wrong, just pointing out facts you might not have considered.

              …I do not feel safe at school…

              No law, no rule, nowhere in the Constitution are you guaranteed the right to ‘feel safe.’ I run the same risks you do every day I venture into public. I could die in a mass shooting at work just as you might at school. Why am I not stressed over the possibility? 1) nothing I can do about it, and 2) the odds are in my favor. You have enumerated 146 mass shootings with over 1100 deaths. This is horrific, yet far more people died in that time period from the flu. Why do you not feel unsafe during flu season? Because it has not been brought to your attention by the media, a media that has an agenda. More on that in a bit.

              Also, let’s look at school shootings like we look at car accidents: deaths per mile driven, or in this case in deaths per student hour. Research the hours per day times the number of students in school, and figure the death rate. I will give you a hint: you are statistically safer at school than in your own home.

              These shootings could have all been prevented if we had stricter gun laws.

              Russia has very strict gun laws, would you agree? Yet the police could not protect churchgoers in Kizlyar from a man with a hunting rifle last Sunday. Five died and four were wounded. Norway has some pretty strict gun laws as well. Ever heard of the ’22 juli’ attacks on a children’s summer camp? The French are death on private gun ownership. Yet more people died in mass attacks with a gun in France from 2009 to 2015 than in America. Read the article below. The USA does not even make the top 10 for deaths from guns in the study noted.

              https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/sorry-despite-gun-control-advocates-claims-u-s-isnt-the-worst-country-for-mass-shootings/

              See what I did there? I gave you facts to support my view. This will always, in a sane adult debate, hold greater weight than unsupported statements. We can now discuss if and how these facts apply to the topic at hand.

              What civilian needs a Semi-automatic/fully-automatic rifle…

              I think you are smart enough to know the difference between a semi and fully automatic weapon. Let’s deal with the assertion that responsible adults don’t need either.

              Do you need a mobile phone? Is it necessary to your day? Don’t you realize how many kids die due to bullying they were exposed to using their phones? Don’t you care? Bullies use phones to stalk, ridicule and harm their victims. See, I can make the case that phones should not be allowed to teens, based on statistics. After all, until the past 15 years, such devices did not exist, and the founding fathers could not have known about them…

              I know, the vast majority of phones are used responsibly, and bullies are very rare, statistically speaking. Taking away teen phones (or internet access) due to this tiny majority would be foolish, even though they play a role in teen deaths. (Fun fact: more teens commit suicide due to online bullying than are killed by others with guns each year, according to the CDC)

              And phones are not a Constitutional right.

              There are more guns than people in this country. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible people. More people are killed in mass bombings in Europe than in mass shootings, and bombs are completely outlawed there. Get that? Bombs are completely forbidden, yet kill more than guns.

              Statistically speaking, guns are safer than cars, or planes, or boats. They are safer than knives!

              Try to answer these questions for yourself, if you want to enter adult conversation and be counted in the debate.

              Who are you to take guns from people who have never hurt anyone, just because a tiny minority abuses them?

              What right do you have to deprive me of expensive property so you can ‘feel safe?’

              Why does the media make guns violence seem worse than it really is?

              What dies the media and progressives have to gain by banning guns? (hint: socialism cannot work if those being controlled can fight back)

      • You have the wrong perception of stricter gun laws. Stricter gun laws means more in-depth background checks, and longer waiting waiting periods to receive weapons. Being a high school student, it worries me knowing that an unstable peer at my school, who is suffering from a mental health disorder, has the power to own a gun within two weeks and move on to assault the student body at my school. The 19 year old in the most recent school shoot in Florida had a very long history of RECORDED mental health issues, which forced him to attend several rounds of therapy – why would you give an unstable person a rifle? The boy stated on a youtube channel that “im going to become a famous school shooter” and was reported to the FBI – why would you allow someone who makes a claim like that to own a rifle? I’m not saying we need to eradicate guns, that would be illogical and impossible. Stricter gun laws means that distributors would have a longer period of time to run more in-depth background checks to make sure they aren’t giving a potentially dangerous individual a firearm.

        • I heard one of your peers say yesterday, we need batter background checks, and if that doesn’t work we’ll try something else. It won’t work. You say this, but all background checks can do is check on criminal activities. It can’t invade private medical records, for example. The statement that mass shooters will be stopped because they are all crazy is either naive or a lie. Many mass shooters don’t fit any mental health illness standards until they start shooting. Meanwhile, the waiting period is a bad trade-off. If a stalker is after you, you may need a gun fast. You’ll be dead in 10 days.

          Anyone can be a potentially dangerous individual. Do you worry about driving on the roads? You are more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than shot in school, by far. This is, in the end, an argument based more on fear-mongering and anti-gun propaganda than reality.

          • Currently we are talking about schools, but mass shootings should really be in the same category as mass bombings, truck attacks, and knife attacks in my opinion.

            I think one way to frame this issue is that there are two separate but connected problems we are trying to solve here. The first is helping people with mental health problems as much as possible, so they do not have the desire to do harm to others. Of course we need to do this with care, with credible research into what methods are most effective for treatment, and how to spot early warning signs in individuals before they commit a terrible crime, all while balancing our rights as citizens. Sadly, too many people can not even agree on what SHOULD be a right protected by the government, much less what currently IS a protected right.

            The second issue is protecting people from random violence in public. There are several different facets of this problem. Trying to limit the amount of damage someone can do when they are determined to hurt as many people as possible is the single strongest argument in favor of banning specific types of guns from being available to legal purchase. However, this argument requires constant, and I am afraid at times deliberate, misinformation on what guns are currently legal to purchase to gain any traction. This is why the constant correction on automatic vs semi automatic is so important. It is vital we know what we are even debating, and too many people with good intentions are not even aware why the current conversation around AR-15 is such a bad argument.

            The truth is there are many different ways to hurt and kill large groups of people, and we should focus not just on deterrence and detection on a mental health level, but protection for the public against people who slip through the cracks for whatever reason. I think our best focus right now is on how to make public spaces safer. I think we should be focused on the best way to increase security in school. It will not only lower the odds that someone will be able to successfully start an attack but would also help stop an attack in progress if, God forbid, someone is determined enough to try anyway. I think it is important to remember just how easy it would have been for this man to have strapped a bomb to his chest, or even planted several around the school grounds. And quite frankly there could easily have been more causalities if that was the route he chose.

            • Terrific comment. The loose talk about “mental illness” is just as irresponsible in some ways as the careless talk about “assault weapons.” Sick people have rights. Some individuals with mental illness engage in violence, but the vast, vast majority do not. A lot of the rhetoric sounds quasi-Nazi; we should fear these people, distrust them and make them wear crazy stars and register. Seeking the help of psychiatrist should not entail forfeiting rights.

              • And I don’t want to trust a governmentally appointed panel or any body of “evaluators” with governmental backing to determine what constitutes “mental illness” sufficient to infringe on rights.

                That reeks of persecuting minority ideas.

                • Yes. Too often this conversation is about taking government action against “pre-crime”. Such a dangerous road to go down, and would lead to the abuse of the most vulnerable in our society in a way that would shock the earnest gun control advocates.

              • “Seeking the help of psychiatrist should not entail forfeiting rights.”
                Thank you. It is already a violation of federal law for a person who has been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to any mental institution or is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance to be sold a firearm. Only about 5% of all violence is attributable to mental illness–much more is attributable to substance abuse. We’d like to believe that anyone who murders multiple people must be totally insane, but they seldom are in the legal and technical sense. Mike Rowe was exactly right, “Evil is real.”

          • One thing to consider with the general population and younger people in particular: “The CSI Effect.” The CSI effect is a belief held primarily among law enforcement personnel and prosecutors that forensic science television dramas, such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, influence American jurors to expect more forensic evidence to convict defendants of crimes.

            I posit that it extends to the general population in that they think there are perfect solutions to be attained because perfect information is sitting out there waiting to be plugged into a system by reluctant neanderthals. I think this effect unduly influences a person’s perception of “more stringent background checks”.

        • There seem to be a flurry of posts by students, which is great. I’d like to take a quick survey that shouldn’t violate privacy to any compromising degree:

          1) What state are you from?
          2) Did a teacher point you to Ethics Alarms or how did you discover this?

    • Douglas Prodor wrote, “These shootings could have all been prevented if we had stricter gun laws.”

      Douglas,
      Here is a lesson in how things work in the real world, don’t make a claim if you’re not willing and able to back up that claim with real facts.

      Prove your claim.

      • To give Douglas a bit of a helping hand here, there is evidence that the Columbine shooters would have been inhibited had the gun show loophole not existed. One of their guns was bought at a gun show by an older friend; all she had to do was show that she was over 18 in order to buy the gun. She has said that she would not have bought the gun for them if she had had to put her name to paper and do a background check.

        Now, of course, they still had the other guns, and they could have gotten this one through other means. But perhaps it would have slowed them down. And perhaps in that time their plan could have been discovered and foiled. We’ll never know.

        I don’t know enough about the other shootings to weigh in on whether any gun control measure could have prevented them. But I don’t see any reason that gun shows should be allowed to sell without doing the same background check that stores in every state have to do.

                • That good people with guns can very readily stop bad people with guns, but good people cannot stop bad people with guns if those good people are inhibited by the laws only they will follow.

                  • I’d really hoped that wasn’t where you were going with this. So I, a teacher, should be armed while on campus just in case there’s an attack? I can’t imagine a worse solution to the problem. More guns is the last thing we need on school campuses.

                    Chris Kyle, a trained sniper, was a good guy with a gun, as was his friend Chad Littlefield. That didn’t save them.

                    • Yeah, unlike speech, the remedy for bad guns isn’t more guns. Stats from the Old West are instructive: when everyone carried guns, rapes, assaults, muggings, burglaries and lesser crimes were way down, and murders were astronomical.

                    • Yep, the myth of the Wild West. It was not wild. Guns played a major factor in this, but there were other mitigating factors as well, but I think the likelihood that misbehavior would get you shot by the person you were misbehaving towards while that person would probably get a “he asked for it” nod from the authorities was close to an overwhelming factor.

                    • First time all week we’ve agreed, and it surprises me how much of a relief that is. I didn’t know that about murder stats.

                      Hey, but what about Wayne LaPierre’s idea of armed drones at schools? No downside to that, right?

                    • They were shot in the back, from point blank range. Exactly zero amount of training gives anyone an advantage in that situation. I would presume, that whoever is armed at a school will have considerably greater lead time in determining that a situation has arisen that may require the use of lethal force. Time and circumstance NOT available to Chris Kyle or Chad Littlefield.

                      I’m not sure why that example is suddenly popular, but I’ve seen it newly floated on the internet as a popular rebuttal against the “good people with guns” argument.

                      I don’t think the argument is nearly as simplistic as you make it out. I would think, as a teacher, properly trained in the security of a firearm and its use, you’d provide exponentially greater resolution options to a school shooter not to mention possible deterrence than having absolutely zero people on hand to stop bad actors.

                    • I think you’re misreading, Michael; note Jack’s conclusion about the murder rate. And no, my comment about LaPierre wasn’t diversion, unless your stance is that we should only and forever talk about anti-gun extremists and never pro-gun extremists.

                    • If that’s what you need: Armed Drones defending schools is bonkers, there, good discussion.

                      Now let’s get back to a discussion about the reasonability of having good people with guns in places they can be most effective.

                    • @Jack: “…murders were astronomical.”

                      Can you source that? Serious question. That is not what I have been taught growing up, living in a state that had some ‘wild west’ in its history.

        • …the Columbine shooters would have been inhibited had the gun show loophole not existed

          There is no gun show loophole. It does not exist. It is nothing more than private transfer of ownership, where neither participant is a gun dealer.

          Most transactions at gun shows are background checked, as the vast majority are from licensed dealers. The idea that most criminals get their guns from a gun show has also been debunked many times.

          If you are interested in facts, this short article says it well:

          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/30/the-gun-show-loophole-myth/

          • Then does not the essential argument become one where private transfers of firearms are not regulated enough, where the argument Chris makes is errant only in terminology? The idea being that firearms can still be sold in certain situations without back ground checks?

            Yes licensed dealers at gun shows will conduct back ground checks.
            Private people selling their fire arms will not.

            That being said, I can only imagine the kind of invasion of privacy necessary to regulate private sales between ordinary citizens. It would require some sort of national registry of firearms.

            Immediate non-starter. No. I will never support that as long as half the electorate wants to take all the guns away from law abiding citizens.

            • So, in Colorado now, we have “universal background checks”. For a private party transfer, both parties must loop in a Federal Firearm License Gun Dealer to run the background check on the buyer. State law prevents the FFL from charging more than $10 for this $50 background check and most (as I understand it), refuse to do it…for the obvious reason. The exception to that rule is that you can transfer a firearm to immediate family members. By “Transfer”, I mean: there’s never been a firearm registry, so you just hand it over. This law went into effect after the Aurora Theater shooting. After the Columbine HS Shooting, Colorado had instigated a Gun Show background check law. Any transfers by anyone on the premises of a gun show required a background check. So, what did they do? They walk around with their rifle slung over their shoulder with a stated price and people agree to meet somewhere else later. It went from a gun show transfer to a private party transfer.

              The interesting thing to me that I learned today is that there’s actually not a minimum age limit for purchasing and possessing firearms in many states, including Colorado. Theoretically, if a 4 year old had the financial resources, they could buy any firearm they desire in a private party sale. Now, this is a new area for me, so I don’t know the intricacies, but there are other laws regarding the prevention of children accessing firearms. Those were mostly created to prevent the reckless storage of firearms (leaving them on a table while you go to work, etc.) but I think they are worded in a way to have a vague effect on the transfer of firearms to children.

              If others here know more on this issue, I’d sure welcome an education!

          • There is no gun show loophole. It does not exist. It is nothing more than private transfer of ownership, where neither participant is a gun dealer.

            …At gun shows. That’s what the gun show loophole is. I would be in favor of changing the law so that it is illegal even for private sellers to sell at gun shows without a background check.

            Most transactions at gun shows are background checked, as the vast majority are from licensed dealers. The idea that most criminals get their guns from a gun show has also been debunked many times.

            I’ve never heard of the idea that “most criminals gets their guns from a gun show,” but I’ll trust it’s been debunked. Has it been debunked that gun shows are a major source of illegal transactions? I know the ATF claimed they were a while back, before the Republicans spent decades kneecapping that agency. As it’s illegal for the government to fund research into gun safety, it’s likely hard to find proof either way.

            • In 1996, the Republican-majority Congress threatened to strip funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unless it stopped funding research into firearm injuries and deaths. The National Rifle Association accused the CDC of promoting gun control. As a result, the CDC stopped funding gun-control research — which had a chilling effect far beyond the agency, drying up money for almost all public health studies of the issue nationwide.

              …Jay Dickey was a Republican congressman from Arkansas who, in the mid-1990s, led the effort to stop the CDC’s gun violence research. The Dickey Amendment, as it’s known, has been reauthorized every year by Congress.

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/10/04/gun-violence-research-has-been-shut-down-for-20-years/?utm_term=.d1ef62c77d5e

              I’d think more highly of the NRA and other vocal second amendment advocates if they weren’t so willing to throw other amendments, like the first amendment, out in order to protect the second.

                  • I can see a tortured route to argue that theory, but 1) research, at least fair research, has no point of view; it shows what it shows 2) the government can censor itself (and often does) and 3) te government has no constitutional obligation to fund research of any kind.

                • Well since there is absolutely no real evidence showing that the “NRA and other vocal second amendment advocates” are actually “throwing other amendments, like the first amendment, out in order to protect the second”

                  Sure there is. Jack may be correct that my earlier example of laws banning government-funding of research into gun violence doesn’t apply, but the NRA has also backed laws forbidding doctors from discussing gun safety with their patients. That is absolutely a restriction of doctors’ speech.

                  So what do you think of the people that want to strip people of their Constitutional rights (more than just 2nd Amendment rights will have to be stripped) so they can take guns away? Do you think less of these people that are trying to destroy the Constitution than those that are actually trying to support the 2nd and other Amendments

                  Yes.

              • Chris wrote, “I’d think more highly of the NRA and other vocal second amendment advocates if they weren’t so willing to throw other amendments, like the first amendment, out in order to protect the second.”

                Well since there is absolutely no real evidence showing that the “NRA and other vocal second amendment advocates” are actually “throwing other amendments, like the first amendment, out in order to protect the second” you can “think more highly of the NRA and other vocal second amendment advocates”. Glad to hear that your considering climbing aboard the rational side of Constitutional thinking.

                So what do you think of the people that want to strip people of their Constitutional rights (more than just 2nd Amendment rights will have to be stripped) so they can take guns away? Do you think less of these people that are trying to destroy the Constitution than those that are actually trying to support the 2nd and other Amendments or does the ends justify the means because it’s a gun they are going after? Yep, that’s loaded for bear.

            • Chris,

              Using the weaponized term ‘gun show loophole’ implies exactly what I said. It implies that gun shows are where criminals get their guns.

              But you knew that, and decided to spin.

              The only way to force private transactions into the background check system is to have a registry of gun owners. This would certainly chill the 2nd, and is a violation of the 4th at least. History shows that a registry is a prelude to a ban.

              But you knew that, and approve of a gun ban by advocating for universal background checks.

              Has it been debunked that gun shows are a major source of illegal transactions?

              I’ll let you google that, but yes, gun shows are NOT a major source of illegal transactions, statistically speaking. The ATF was not ‘kneecapped.’ They were told to stay within the rule of law.

              But you knew that, and don’t care if a talking point sounds good.

              As it’s illegal for the government to fund research into gun safety, it’s likely hard to find proof either way.

              The reason it is illegal, Chris, is that progressives taint the research, then weaponize it to vilify a Constitutional right. Gun control advocates lie in their research as a matter of course.

              Cherry picking data, calling 20 year old gang bangers ‘children’ to inflate the numbers of gun related child deaths, and including justified police shootings in the data were all hallmarks of the government funded research before we made it illegal. A debunked, flawed study from that era claimed that guns in the home were 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. The data was cherry picked and ignored data counter to the progressive political narrative: in other words, it was a lie.

              This research was part of a push, at the time, to classify guns as a risk factor in health care. Doctors were encouraged to ask if a home had guns, and the CDC was looking to ‘prove’ mental illness on the part of gun owners. Had it not been stopped, can you really tell me that Obamacare would not have discriminated against gun owners? In the age of Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the (democrat funded, politically motivated) Trump dossier, with the FISA abuse that followed?

              But the ends justify the means, right Chris?

              • Chris,

                Using the weaponized term ‘gun show loophole’ implies exactly what I said. It implies that gun shows are where criminals get their guns.

                But you knew that, and decided to spin.

                I’ll thank you to stop questioning my motives. I’ve been clear that my understanding on this topic is limited.

                I think I understand what you are saying now. Are you saying the term “gun show loophole” implies that licensed dealers don’t have to do background checks at gun shows? If so, I see your point, and will stop using the term.

                The only way to force private transactions into the background check system is to have a registry of gun owners.

                I’m not sure that’s true, at least not at gun shows. Simply shut down any gun shows that are found conducting sales without background checks. You are right that it would be harder to enforce a requirement that all gun sales conduct background checks; I’m not sure I would even support such a requirement.

                This would certainly chill the 2nd, and is a violation of the 4th at least. History shows that a registry is a prelude to a ban.

                Do you mean any registry, or just gun registries? We have registries of many products that have not resulted in a ban.

                But you knew that, and approve of a gun ban by advocating for universal background checks.

                No.

                I’ll let you google that, but yes, gun shows are NOT a major source of illegal transactions, statistically speaking. The ATF was not ‘kneecapped.’ They were told to stay within the rule of law.

                But you knew that, and don’t care if a talking point sounds good.

                I’ll have to look into this further.

                The reason it is illegal, Chris, is that progressives taint the research, then weaponize it to vilify a Constitutional right. Gun control advocates lie in their research as a matter of course.

                I would be surprised to find that gun control advocates do this any more than anti-gun control activists.

                Cherry picking data, calling 20 year old gang bangers ‘children’ to inflate the numbers of gun related child deaths, and including justified police shootings in the data were all hallmarks of the government funded research before we made it illegal. A debunked, flawed study from that era claimed that guns in the home were 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. The data was cherry picked and ignored data counter to the progressive political narrative: in other words, it was a lie.

                You’ve given me a lot to research here. I will try and find information on some of these claims this weekend.

                This research was part of a push, at the time, to classify guns as a risk factor in health care. Doctors were encouraged to ask if a home had guns, and the CDC was looking to ‘prove’ mental illness on the part of gun owners. Had it not been stopped, can you really tell me that Obamacare would not have discriminated against gun owners?

                I’m not sure. The ACA banned insurance companies from discriminating against pre-existing conditions, so it seems like it moved in the opposite direction of what you’re implying. Are insurance companies forbidden from asking people if they have a gun in the house? Should they be prohibited from considering the presence of guns, in your view?

                • I left a comment above, but I’ll articulate here as well: Universal Background Checks (UBC) are not dependent on a registry. Registries are bad for many reasons, some of those reasons are based in fear and emotion, but they’re rational. Colorado now has UBC since 2013 and basically a FFL has to be in the middle of every private transaction not involving immediate family members. It would be impossible to actively enforce, but the risk of your buyer doing something bad with a firearm you sold should be enough to make a person want to follow the law. The retroactive retribution for not doing the background check would be bad.

                  While I might sell you a firearm today and the Gov’t would not have a clue about it, once you committed a crime with that firearm, in the aftermath of such an event, during the “gun trace” I would have to explain to the investigators who I sold the firearm and when I sold it. There may not be a registry of guns and serial numbers, but they go the manufacturer and find out where it was distributed, to which FFL, for which the FFL pulls up the sales history (which they must keep forever) and they follow chain of custody from there. Once they established that I did not follow the UBC law in transferring the firearm to you, I’d be prosecuted.

                  With regards to the Gun Show Loophole, CO has that one closed up since 1999 after Columbine. Since 1999, any firearm transaction on the premises of a gun show has had to have a background check completed. This amounts to a security guard at the entrance checking in firearms and checking people on the way out for proper paperwork. In CO, it seems like everyone’s playing by the rules, but it also seems like mass chaos that basically could be circumvented. Regardless, in the interim period between GSBC and UBC, people would just agree to meet somewhere else at a later time to conduct the transaction….basically like they met on FB or Craigslist and set a meet.

                  I don’t think there’s a problem, ideally, in Universal Background Checks, but they need to be “better”. Checks have to be cheaper & more accessible. Currently in CO, it costs $50 for an FFL to run a check, but state statute restricts him from charging more than $10. It basically means that private people can’t sell their property secondhand. If it were an app on the phone that private people could do and have the government retain the history of the check, and it cost $20 or less, I think people would welcome the peace of mind it brings. Of course, there will be others that bemoan such regulations because they’re thinking of the time they’re transferring a firearm to their best friend of 50 years.

                  • Tim,

                    The moment such a law goes into effect, all existing guns will be sold to someone who died just before that date. Chain of ownership is broken.

                    Notice that FFLs have to keep track of these transactions forever. This IS a gun registry.

                    • We have to address a few things here because there is a defect in my comment in that I was ignorant to the fact that a background check collects the information of the firearm and if that is stored by a government agency, it may indicate the current owner of the firearm. With that information, a government Agency might be able to determine the firearms you own…it just depends on if the Agency keeps that information, or if it’s only on paper with the FFL.

                      With that said, no, it’s still not a gun registry. It may be sales transaction history, but it’s not guaranteed to be accurate. It wouldn’t account for self made firearms, nor would it reflect the transfers of the firearm from one relative to the next. e.g. A father gives a firearm to his daughter, who later gives the firearm to her husband, who later gives it to his 2nd wife, who later gives it to her brother…etc. Heck, that scenario (save for the 2nd marriage) could play out over the course of a couple days at Christmas. “My dad gave me a firearm, and I didn’t want it, so I re-gifted it to my husband, and he didn’t want it, so he re-gifted it.”

                      Anywho, I would not call that a “registry”.

                • “Are you saying the term “gun show loophole” implies that licensed dealers don’t have to do background checks at gun shows? ”

                  Yup

                  “The only way to force private transactions into the background check system is to have a registry of gun owners.

                  I’m not sure that’s true, at least not at gun shows. …”

                  Not what I said. Gun Shows do not sell guns or check backgrounds, FFLs do. Private sales are just that, and can occur anywhere, even in the parking lot outside a gun show.

                  “Do you mean any registry, or just gun registries? We have registries of many products that have not resulted in a ban.”

                  No, I was talking about the Sex Offender Registry. The discussion is about guns, but nice deflection.

                  “I would be surprised to find that gun control advocates do this any more than anti-gun control activists.”

                  You might find some spin on the 2nd Amendment side, but nowhere near the pervasive outright lies from the gun control activists.

                  “…can you really tell me that Obamacare would not have discriminated against gun owners?

                  I’m not sure. The ACA banned insurance companies from discriminating against pre-existing conditions, so it seems like it moved in the opposite direction of what you’re implying. ”

                  Had the narrative been allowed to assert that guns were a health issue, you bet ACA would have discriminated. It was a non starter, largely due to the push back from gun owners, so was not included. And the ban for pre-existing conditions was for medical problems: you cannot seriously pretend that gun ownership would have been treated the same as cancer by progressives!

                  You trust the same folks who gave us Fast and Furious, who openly got away with using the IRS to discriminate against patriot groups to muzzle their opposition in an election. I don’t.

                  “Are insurance companies forbidden from asking people if they have a gun in the house? Should they be prohibited from considering the presence of guns, in your view?”

                  If they are mandated by the Government (I am not aware of such) then they are and should be prohibited from asking about guns. If one asks me such a question, I will look elsewhere for their service. The same with any doctor who asks that question, something they quickly found out at the time.

                  Insurance companies mainly work from statistics, and the presence of guns is such a low risk compared to what you weigh, or your history, that it does not make sense for them to alienate one-third to one-half of the country.

        • I just saw this and it’s interesting.

          I ask for Douglas to prove his claim, and Chris jumps in to offer “a bit of a helping hand” to Douglas and then Chris proceeds to meander around things that don’t prove the claim and lean more towards disproving the claim. I’m curious what kind of “helping hand” Chris trying to provide?

          At least Douglas, the student, had enough sense not to reply to the “prove your claim” comment where Chris, the English teacher, chose to open his mouth and his change socks; thus is the repetitive pattern we’ve seen from Chris.

          Interesting how things happen.

          P.S. Douglas, Chris is not a very good role model for how to effectively engage in written rhetorical debate but you could use a bunch of his comments to represent what not to do.

          • You don’t suppose that Chris, the English teacher, is the one who prompted all these students to come here and drink the flood of ethics discussion do you? If that’s the case, I think your closing paragraphs are un-called for. Whether or not Chris’ arguments don’t hold water, I think undermining his authority as a teacher in the eyes of his students does unwarranted harm to that type of a relationship.

            • Michael West wrote, “You don’t suppose that Chris, the English teacher, is the one who prompted all these students to come here and drink the flood of ethics discussion do you?”

              The chance of that being true is zero unless Chris has been openly lying to us about what he teaches, Chris stated that he is a Middle School English teacher.

              Michael West wrote, “If that’s the case, I think your closing paragraphs are un-called for. Whether or not Chris’ arguments don’t hold water, I think undermining his authority as a teacher in the eyes of his students does unwarranted harm to that type of a relationship.”

              If that were to be the case then Chris made his bed now he has to sleep in it. The real point here is it’s not my responsibility to protect Chris from his own choices, his choices, his consequences.

              • My wife will be suggesting this site to her journalism classes… with a warning that we don’t suffer fools gladly.

                After reading the HS student from this week (I showed her) and the subsequent takedowns, she agrees with my post yesterday afternoon discussing how debate should work in an adult forum.

                It is a perk that proscribed language used correctly is accepted… just like in real life.

                Jack, you know not what good you do with this blog, and with your life.

            • Appreciated, Michael. But no, I teach middle schoolers. If I taught high school I would absolutely direct them to this blog.

              I think the high school students here can decide on their own whose behavior in this thread is worth emulating and whose isn’t.

          • I ask for Douglas to prove his claim, and Chris jumps in to offer “a bit of a helping hand” to Douglas and then Chris proceeds to meander around things that don’t prove the claim and lean more towards disproving the claim. I’m curious what kind of “helping hand” Chris trying to provide?

            I did not assert or imply that my point about Columbine proved Douglas’ claim. I offered what little knowledge I had about one case that might have been prevented with an additional gun regulation. I was very clear in my comment that I did not have enough information about other cases to know if Douglas’ claim was true or if those other cases could have been prevented.

            In short, that was a very poor attempt at a gotcha, Z, and your hostility is–as usual–unwarranted.

            • Chris wrote, “I did not assert or imply that my point about Columbine proved Douglas’ claim.”

              I didn’t say you did. Try reading for comprehension.

              Chris wrote, “I offered what little knowledge I had about one case that might have been prevented with an additional gun regulation.”

              A theory about a different theoretical timeline in history is useless drivel. Stop engaging in such nonsense, it proves nothing, it shows nothing, because it didn’t actually happen.

              Chris wrote, “I was very clear in my comment that I did not have enough information about other cases to know if Douglas’ claim was true or if those other cases could have been prevented.”

              So what?

              Chris, exactly what kind of useful “helping hand” were you trying to provide?

              • A theory about a different theoretical timeline in history is useless drivel. Stop engaging in such nonsense, it proves nothing, it shows nothing, because it didn’t actually happen.

                Is it your position that, when considering the question of whether further gun control measures could prevent mass shootings, it is illegitimate to consider how a specific gun control measure might have prevented a specific mass shooting?

                I don’t see how that’s a fair or rational position.

                Chris wrote, “I was very clear in my comment that I did not have enough information about other cases to know if Douglas’ claim was true or if those other cases could have been prevented.”

                So what?

                Chris, exactly what kind of useful “helping hand” were you trying to provide?

                Is it your position that one should never express doubt on these pages? You seem convinced that I was attempting to “prove” something, when really I was bringing up a specific case where a specific gun control measure might have prevented a mass shooting. I don’t think I did anything wrong by doing that. If you object to it, then tell me why you don’t think this would have prevented the shooting.

                • Chris wrote, “Is it your position that, when considering the question of whether further gun control measures could prevent mass shootings, it is illegitimate to consider how a specific gun control measure might have prevented a specific mass shooting?”

                  Chris the only “might have prevented” consideration from another timeline that would be entirely accurate is the one where the shooter is dead well before being able to carry out the shooting, everything else is nonsense speculation and completely unprovable.

                  Chris wrote, “Is it your position that one should never express doubt on these pages?”

                  Nope.

                  Chris wrote, “You seem convinced that I was attempting to “prove” something, when really I was bringing up a specific case where a specific gun control measure might have prevented a mass shooting.”

                  Nope I was not convinced of anything, I question your purpose; as I mentioned above I did ask for the claim to be proven and you jumped in to lend a helping hand, what you actually did was to muddy the conversation which is why I asked “exactly what kind of useful “helping hand” were you trying to provide”?

                  Chris wrote, “If you object to it, then tell me why you don’t think this would have prevented the shooting.” (bolds mine)

                  You wrote “it” and “this” but I’m really not too sure what that “it” and “this” are referring to. Please explain what you are asking clearly.

  12. Although I am in favor of making guns more difficult to access I do agree with the idea that if bad people with bad intentions truly wanted to get a firearm and use it as a weapon, they would regardless of the gun laws. However making them harder to access is a reasonable negotiation especially finding that a student of a high school obtained these guns at such a young age. I personally love guns. I love going shooting with my family and I find that it is great recreation and there’s a wide community that may agree as well. But if you look at the amount of deaths by cars and even pools the number is drastically greater than gun deaths. I could ask “why do you need a pool?” and I believe could answer the question ‘why I need a gun’ with the same response. Guns are found to be dangerous because they can be used with lethal intention but no one finds the same thing with tools or house appliances. In these articles you can find that guns kill less people than things like hammers, or pools or cars yet you can’t change laws on tools. I don’t believe gun control should necessarily be stricter but I don’t think I’m the one who’s going to find a solution either.

    http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2017/10/second_amendment_gun_control_a.html

    http://jacksonandwilson.com/which-is-more-dangerous-a-gun-or-a-swimming-pool/

        • Da HELL you say!

          Sez so right here… “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

          One cannot be truly happy without a swimming pool. Even the founding fathers thought so.

          🙂

          • “One cannot be truly happy without a swimming pool.”

            This cannot be true. I’ve known several people who own pools and I know their attitude towards their pool.

            How they eagerly and hopefully looked to a future in which they would spend blissful summer days lounging and reading while occasionally taking a dip and when that glorious day came how their youthful looks turned to despair when water bills arrived, regular pool cleaning became weekly events, repairs became necessary, surrounding trees declined and died, and they inevitably spent one single glorious day of each passing summer actually using the pool…

            • Lies! Malicious infringement on the right of EVERYONE to own, or have access to, a swimming pool in order to be happy!

              These poor benighted souls simply went about getting their pool the wrong way, and are suffering for their own poor pool choices.

            • Quite insightful. Further to that, I know of people in the neighborhood who love to pay their $500 a summer for membership to the outdoor neighborhood pool. Suckers all of them. If I travel just a bit, I can pay $10 a visit for my choice of indoor or outdoor pools at local rec centers. I can even transfer between sites on the same day. (Say the weather arrives in the afternoon.) I can tell you I don’t go to the pool 50 times a summer.

        • Hello Mr. Marshall,
          My name is Jimmy Nguyen and I have noticed that upon reading all of your replies on other people’s comment, I have noticed a large trend: that you yourself are hypocritical. You tell everyone to check their facts before commenting yet you don’t do they same. You allow your perception of the gun control to blind you of reality. And if you still don’t understand what I’m saying, I’m talking about the pool reference. Did you really think that there are more deaths per year by swimming pools that by gun violence? And you call yourself an expert. Let me run through some facts through you real quick. According to the CDC, “From years 2005-2014, there were an average of 3536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States.” And I was being quite generous with this statistic; I allowed the 3536 deaths to count as “swimming pool-relate” deaths rather than further analyzing. Yet, the BBC states “Some 13286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26819 people were injured [those figures excluding suicide].” Rather than spewing out the random thoughts that come to mind, you should “check your facts.” And before you bash on people and agree with others, you should realize that karma is a B****. Also, before you deny agreeing with Max about the pool comment, realize how I came to this conclusion. So far, when a post that opposes your view is only slightly incorrect, you completely use that error and constantly emphasize it. Yet, for Max’s comment, because you agree with his views, you complete allowed the pool comment to be considered true; you even follow through with justifying it. Now it’s my turn to play with your mistake. And before you decide to destroy some of my friend’s thoughts, at least be a man and destroy everyone else’s. Come on, especially for you, this is embarrassing.
          Love,
          Jimmy Nguyen, a high school student
          PS:
          I’m ready for your onslaught and I warn you to be ready for a clap-back as well
          Thank you

          • Dear Jimmy:

            1. I neither endorsed nor repeated Max’s pool stat assertion. He included a link, and mistated what it mean “amount” of pool deaths suggests total; his link regarded % of child deaths per pool as compared to % of child deaths per gun. Did YOU check the link? The stats there are correct, and so was Max’s statement…“I could ask “why do you need a pool?” and I believe could answer the question ‘why I need a gun’ with the same response.” He is saying that both pools and guns have utility, and both kill people.

            2. I cited “pools” myself exactly once: “And, of course, there is no constitutional right to have a swimming pool.” This is true. It does not rely on Max’s stats, or anything he said. It’s fact. Thus your statement “Also, before you deny agreeing with Max about the pool comment, realize how I came to this conclusion.” Oh, I can see how. By using dishonest mischarcterizations about what I wrote. I said that Max’s comment was thoughtful and balanced….unlike, say, YOURS. I did not say I agreed with it. You see, Jimmy, mature, ethical people can respect opinions that they don’t agree with. I said just now I agreed with “I could ask “why do you need a pool?” and I believe could answer the question ‘why I need a gun’ with the same response.” Go ahead, rebut that. The tactic of cherry picking an aspect of an arguments that is tangential to the actual point and trying to discredit the whole using a part is a logical debate fallacy.

            3. So you have just embarrassed yourself. Do better next time. You convince nobody by being an asshole, and not being able to support your own contentions. Wow. More people die from guns than swimming pools. So what? Neither Max’s argument nor mine are affected by that one bit.

            4. If you are going to be smug and obnoxious, you better be sure you are a. right b. brilliant and c. fair. You met none of those standards. F.

            • Thank you greatly for your reply. What you are doing is only further proving my point. Mr. Marshall claims “The tactic of cherry picking an aspect of an arguments that is tangential to the actual point and trying to discredit the
              whole using a part is a logical debate fallacy,” but in actually, isn’t this what you have been doing? I mean, in all actuality, you kind of did the same with my comment as well. You broke my comment down into little pieces, “cherry picking” what you felt was necessary for your rebuttal. Again, you are only proving your hypocritical nature. Let me explain to you what I meant in your first point. True, you did not state that you endorsed or repeated Max’s comment. However, it is not hard to tell that your bias says otherwise. For example, you “cherry picked” my comment down for faults only because you disagree with my perspective on the story. Yet, you completely were lenient on Max with what you claim to be a fault because your perspective matches with his. And yes sir, I did check the link. Do the links have any relevance to what Max claimed in his piece? No. Even you stated yourself that Max’s claims were wrong: “He included a link, and misstated what it mean “amount” of pool deaths suggests total.” You assumed that Max made a typo in his comment about pools, yet I saw otherwise. I took into account EVERYTHING he said, so i went out of my own to find my own data. All I ask is sir, please do not allow your bias and emotions to cloud your judgement. You claimed that my data does not affect neither your’s nor Max’s argument. However, you are wrong because my data affects what he wrote down, not how I interpret his writing. Also, it was quite funny when you called me an asshole. It was funny to see a an with great credentials like you to “stoop down” to the level of a high schooler, although I would highly deny this as stooping down. Your tone and level of sophistication does not match at all: “You convince nobody by being an asshole, and not being able to support your own contentions. Wow. More people die from guns than swimming pools. So what?” Really? Very mature my great sir. Yeah, I’ll make sure to send my children to you for babysitting when I’m older. Also, you must take me as a fool if you think that your response will embarrass me. In life, there are haters and there are supporters. And I am glad that a grown man who is cussing down minors and are trying to embarrass high schoolers like you to be on the side of my haters. My haters only make me stronger. “If you are going to be smug and obnoxious, you better be sure you are a. right b. brilliant and c. fair. You met none of those standards. F.” Great commentary sir. Let me debunk your claim in using you as an example. Already I have proven that you are not fair, and I assume you know that yourself. I’ll give you brilliance because of all of your credibility. And I have basically already proven that your claim is wrong. So, Mr. Marshall, before you are going to be smug and obnoxious against a high schooler, you better make sure you are a. right and b. fair. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personally against you. I am here to only state what I believe is just and wrong, and YOUR perception of the argument, to me, is wrong. When presenting news or commenting on your audience’s replies, it is best to leave your bias at home. And, if you think that you’re at the top now solely because you thought you embarrassed a child, well I don’t know what else to say. I bid you good day sir. I am hoping for a response to my reply. Thank you.

              • You need to ask your English teacher to introduce you our friend, “The Paragraph”.

                Hint: Two insulting screeds in a row will generally get you banned. But I think the host will be patient given the circumstances…if he does, you should consider yourself lucky.

                This entire piece is a critique of Jack disagreeing with you and disagreeing with his observation that your technique flawed.

                Do you have something substantive to add to the discussion?

              • Well, no. I didn’t cherry pick at all. You misrepresented what I wrote, and wasted an argument based on a false premise. There’s no bias in my flagging that at all. You didn’t check the link, and while I read a comment holistically and understood what it meant, since I checked the link, you chose to lazily attack what you didn’t understand. Again, Max’s point was the same as the authors of the original pool post: based on mere deaths per instrumentality, pools are more dangerous than guns. There are fallacies in that, since nobody kills anyone intentionally with a pool. But the professors who wrote the post had a point to make…and you not only missed it, you attacked me when I didn’t either cite it, or endorse it. See, if I say, “Good post!” here it doesn’t mean I agree with it. You’ll find that out if you ever compose a good post.

                More specific critiques for your edification:

                You broke my comment down into little pieces, “cherry picking” what you felt was necessary for your rebuttal.

                That’s not what cherry picking is. Learn your terms.

                Again, you are only proving your hypocritical nature.

                You also don’t know what hypocritical means. This makes discussion difficult.

                Let me explain to you what I meant in your first point. True, you did not state that you endorsed or repeated Max’s comment. However, it is not hard to tell that your bias says otherwise.

                No, I did not endorse or repeat what Max said, and you claimed otherwise. You were wrong. Integrity and courage requires you admit it.

                For example, you “cherry picked” my comment down for faults only because you disagree with my perspective on the story.

                That’s pretty funny. I rebutted your false claim with facts. You’re in denial

                Yet, you completely were lenient on Max with what you claim to be a fault because your perspective matches with his.

                Wrong. I was “lenient” with Max because he wrote a respectful, civil post that did not consist of baseless attacks. And his post was not mistaken, it just mistated a fcat which his link made de minimus.

                And yes sir, I did check the link. Do the links have any relevance to what Max claimed in his piece? No. Even you stated yourself that Max’s claims were wrong: “He included a link, and misstated what it mean “amount” of pool deaths suggests total.”

                Max’s point was the same as the link, and I said so above. According to stats, pools are more dangerous than guns. Max’s point was that all the emotional arguments are inconsistent and illogical. Which they are.

                You assumed that Max made a typo in his comment about pools, yet I saw otherwise. I took into account EVERYTHING he said, so i went out of my own to find my own data.

                I understood what he said. You didn’t. Simple as that.

                All I ask is sir, please do not allow your bias and emotions to cloud your judgement.

                Bias does not cloud my judgment in distinguishing between well constructed and poorly constructed arguments. You haven’t make a coherent point yet…you’re just attacking the speaker. That’s called an ad hominem attack. it’s a dodge, whether you know it or not.

                You claimed that my data does not affect neither your’s nor Max’s argument. However, you are wrong because my data affects what he wrote down, not how I interpret his writing

                This is blather. You’re just equivocating. No point in sight.

                . Also, it was quite funny when you called me an asshole.

                Nope, I said you were being an asshole, not that your are one. I hope you don’t act like this all the time; I assume not. The word has meaning. Assholes go on someone else’s blog and launch into insults and obnoxious rhetoric without provocation. Civil, mature, respectful and fair individuals don’t do that, and if someone tries it here, I generally kick them off the blog. That’s why I said you were acting LIKE an asshole. This is a diagnosis. I am credentialed to make it: I’m a lawyer. We deal with assholes all the time.

                “You convince nobody by being an asshole, and not being able to support your own contentions. Wow. More people die from guns than swimming pools. So what?” Really? Very mature my great sir

                “So what?’ is a very useful, short and clear way of saying: you have made no substantive point. Max’s point was that both pools and guns are dangerous, but nobody focuses on all the children who die in pools. Your sophistry about the relative deaths proves nothing at all. “Pool deaths” are not a standard. There is no Bill of Rights provision guaranteeing the right to have pools. The relative deaths of pools and f=guns literally has no policy implications at all, other than the simple one Max made.

                . Yeah, I’ll make sure to send my children to you for babysitting when I’m older.

                Are you taking about guns or pools? This is called “snark.” It’s a poor substitute for wit.

                Also, you must take me as a fool if you think that your response will embarrass me.

                I take you for an inexperienced individual who’s learning how to swim by jumping into the deep end—see, a pool analogy. What makes you think I’m trying to embarrass you? If you come here, you get the response the quality of your commentary deserves, that’s all. Nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a tough crowd, and I have high standards.

                In life, there are haters and there are supporters. And I am glad that a grown man who is cussing down minors and are trying to embarrass high schoolers like you to be on the side of my haters.

                Now you’re sounding like a kid. Nobody’s hating. Check out the Rationalizations list…that’s on there. Here:

                48. Ethics Jiu Jitsu, or “Haters Gonna Hate!”

                This vintage of obnoxious rationalization is recently pressed. Its objective is to turn the tables on legitimate critics of unethical conduct by asserting that it is the act of criticism itself that is wrong, thus allowing the object of the criticism to not only escape unscathed, but to claim victim status.

                Ethics Jiu Jitsu is similar to the #6, the Biblical rationalizations “Judge not, lest ye not be judged,” and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” except that those are used (incorrectly) to suggest that nobody is good enough to criticize the conduct of others, not that the act of criticism is inherently hateful. The insidious trick that this rationalization embodies thrives on the modern criminalization of hate in the culture. Hate is just very intense dislike, and as a feeling, it is well within the realm of personal rights. Hate crime is a variety of thought-crime. The politically-motivated legal monstrosities known as “hate crimes” have inspired this rationalization by making it plausible to argue that dislike itself is wrong, even when what is being disliked, criticized or hated is objectively wrongful conduct. All “haters” are lumped together, whether the object of hate is Lance Armstrong’s cheating, the NFL’s conspiracy to hide the effects of concussions, or Barack Obama’s ineptitude, in a linguistic trick that suggests that sincere critics are no different from people who hate the United States, minorities, decency, true love and puppies. They are all haters, hate is bad, and it’s the haters who are the problem, not the corruption, dishonesty, and betrayals they criticize.

                In truth, those who don’t have the ethical bearings, the courage or the civic responsibility to criticize unethical conduct in the culture are the real problem as we strive for an ethical culture. They can often be identified by their mouthing of the fatuous accusation, “Haters gonna hate!”

                You should ban this from your repetoire, Jimmy. It’s weak.

                The rest of the comment is more of the same: bravado, posturing, no substance. You still haven’t made a point, which is remarkable given all the words you have burned in two prolix comments.

                • Wow, I’m surprised. I tried to be civil with the second comment but I assume I’ve struck a nerve. I’m not intending to waste my time analyzing your entire response and going in a never-ending loop of “beef” with you. So I’ll make my last comment short and sweet. Since your universal point so far is that I haven’t made a point that contributes to the article, then here you go. On the topic of the article, I believe in having stricter guns laws because I feel that “protection” wouldn’t be necessary if nobody had a gun. There are many who stand by the Second Amendment, many who feel as though school officials should be allowed to carry guns for the protection of their students, and many who flat out feel as though all assault weapons should be banned. I stand with the third group. I feel that protection is not needed when all forms of threat are eliminated. So by removing all access to assault weapons, parents will safe dropping off their kids at school. Also, the Second Amendment was constructed during a time of war and hostility. Back then, guns weren’t being used to shoot down schools but to protect the United States. There have been plenty of amendments that have been constantly updated to fit out current status. I feel as though the only reason why we, as Americans, choose not to recorrect any amendments from the Bill of Rights is because of the title. The Bill of Rights have been considered our fundamental rights that have been bestowed upon us so changing it would only be limiting our rights. However, not everything can last forever. There’s going to be a time when we must alter the Second Amendment and I feel as though today’s events will lead straight into this change. And also, might I add that I was not attacking you as a personal, but rather your biased responses to those with you and those who oppose you. Everyone is different. You find your source of moral outrage through your people making irrelevant points and I find mine through people making heavily biased and inconsiderate judgements (no offense). You can’t change my way of thinking and I know I can’t change yours. But my First Amendment rights allows me to speak of anything I want to speak about. I did not require you to read my comment. You chose to read it yourself. So rather than bashing kids, telling them to remove this from their repertoire and not say this, you should just either 1. be the grown adult and ignore it or 2. realize that everyone has their own perspective and that not everyone has to view a situation the same as you. I was under the impression that this cite was a location where we can read your articles and post our comments freely and peacefully. But after seeing some of your replies, I was heavily mistaken and a little infuriated. And this is my source of moral outrage. Thank you and I’m hoping for a response.

                  • Wow, I’m surprised. I tried to be civil with the second comment but I assume I’ve struck a nerve. I’m not intending to waste my time analyzing your entire response and going in a never-ending loop of “beef” with you.

                    Didn’t read past this, Jimmy. Nobody would. Waste your own time, not mine.

                    • Your snooty remarks absolutely get you nowhere in life. Especially with all of your credentials, you’re only hurting your ethos. I don’t need you to read any of my comments. I comment freely because my 1st amendment rights allow me to do so. I’m honestly done talking with a low-life like you. I know you’re a lawyer, but at least grow a heart.

                    • This one is short, so I’ll take the time to knock it off:

                      Your snooty remarks

                      You don’t know what snooty remarks are. Again, know your terms. I think the last time I was called “snooty” was in grade school, for pointing out that a classmate was, you know, full of it. Criticizing a comment on substance isn’t snooty, but it’s a good accusation to hurl back when you’re owed—if, of course, you’re 10 years old.

                      absolutely get you nowhere in life.

                      Is this directed at me, or in general? Since I don’t make disparaging remarks based on class or snobbery, I already knew that. How’s this one: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

                      Especially with all of your credentials, you’re only hurting your ethos

                      This is called “Authentic Frontier Gibberish” here. Look it up.

                      I don’t need you to read any of my comments. I comment freely because my 1st amendment rights allow me to do so.

                      You don’t know what the First Amendment is, either. You have no right to comment here.

                      I’m honestly done talking with a low-life like you.

                      Honestly? I’m good at insults, Jimmy; here’s another tip: when they are just random and have nothing whatsoever to do with anything, they are just laughable, and don’t leave a mark. “Lowlife” means “people or activities characterized as being disreputable and often criminal.” Not even close.

                      But it is snooty, come to think of it!

                      I know you’re a lawyer, but at least grow a heart.

                      Non-sequitur.

                      Enjoyed it, Jimmy!

                    • Jimmy Nguyen wrote, “I comment freely because my 1st amendment rights allow me to do so.”

                      Again, you’re showing your ignorance; you have no such right to comment on the internet or more specifically on this site, it’s a privileged that is easily granted and just as easily revoked.

                      By the way Jimmy, just because you generally have the right to say what you want does not mean that what you say is right or that what you say doesn’t have consequences. You are making choices and all of your choices have consequences, some of the consequences are good, some are neutral, and some are bad; the choices are all yours to make, the consequences are not. Learn to make better choices Jimmy.

          • “Jimmy Nguyen, a high school student”

            Jimmy,
            You really didn’t need to tell us that, most everyone around here could tell that based on your ignorance and your childish approach.

            Jimmy Nguyen wrote, “…be ready for a clap-back as well.”

            Childish threats are foolish and get you nowhere.

            You have accomplished one thing Jimmy, you have earned yourself an honorary…

            Stay in High School a while longer Jimmy.

            • Mr. Speaks! Or should I call you Zoltar. Thank you so much for that certificate and thanks so much for that comment too: “NOT BAD FOR AN IDIOT.” Wow, you must be extremely happy that you can finally understand what someone on this site is writing. I bet it pleases you heavily to call a child an idiot. It’s quite funny really, “You really didn’t need to tell us that, most everyone around here could tell that based on your ignorance and your childish approach” yet I am not the one who spent their own time to find this picture. I am not here to judge but you must REALLY have a lot of time on your hands. “Stay in High School a while longer Jimmy.” You should be spending most of that time in High School, rather than sitting there, bashing on children, and finding STUPID, and I heavily emphasize S T U P I D, certificates. Like honestly, no one can understand a single word you’re saying because you contradict yourself every other sentence. “You have accomplished one thing Jimmy, you have earned yourself an honorary GOTCH ACADEMY RHETORICAL EXCELLENCE Award.” Well, at least I have accomplished something with my writing. Like they always say, “All publicity is good publicity.” Oh wait, you probably won’t get the reference. I’m sorry for being inconsiderate of your situation. All your writing got you was an argument with a child, I bet you LOVE those, I can tell. At least before calling someone childish and ignorant, plan a response that doesn’t seem like it was written by a third grader who just had his juice taken away. I do cut you a little slack though, you may actually be younger than me. But one thing is for certain, no matter the age or “college” degree you have, your level of maturity is far less than mine. And if it makes you feel any better, I’ll call you the same thing I called Mr. Marshall: a HYPOCRITE. Have a great day sir. And also I love your name, REAL mature.

                • No, I do not. I do not see a beneficial use for guns besides “protection” from others with a gun. So I feel as though through stricter gun laws, or even the banning of assault weapons is the only way to prevent an incident like this in the near future.

              • Jimmy,
                Your comment was a fabulous example of what a sophomoric Trolachling does on-line and in the lunch-line when they are way out of their intellectual league Jimmy, read more, learn more, and come back later when you can take the heat in the kitchen like an adult.

                Later dude.

                • Yes, the almighty Zoltar Speaks! Can you yourself honestly sit there and call me a sophomoric Trolachling without feeling any remorse or humility? Hello? I attacked Mr. Marshall for his varying responses depending on their political stance. You attacked me for my age and yet I am the “troll.” Again, I still see no point within your logic or what I have done to heavily upset you to reply to a post that was direct at and intended to be with only Mr. Marshall. Rest assured sir, I can take heat in the kitchen. That is why I can openly reply to your comment rather than crying in a corner like you expected me to do so. You took way for granted when you want me to take heat like an adult. How many times do I have to say this, I’m in HIGH SCHOOL. Although it may be true that kids my age are supposed to be mature, I’ll live my life how I want to and I hope you do the same. And if you are going to mention “like and adult” “intellectual”, please do not also have the term “Trolachling”. My dude, urban dictionary helps your ethos none whatsoever. Oh well. And I appreciate your concerns for my reading and learning skills. I’ll make sure to study that urban dictionary real hard. Thank you.

                  • Jimmy Nguyen wrote, “You attacked me for my age…”

                    Nope Jimmy, you’re wrong. I pointed out your ignorance and immaturity. What’s coming across in your writing is sort of like an immature author writing comments while stoned. 😉 You chose your rhetorical style poorly.
                    Argumentative writing is, or should be taught as being more than what you’re doing. Seriously Jimmy, comments that are just a long list of poorly constructed ad hominem attacks isn’t conveying anything useful to anyone and please, please make a point to ask your teacher tomorrow about the use of paragraphs.

                    I hope the rhetoric you’ve been spouting is not something that generates an passing grade for the argumentative reading and writing module in California. Think about it some more before you continue down this attack dog path you’ve chosen, and don’t be afraid to explore different rhetorical tactics, it will improve your argumentative writing.

                    Now get a good night sleep.

                    • Argumentative writing? Dude, this is a comment on a post. I’m not here to write essays. This post is no different than a post on a youtube video. You can add rhetoric all you want. I honestly don’t care. I want my comments to sound natural and from the heart, not from something I would write in AP Literature. I don’t see your and the others’ point on paragraphs. I wouls like to ask you that if I did not say I were in high school, would that remark still work? No. You tell me to ask my teacher as a snarky remark only because of my age. If that isn’t an attack on age, I don’t know what is. Go ahead and deny. You’ll only earn yourself a GOTCH ACADEMY Award. I’m aware that I’m young. Yes, that should mean that my intellectual level is lower than everyone else here. But I still have a long ways ahead of me and time to make an impact. I don’t know how old you are, but with those snooty remarks, you’re barely going to make it out of that basement. I’m honestly done talking to you. I don’t even know how you joined the conversation in the first place, but have a nice day.

                    • Jimmy Nguyen wrote, “You tell me to ask my teacher as a snarky remark only because of my age.”

                      Jimmy you’re wrong again, age has got nothing to do with it, it’s simply because of your ignorance about how to use paragraphs. This is something that you should have learned by now.

                      Jimmy Nguyen wrote, “If that isn’t an attack on age, I don’t know what is.”

                      From your own mouth; then you “don’t know what is”.

                      Reading comprehension is a learned skill, learn more.

                      Learning how to appropriately deal with constructive criticism, or just direct criticism, while your young will be a great benefit to you later in life.

                      Weakness of attitude, if left unchecked, become weakness of character.

          • There seem to be a flurry of posts by students, which is great. I’d like to take a quick survey that shouldn’t violate privacy to any compromising degree:

            1) What state are you from?
            2) Did a teacher point you to Ethics Alarms or how did you discover this?

  13. Hello my name is Spencer Gates and I believe that the Second Amendment is out dated. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A well regulated militia is the national guard, and the second amendment was written before automatic rifles were a thing, and if you look at other countries who have implemented strict gun laws but have still allow the purchase of guns their gun violence rates is extremely low. (Japan)

    • Spencer: check your facts. The militia wasn’t the National guard—it was the only army the colonial US had, it was volunteer, and non-governmental in any way. Thus the reference meant “the right of citizens to arm themselves for mutual protection.” The militia argument you just made is outdated: the Supreme Court rejected it. Meanwhile, 1) automatic weapons are not legal now, and no citizen has the right to own them. The current debate is over semi-automative weapons. Do you know what they are? You need to find out before publishing an opinion about them, right? That’s only competent discourse. The 2nd would be meaningless if it didn’t presume that effective self-protection required keeping up with advances in weaponry—unless you are seriously arguing that it only applied to to muzzle loaded muskets. You don’t believe that, I assume.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • The various laws crafted in the 1800s which codified certain functions of “the Militia” are what ultimately crafted what we call the “National Guard”. These laws, and that transition, are primarily what give rise to the myth that the National Guard is THE Militia. What ultimately became the National Guard DID spring OUT of the Militia, yes, but it was a formalization and professionalization of ONE aspect of the militia – that is, being able to call on the militia quickly for Common Defense. The Founders, in the Federalist Papers, actually discuss what they called a “Select Corps” of militia that could be more easily and rapidly called out for Common Defense.

        The National Guard is in no way THE Militia, though it does partially fill in one single limited function of the Militia: quick organized defense against Enemies.

        The Militia however, is, and always will be, the body of armed citizens who are armed for mutual protection and represent a free people’s check against their own government’s overreach as well as a free people’s obligation to defend each other from aggressors (which no National Guard, a formalized function of the Government, can fully represent).

        • I agree that we each have an individual right to bear arms, but I do think the “to check against the government’s overreach” argument is outdated. There is no chance of a citizen uprising, with the types of guns that are currently legal now, overpowering the might of the U.S. army. It just isn’t going to happen; it’s a fantasy, and it strikes me as unethical to base a “right” on a fantasy.

          I think the most compelling argument in favor of the second amendment is that we have a natural right to self-defense. That might include defending oneself against armed enforcers of the government, but it doesn’t include the need to have guns capable of actually leading an armed insurrection.

          • The Founders never envisioned a “citizen uprising” of the likes of a stereotypical pitchfork mob. The very men who wrote the 2nd Amendment appealed to the international community for aid and relief, answered by many though to a nearly exclusive level by France. They essentially knew that an underdog populace would have a hard go of it unshackling themselves from a powerful tyranny.

            The Founders also never intended there to be a jump from Citizens annoyed at a particular piece of legislation straight to start killing the bureaucrats and drafting a new legal framework of government. They themselves went through nearly two decades of petitioning before moving on to protests before moving on to more aggressive tactics eventually culminating in a fight. This is why the 2nd Amendment is part of a larger set of citizen protections we find in the Bill of Rights.

            The Founders, furthermore, built INTO the Federal framework a “vertical” set of checks and balances in addition to the much taught “horizontal” checks and balances of the 3 branches. The Founders, and I don’t recall which Federalist Paper delves into it, discussed the idea that the National Level of Government and the State Level of Government were the two “competing” (for lack of better words) poles to which the lowest level of Government, the People, could appeal to for aid and relief if either of the others got out of bounds. The National Level of government obviously was granted power over the standing army, while the States were granted power over their respective Militias (when called out), at the lowest level, was the armed populace. Most heavy weapons – read as “crew served” in modern parlance, that the People could acquire in support of a check against the national government were kept at the State Level.

            I don’t see how a vast swath of armed and anonymous citizens is not a perpetual reminder to both levels of government to preemptively “back off”. If worse came to worse, modern conflicts are *replete* with the lessons that overpowering militaries do NOT have an easy go of suppressing citizens adequately energized to fight for themselves.

            In short, I don’t think that a citizen rabble would fare well against a government army. I also don’t think a citizen rabble, if it’s cause be just, would stand alone for long before *good actors* rallied to the cause like they did in our War of Independence. That being said, a quick come back would be that citizens don’t need guns…they can just wait on good actors to show up. I’d rather not spend more time typing, so in short, while I simultaneously hope good actors to rally to a cause that citizens are sufficiently aggressive in seeking, I will not leave the citizenry to assume that will happen.

            “I think the most compelling argument in favor of the second amendment is that we have a natural right to self-defense. That might include defending oneself against armed enforcers of the government, but it doesn’t include the need to have guns capable of actually leading an armed insurrection.”

            I’m not sure how a citizenry, with a just cause, who have taken all ethical steps to amend government overreach before finally being compelled to take arms in defense of their liberty can be distinguished at all from exercising a “natural right to self-defense”.

            I can see how a group of citizens one day just up and deciding to rebel on the first notion of bad legislation would be seen as mere “insurrectionists” who ought be put down like the bandits they are.

            • Good comment. My only rebuttal is that if the day ever comes where we need to take up arms against the government, and we are justified in doing so, it won’t really matter whether the second amendment exists or not—we’d be doing battle with a state that didn’t recognize any of our constitutional rights.

                • (and should start pointing you in the direction why so many 2nd Amendment advocates say “not one more inch” of compromise that even remotely looks like it could distantly have the flavor of confiscation, because they don’t want to be left in the situation of watching the incremental moves towards a totalitarian government wondering how the hell they are going to arm themselves)

              • When the Iron Curtain uprisings came in 1989, even though the government had far more firepower, the public won. The soldiers didn’t want to shoot and kill their fellow citizens. And this is why you don’t need equal weaponry, just enough to put up a fight.

                I doubt that a government could turn totalitarian here, but the Left’s conduct in recent years has shaken my certitude.

              • When the Iron Curtain uprisings came in 1989, even though the government had far more firepower, the public won. The soldiers didn’t want to shoot and kill their fellow citizens. And this is why you don’t need equal weaponry, just enough to put up a fight.

                I doubt that a government could turn totalitarian here, but the Left’s conduct in recent years has shaken my certitude.

    • There seem to be a flurry of posts by students, which is great. I’d like to take a quick survey that shouldn’t violate privacy to any compromising degree:

      1) What state are you from?
      2) Did a teacher point you to Ethics Alarms or how did you discover this?

  14. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the top five leading causes of death in the U.S. for 2017 were 1) heart disease 2) cancer 3) chronic lower respiratory disease 4) accidents 5) stroke. The only gun-related type of death is number ten and it’s suicide. We have spent too much time frivolously and stupidly arguing over an issue that kills only hundreds per year. While this sounds awful, if we simply compare sheer numbers, we should be spending time debating and creating a health care system that will save the lives of the 45,000 Americans that die from a lack of health care each year. The second amendment isn’t going anywhere, it’s part of our Constitution for God’s sake. Gun laws aren’t going to suddenly become stricter because some non-voting children advocate for it. Politicians only care about money and votes, and both of those things are telling them to oppose gun regulations. I’m not taking a side, I’m being a realist. Start focusing on issues where we can make progress and possibly save hundreds of thousands of lives. Stop this bickering between the generational divide and do something that matters.

    • I agree with your opinion but would also like to add to the fact that when people use guns it “looks” more intimidating because for some people, guns are scary. However to address this, it isn’t like people who’ve wanted to harm others haven’t used chemical gases, trucks or knives. You are right we should focus on things that could benefit people more than politicians taking sides to get votes. When politicians start doing that it hurts the few who shoot for sport and are truly responsible with firearms.

  15. The more I observe the semi-serious push for lowering the voting age the more I irritated I get. I don’t even know where to begin to describe not only as a policy of foolishness this would be but the absolutely cynical use of this to advance progressive world view and capitalizing this way on a school shooting.

    Abysmal.

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