“Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners.”
—Vox writer Dylan Matthews, in an essay titled “What no politician wants to admit about gun control.”
Now, this quote isn’t ethical because what it advocates is ethical, or even because what it claims is true, or proposes is feasible. It’s ethical because it is, refreshingly, honest. Vox admits what the advocates of “sensible gun regulations” do not and dare not. Nothing short of confiscating guns, which will require gutting or eliminating the Second Amendment, will “get American gun violence down to acceptable levels,” which Matthews defines as “European levels.”
The lead-in to the quote above is this…
But let’s be clear about precisely what kind of decision is letting events like this recur, most recently in Dayton and El Paso. Congress’s decision not to pass background checks is not what’s keeping the US from European gun violence levels. The expiration of the assault weapons ban is not behind the gap. What’s behind the gap, plenty of research indicates, is that Americans have more guns. The statistics are mind-blowing: America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population but almost half of its civilian-owned guns.
In other words, the U.S. has about 11 times the guaranteed personal liberty of the rest of the world. I suspect it’s greater than that.
Vox seems to be puzzled as to why Americans regard the right of self-protection and not having to be both symbolic and actual lackeys and wards of the State more highly than nations elsewhere, whose citizens fled their cultures to create and enjoy ours. There’s no mystery. The United states has more guns and gun deaths because it has the Second Amendment, and the nations progressives love so much do not. Another version: America is like it is because this is the nation and culture we created, more individualistic, more independent, more self-sufficient, more violent, more defiant, and less respectful of authority than other nations.
The availability of so many guns (and it is the availability of guns, not the number, that confiscation is aimed at) is more significant as a symptom of American greatness rather than American pathology, although the two are inextricably linked. To progressives (Many? Most? Some?), removing citizens’ right to be armed serves dual purposes: removing the risk of gun abuse (they think), and also watering down those elements of the American character that have made installing a “benign” nanny state with a managed economy and life style so difficult for them.
Vox deserves credit for not continuing the deception, and revealing what has always been the objective of “sensible gun control.” It is forcibly disarming citizens, because the anti-gun Left knows none of the incremental measures they champion will work.
Now Vox needs to take the next step: admitting that gun confiscation will never happen.
If what politicians are proposing won’t work, and the only measure that might work (but wouldn’t) can’t happen, what’s all the shouting about? Gun violence is a feature of America, not a bug, and America is staying America.
51 thoughts on “Ethical Quote Of The Month: Vox”
I do NOT know what’s up with WordPress today. This time the graphic didn’t post, just a blank square. I’m sorry. I think I fixed it.
Looks good from here, Jack 🙂
What the Left knows but will not admit is that about 30 minutes after they start confiscating guns, they personally will need to leave the country to protect their lives.
Gun owners are way smarter than the average lefty (knowing how to safely handle a gun is a sign of intelligence) and have had to think past the con control propaganda for many years, otherwise they would never keep their guns. Many understand what happens in a society when the guns are outlawed. Many genocides started that way.
Time to dust off some propaganda of my own:
“A LITTLE GUN HISTORY:
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.”
You know, Slick, that is old, antiquated data. We are much better now. We won’t take away all of your guns. No. Just the mean and scary looking ones. You know, just the ones that shoot bullets. You can keep the rest. Yes, you can. It’s really for your own good. We know what you need and how we can provide it to you. Fear not.
Them’s fighting words. Fill yer hand!
Thanks for the anthology, slick, which will go into my voluminous archives.
Glass half empty?
My Lefty pals, and not-so-much-pals, will NOT be appreciative.
I wish I knew where I got it from… one of those memes passed around for years
They’ll also have to get Americans down to European levels of passivity and sheepishness.
And I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed with European culture and have no desire to be like them.
The violence may be a side effect of rambunctious and unfettered liberty that we Americans will have to live with as long as we value our culture.
Ben Franklin in “1776”: “We’ve spawned a new race here, Mr. Dickinson. Rougher, simpler; more violent, more enterprising; less refined. We’re a new nationality. We require a new nation.”
Great quote. I wish he’d really said it.
I know. I looked and looked. But this historian referenced the quote as ringing right for both Franklin and the nation: https://books.google.com/books?id=3Pmx1PusqkwC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=We%27ve+spawned+a+new+race+here.+Rougher,+simpler;+more+violent,+more+enterprising;+less+refined.+We%27re+a+new+nationality.+We+require+a+new+nation.&source=bl&ots=fUZYqGAii_&sig=ACfU3U2HvrnHtraKPkgWT2meEzoZB6Nnzg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiByYL6z-zjAhWSVN8KHc7eC1oQ6AEwCHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=We've%20spawned%20a%20new%20race%20here.%20Rougher%2C%20simpler%3B%20more%20violent%2C%20more%20enterprising%3B%20less%20refined.%20We're%20a%20new%20nationality.%20We%20require%20a%20new%20nation.&f=false
I don’t dispute it. It captures precisely the spirit of the culture. That’s why it *ought* to be real.
Amalgamation and paraphrase of a few texts I sent earlier:
I love reading twitter.
Leftists: “All you pro-gunners do is repeat the same arguments.”
Me: “I know, because you keep saying the same stupid things. And as long as you keep saying the same things, we already know how to respond.
It’s an academic argument at this point. We have the 2nd Amendment, and it’s not going anywhere without another Amendment. But the 2nd Amendment doesn’t just randomly exist. It exists because it reflects an *essential* (in fact, possibly the *MOST* essential) character trait of Americans that makes America America.
And before you get rid of the 2nd Amendment, you’ll have to convince a whole lot more Americans to become sheepish and passive subjects like their cousins across the pond…because, while you Leftists have made huge progress in changing THE essential character trait among coastal Americans, the vast majority of Americans, while maybe not owning guns, still believe in that trait, in the notion that individual citizens being responsible for themselves and their livelihoods and their security.
So, until you can massively change American’s essential beliefs about the relationship between themselves and the State and themselves and Life, you aren’t getting rid of the 2nd Amendment.
Until then, we’ll just keep repeating all the tried and true rebuttals to your nonsense.”
Well done, MW. We miss you around here.
Thanks. I still read!
I miss the back and forth. But our usual busy spring has not stopped despite the heat of summer. Coupled with handling a few more tasks at the office… it’s tough.
Personally, I am always happy to see a post from a fellow Texan.
I heard dat!
That is just a great quote. Ben Franklin said some amazingly prescient and perceptive things.
Except when he apparently didn’t. But he should’ve.
What? You don’t like their culture of sending goons to your door to inspect your home for TVs receiving over the air signals and collecting a license fee?
Why don’t you want random gov’t bureaucrats tossing your home upside down looking for infractions?
Let’s not forget the bureaucrats who are there to search your vehicle for ridiculous made-up offenses:
It’s seriously ridiculous what’s coming out of England these days.
Sheepishness in Europe, perhaps.
But, how do you explain Australia?
Gun control, no mass executions, and (I gather) a fairly stubborn disposition.
Same problem: sheep in the cities out voting the outback. Note that the outback just hid their guns, by all reports… even the ones their government provides.
“Australia’s program netted, at the low end, 650,000 guns, and at the high end, a million. That was approximately a fifth to a third of Australian firearms. ”
Yeah, that’s likely what would happen here as well if no force was used. I think Australia offered buy-backs, but didn’t go house-to-house. I also suspect the federal government in Australia largely looks the other way when it comes to the rural areas where firearms are more important to life.
New Zealand is experiencing exactly the same thing, and I expect you’ll get the same wink-nod from the government after the current cycle of extreme leftism dissipates.
Farmers in rural areas are not the ones committing murders
I’m not so confident Australia is as rambunctious and liberty loving as we are. For all I’ve seen they’ve modeled themselves on the rest of the European nanny-states.
I don’t think they are, at least, not in the cities. The rural types are closer, but Australia’s history suggests they are far more accepting of authority than the USA. It’s just in our national DNA to be suspicious of the government, and I don’t think Australia shares that.
It is strange how these leftist types wish to remove our rights to self defence. Would they deny any other animal every tool at their disposal to defend themselves? But they might say that other animals do not have scary guns that can kill at long distances. This is true. However, would they not have firearms if they had the ability to manufacture and utilize them? A firearm is an extension of humanity’s intelligence, the best form of self defence we have. I doubt the left would deny other animals every expression of their natural means of self defence. Why do they insist on denying humanity this expression of self defence?
The leftist elite including Nancy Pelosi will always have access to armed bodyguards so ordinary Americans should lose their right to self defense? I’m for enhanced background checks to prevent the dangerous mentally ill from owning guns as well as those with Islamic terrorist backgrounds: Not so for ordinary Americans,
It isn’t just about defense, though. It’s the promise of being able to reject our government if it becomes tyrannical and intolerable to liberty. You can’t do that without arms.
Yes, we all have a right to defend ourselves. But collectively, we also have the right to defend not just our persons and property, but our freedom. Thank the Second Amendment for that. And also thank it for the violence concomitant with an armed population.
It’s a high price, but it’s the price freedom demands.
Did not the Brady Bill make background checks the law?
I think he used the word, “enhanced,” which I understand to mean no longer excepting private transactions from background checks. This is what the Left refers to as the “gun show loophole,” even though it’s typically divorced from reality, as so many of the Left’s preconceptions about firearms.
I personally think that unless background checks can be done by anyone very quickly at little or no cost, they should not be extended to private transactions. We should be able to accomplish this, but like all government-driven things, we have been unable to achieve what would be an easy matter for the private sector.
There is a constitutional barrier to this.
Congress has very limited authority to regulate private sales of anything. Any congressional regulation of private sales can only arise from its Article I powers.
Which Article I power would give Congress authority to regulate private sales of firearms.
Well, the interstate commerce power of Article I, section 8, clause 3, I expect, would be their claim. Since most guns aren’t built where they are sold, they are sold in interstate commerce. Gonzales v. Raich allowed the feds to criminalize even the local production of marijuana, and the last time I checked, that decision has not been overturned or significantly modified. It effectively allows congress to criminalize even the local production and sale of pot. Applying that to firearms is a no-brainer.
Complicating the problem is the fact that arms are a right guaranteed to each person, but the manner of acquisition would doubtless be seen as within the interstate commerce clause power, just as banning the sale and acquisition of say, machine guns as provided by the National Firearms Act of 1934, is preemptively valid under the commerce clause [See Wickard v. Filburn, 1942]
So there are at least two Supreme Court decisions that would have to be effectively nullified to deny congress the ability to regulate the private sale of firearms.
Some animals, sure. Some animals are more equal than others.
Plus 5 for the Animal Farm reference
This is true. Four legs good, two legs bad.
I just deleted a long “patriotic” screed about what it means to be an American. Nobody who reads this blog needs me to say it — they already know, and I suffer from too much verbosity as it is.
Yes, the Vox writers is honest, and I don’t blame him for desiring a safer society. America as it was founded is just not for everybody, despite the oft-referenced “Give me your tired, your poor …” trope as a definition of American embrace of outsiders.
The truth is, we embrace everybody, but not everyone who comes here is willing to embrace what and who we are. The right to “alter and abolish” our government must needs be backed up with the force of arms, and if arms are forbidden to us, or so restricted as to be ineffective, the promise of self-determination is utterly empty.
Violence like that this weekend is the painful, bloody price we pay for freedom. The Vox writer is correct in his analysis, and there is no doubt honesty, especially honesty in the face of cognitive dissonance, is laudable.
That would be nice. What would be even better is if he would take the time to learn American history from its founding, that he may know why we chose this path.
I don’t expect him to embrace it, though, so if he wants “European levels of violence,” I suppose his only option is to relocate to Europe. I’m not suggesting he should, just pointing out the obvious.
I’ve been beating this drum for a while now, but the three most recent mass shootings continue the pattern of proving me horribly, depressingly right (I mean it, I actually felt sick the other day when information about the Dayton shooter came out. It’s the same tune in every song.)
Three shooters. One apolitical, one right-wing, and one left-wing. All secularist. All materialist. All anti-Christian. All postmodern. All nihilist.
Mass shootings are an unexpected side effect of post-Christian America. There was no mass-shooting phenomenon before we went post-Christian, not even in the days when you could order a tommy gun through the mail at age ten. The guns were always around (in fact, they are harder to get now.) What’s changed is that an increasing subset of the population is willing to use those guns against crowds of innocent random people, when in past generations no one would dare think of it.
The cultural rot is the same (or worse) in Western Europe and elsewhere, but they have a much more subdued populace and have already built up some nice police states to keep a lid on the boiling pot. America was always a more libertarian place, where private citizens managed their own affairs without a tyrannical State regulating their morality. It worked because we regulated our OWN morality. Not anymore. No one saw this coming, except for all the people who did.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”
Don’t worry, the socialists are coming to turn that net into a nice strong cage.
Good observation, but how did you write that without causing Alizia to appear? And I make that inquiry with only the fondest intent.
Actually, you are wrong about the reason for gun deaths in this country. Over 80% of death by shooting in this country are caused by gangs. If you confiscated every single legally owned gun, you would reduce the number of murders by maybe 1000. But, the flip side of the coin is that firearms are used in legitimate self-defense between 750,000 and 4 million times each year. Taking those away will likely offset the reduced shootings and actually INCREASE shooting deaths. This is the Mexico effect. Mexico has a right to own firearms in its Constitution, but those good leftists chipped away at it until you can’t take the gun from the house. Now, Mexico is a safe, gun-free paradise, right?
The reason we have more gun crime is that we have more violent people than Europe. The murder and gun-death rate for whites in the US is about the same as whites in Europe. Gun crime is not spread equally among racial and ethnic groups. As Europe has allowed more immigration from other parts of the world, their murder rates have crept up proportionally. The cause of our high murder rate is multiculturalism, not guns.
How did they chip away at it?
I heard a statistic on the radio this morning that all but one of the recent shooters came from fatherless homes. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, how much has that factor contributed to the problem?
I have participated in debates on Usenet for over twenty years. Many of the arguments I hear are the same as I had heard and read twenty years ago, with one difference being a near laser-like focus on mass shootings, a focus criticized by some sympathetic to gun control.
Here are some responses to common arguments for gun control I found on Usenet and Facebook.
We Need “Common Sense, “Sensible” Gun Legislation
We have the following laws.
* 1934 National Firearms Act
* 1968 Gun Control Act
* 1986 Hughes Amendment
* 1993 Brady Bill
* 1996 Lautenberg Amendment
If these are not, “common sense, “sensible” gun legislation, should they not be repealed?
Congress does Nothing Regarding Gun Violence
Aside from the laws mentioned above, Congress had enacted these laws.
* 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
* 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
Strangely enough, most of the Democratic candidates for President have turned against the 1994 law, even though it was enacted in response to what was perceived as an epidemic of gun violence.
The U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence in the world
The United States ranks 111th in murder rates- right in the middle.
Protecting Gun Rights Causes Kids to Die
The United States has a unique legal protection, found nowhere else in the world.
It has been criticized for making police work more difficult.
Those who defend this protection have been accused of having the blood of kids on their hands.
This protection is freedom from unreasonable searches or seizures.
Indeed, murder convictions have been thrown out because of this protection, while no murder conviction was ever thrown out on Second Amendment grounds.
In the rest of the world, when the police look for evidence, it is considered <iper se reasonable.
How much safer would we be if police can search for evidence whenever they feel like it.
And what of other constitutional protections?
Why not require suspects to testify against themselves?
Why bother with a trial at all? Surely we can trust the police to judge who is guilty?
And what if certain racial demographics commit crimes at a higher rate than the general population? why should not the police profile on the basis of race?
Do not barriers against punishing criminals increase the likelihood of being murdered by criminals?
Isaac and Michael E.,
Great posts! You both said things I was thinking but beat me to writing them down.
Unfortunately the Left is in full demagogue mode and the “Do Something!” crowd is in full outrage mode.
Personally, I’m going to add to my stock of AR15 lowers before the price jumps up due to the hysteria. Confiscation? We have over 100 acres and a backhoe. A piece of buried iron pipe gives the same metal detector signal as a buried rifle. I can keep them busy chasing phantoms for years!
A January 14, 2014 article in The Guardian (U.S. Edition), entitled “Tackling America’s gun violence hotspots: where do we go from here?” summarizes a recent epiphany as follows:
“We found that the toll of gun violence in America is dramatically concentrated. Thousands of cities and towns in the United States saw gun homicides in 2015. But the majority of them suffered only a single incident. Half of America’s gun homicide victims died in just 127 cities that represent less than a quarter of the nation’s population. Within those cities, gun homicides were further concentrated in tiny neighborhood census tracts that had seen multiple gun homicide incidents. Nationwide, neighborhoods that contain just 1.5% of America’s population saw 26 percent of the nation’s total gun homicides.”
Think about that: “neighborhoods that contain just 1.5% of America’s population saw 26 percent of the nation’s total gun homicides.” That is over- representation of homicides by a factor of 17 times, in a few unfortunate neighborhoods containing a very small fraction of the American population.
So, it makes “perfect sense” to confiscate hundreds of millions of guns from mostly peaceful, law abiding and responsible citizens in order to make our American culture more perfectly safe? Maybe we will stop a few bad guys from committing horrible crimes. But I wonder if the massive cost in freedom and money justifies the illusive goal of ever being “perfectly safe.”
Of course not.
any serious gun confiscation effort will be focused in those neighborhoods.