Gun Control: Controlling the Government’s Guns

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Mon, 2012-08-27 21:27

Gun Control: Controlling the Government’s Guns

The recent mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and then in Oak Creek Wisconsin have led to renewed demands for “gun control” aimed ultimately at depriving the individual citizen of his Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. It is believed that if the individual were deprived of this right, such shootings would not take place, because of the sheer lack of available weaponry.

Let me say immediately that I too believe in gun control. However, I do so in the light of the knowledge that by far the largest number and the most powerful guns and other weapons are in the possession of the government. First and foremost, of course, the federal government, which has atomic and hydrogen bombs, as well as ballistic missiles with which to deliver them, fleets of warships, and thousands upon thousands of tanks, planes, artillery pieces, machine guns, and lesser weapons. State and local governments also possess considerable weaponry, though less than the federal government. But just the revolvers, rifles, shot guns, clubs, tear gas, and tasers in their possession are capable of causing serious injury and death, and frequently do so.

Moreover, the threat of deadly force is implicitly present in every law, regulation, ruling, or decree that emanates from any government office, at any level. The threat of such force is what compels obedience on the part of the citizens. Even such an innocuous offense as a parking violation is capable of resulting in death if a person persists in not paying the fine imposed and, when ultimately confronted with arrest, resists by physically defending himself.

Literally everything the government does is ultimately a threat to point a gun at someone and use it if necessary. If this were not the case, the law, regulation, ruling, or whatever, would be without force or effect. People would be free to ignore it if they wished. Because of the government’s implicit threat to use deadly force to uphold its decisions, any meaningful program of gun control must above all focus on strictly controlling and regulating the activities of the government.

The government possesses overwhelming power to respond to the use of force by common criminals. That is its basic domestic function. The very existence of laws against such crimes as murder, robbery, and rape serves as a control on the use of force, including the use of guns, by the potential perpetrators of such acts, because it constitutes a deterrent to them. The more efficient the government is in apprehending the perpetrators of such acts and the more certain is their appropriate punishment, the greater is the deterrent, and thus the more effective is the implicit gun control.

Our entire Constitution and Bill of Rights are essential measures of gun control—this time, gun control directed against the government. For example, the First Amendment prohibits the government from using its guns to abridge the freedoms of speech or press. The Second Amendment prohibits the government from using its guns to abridge the freedom of the citizen to keep and bear arms.

Indirectly, the Second Amendment also operates to limit the government’s use of its guns to abridge freedom in general. This is because, in our system of checks and balances, an armed citizenry constitutes a check on the possibility of the government becoming tyrannical and attempting to use its power to threaten the citizens’ lives and property. It should be understood as protecting a balance between the power remaining in the hands of the people and the power they have delegated to their government. Indeed, the language of the Second Amendment¬—“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”—should be understood in this way.

The average American of today is intellectually so far removed from his forebears that instead of regarding government with apprehension, he is more likely to regard it as a virtual parent, concerned only with protecting and helping him. Evil, he believes, can come only from uncontrolled private individuals, notably greedy businessmen and capitalists and, now and then, psychopaths such as the murderers in Aurora and Oak Creek. And in these cases, of course, the solution is believed to be still more government power—power to tax, regulate, and control the businessmen and capitalists to the point of extinction and power ultimately to deprive private individuals of the right to own guns.

It simply doesn’t occur to many people nowadays that government could be the source not only of massive economic ills but of human deaths on a scale dwarfing the deaths caused by the worst individual psychopaths. The number of murders attributable to governments around the world in the 20th Century, including those resulting from government-caused famines in places such as the Ukraine and Communist China, is estimated to exceed 260 million. Of this total, Communist China is responsible for more than 76 million, the Soviet Union for almost 62 million, and Nazi Germany for almost 21 million. (R. J. Rummel, Death By Government [New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 1994], n. 1.) Of particular note, approximately 2 million of the murders committed by Nazi Germany were in the form of mass shootings, similar in nature to those in Aurora and Oak Creek, but performed on a scale commensurate with the size of military units.

These were the dreaded SS Einsatzgruppen, sent into Soviet Russia behind the advancing German armies for the express purpose of murdering as many Jews as they could find. Organized into units ranging in size from platoons to battalions, approximately 3,000 government-employed psychopathic killers were set to work in a program of systematic mass murder. Unlike the recent horrors committed by the two American psychopaths, the horrors committed by these government-employed psychopaths were not limited to one time in just one day before they came to an end. No. They were repeated many times in a day, day after day, for months on end.

Again and again, hundreds and thousands of defenseless people, including women and children, were shot down, often machine-gunned in front of trenches they had been made to dig and into which they fell dead, in mass graves. Such murders came to an end only when replaced by the more efficient method of mass murder represented by gas chambers, which accounted for 4 million more murders of Jews added to the 2 million carried out by mass shootings.

If only the victims had been armed! If the 6 million murdered Jews had been armed, and ready to fight for their lives when the Nazis came for them, they might have been able to make at least one Nazi pay with his life for each Jewish family taken away. That would have worked out to roughly a million Nazis. The anticipation of such an outcome might well have been enough to prevent or at least abort the Nazi’s policy of mass extermination. It would have been an enormous illustration of the principle that guns in the hands of victims serve as a control on guns in the hands of murderers or would be murderers, or aggressors of any kind. In Aurora, in the movie theater where the murders took place, if members of the audience had been permitted to have guns in their possession, the number of victims would almost certainly have been far less. Anyone sitting near the killer and in possession of a gun, would have been able quickly to stop him.

The last thing the United States needs is “gun control” in the sense of depriving its citizens of their right to own guns. What it does need is control over the use of guns by its government.

The people of the United States and their elected representatives have literally lost much of their control over their government and its use of its weapons. Since 1945, the United States has been engaged in four wars—Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq—not declared by Congress, despite the fact that the Constitution clearly provides that Congress shall have the power to declare war. The same process of growing government power, concentrated in the Executive Branch, that has eliminated the need for Congress to declare war, has removed judicial protection for economic freedom and thus practically all restraint on the power of Congress to interfere in economic activity.

This has resulted in Congress possessing far more power than it is directly capable of exercising, with the further result that it has had to delegate most of its additional law-making powers to dozens of independent regulatory agencies. As of December, 2010, these agencies, located in the Executive Branch, had written a total of 75,000 pages of regulations, each carrying the force of law. The regulatory agencies, moreover, exercise legislative, executive, and judicial power. They act as prosecutor, judge, and jury. Thus, we now have dozens of unelected, unaccountable bodies writing the equivalent of laws and authorizing the use of guns to enforce them. Gun control requires the abolition of such agencies.

The government and its use of its weapons are falling increasingly out of the control of the American people and their elected representatives. A government whose activities are beyond the capability of an intelligent, conscientious Representative or Senator to understand, is a government that is out control. Those in charge of it do not, and cannot, know what they are doing, despite the fact that they are doing it with guns. Most of them do not even read and carefully study, let alone fully understand, most of the bills they are called to vote upon. Routinely, they enact laws whose consequences they do not know, and whose essential terms they cannot even define. To put it mildly, this is an extremely dangerous state of affairs.

Genuine gun control, not the variety urged by the leftist dominated media, requires a radical roll back in government activity. The rollback must proceed to the point of the government having the authority to use its weapons only against those who have committed acts of aggression, i.e., the initiation of physical force, against the person or property of others. This, of course, includes the use of defensive and retaliatory force against foreign governments that have committed acts of aggression against the United States and its citizens.

Failure to stop and reverse the advance of government power and our and other governments’ increasingly uncontrolled threat to use their guns is capable of resulting in a number of people murdered by their governments later in this century far exceeding even the total recorded for the 20th Century. The more than a quarter of a billion people murdered by their governments in the last century may well be exceeded by billions of people being murdered by their governments in this century.

Who might want to murder billions of people? Who are the waiting mega-Communists and mega-Nazis of this century that would put such plans into effect if they should ever come to power? They are the people who share such sentiments as those expressed by Britain’s Prince Philip when he wrote, “I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist.... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus.”

The murder of billions of people is implied in the thinking of anyone who holds the belief that there are “too many” billions of people. The billions who constitute the “too many”—the allegedly “surplus,” “unnecessary,” “environmentally destructive” billions—they are the potential targets of a future mega-holocaust.

True, such a holocaust is not inescapably implied. Population might fall simply as the result of a voluntary fall in the birth rate. Indeed, this has actually taken place in many of the world’s advanced economies. And if population does not fall as the cumulative result of voluntary individual choices, or fall “sufficiently” to satisfy the likes of Prince Philip, moral abominations short of mass murder, might also achieve the goal of mass depopulation. Compulsory sterilization and forced abortions, such as practiced in Communist China, come readily to mind. But add a strong enough dose of psychopathic hatred for mankind, plus uncontrolled government power in the hands of the haters, and murder on the scale of billions becomes a definite possibility.

This is the year 2012. How many people in 1912 could have foreseen that in just two years, the world would be plunged into generations of mass killing and mass murder, inspired for the far greater part by the collectivist ideologies of nationalism and socialism? Is it impossible that the world of the years ahead will similarly be marked by the rise of environmentalist dictatorships dedicated to the eradication of the billions, native or foreign, whose existence they perceive as destroying the “environment” or as standing in the way of the living standards of those who will be allowed to remain?

Have the anti-human ideologies already at the fore in the early 20th Century been replaced by an ideology of individual rights and economic freedom? Is the world moving away from collectivism and socialism and toward laissez-faire capitalism, or, to the contrary, is even the slightest trace of economic freedom described as laissez-faire and blamed for the existence of the present economic crisis, thereby impelling the world toward still more government control and still less economic freedom?

There is clearly a potential threat to human life and well-being looming on the horizon that is of unprecedented proportions. It is present in the openly expressed hate-filled, murderous ideas of many people. Sooner or later, in response to this or that crisis or series of crises, these ideas will be translated into physical action if not overcome by other, pro-human ideas. The likelihood of a catastrophic outcome is steadily increased by the continuing increase in government power and corresponding reduction in individual freedom. With each passing decade, the United States resembles less and less the country of its founders and more and more a country such as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. If the trend of the last several generations continues, it is only a question of time before the United States will become indistinguishable from a totalitarian dictatorship.

To be secure against the threat of a totalitarian regime with a policy of mass murder, or the threat of tyranny of any kind, the American people must retain their right to keep and bear arms and restore it wherever it has been abridged. They must reestablish control over their government. Congress must regain its exclusive right to declare war and its exclusive right to legislate. The courts must be required to uphold economic freedom. The government must be reduced in size and scope to the point that conscientious legislators can understand its operations in detail and be in a position intelligently to enact laws designed to control them. That is what is required to establish genuine, meaningful gun control.

The American people must not allow themselves to be misled into giving up their right to own guns by the occasional, and almost always avoidable, tragedies that accompany gun ownership, such as a small child finding its way to a loaded gun and pulling the trigger. On the basis of such a standard, people would also have to give up driving cars, to avoid the tragedies that often accompany automobile accidents, and also even using horses and buggies, in order to avoid the tragic accidents that can result in connection with them. What must always be kept in mind is the incomparably greater potential danger of untold numbers of children losing their parents and their own lives to government-employed murderers unleashed on a disarmed population.

To impose gun control on their government, the American people need in addition to arm themselves in a way that is more fundamental than merely possessing physical weapons. They need to arm themselves intellectually and morally as well, by reading and studying the works of the great modern defenders of freedom, above all, Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. This will enable them to counter and overcome the vicious ideas that underlie the misuse of government power and its continuing growth. An armament of physical weapons combined with knowledge and moral conviction will ensure that the American people will never find themselves in the position of helpless, terrified people being led as sheep to the slaughter. They will never allow themselves to be either the victims or the perpetrators of a holocaust, for they will have regained control over their government and its use of its weapons. They will have achieved the kind of gun control that secures their lives and property and threatens the lives and property of no one else.

Copyright 2012 by George Reisman. All rights reserved except that this article may be reproduced electronically provided that this note is included in full. George Reisman, Ph.D., is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics, Senior Fellow at the Goldwater Institute, and the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996; Kindle Edition, 2012), The Government Against the Economy, and Warren Buffett, Class Warfare, and the Exploitation Theory. His website is His blog is www.georgereismansblog.blogspo.... See his author’s central page.

So this is non-wooley thinking?

Frediano's picture

No comment

Canada..very "good gun laws"

Jules Troy's picture

the only gun control needed here was a steady hand..

President B.O. baits the trap

gregster's picture

Disarming the citizens, and arming himself.

What is wrong with the Executive branch of a government engaging in the assassination of our citizens, who are classified by the government as combatants against this country, absent due process? If they can do this without a “speedy and public trial,” we are trusting the government to convey truthful and accurate information to justify their actions. Our founders were intimately aware that the governments often have their own perspective on things and have the power and tools to justify their actions at all levels. Their point would be that a government not only has an agenda, but also has the power to control and manipulate information. Richard Henry Lee stated that we must not only guard against “what men do, but what they may do.” They knew the unrestrained power of the government must be continually checked against the Liberty of the people.

What about the fact that the government has already redefined who is a “terrorist”? Just look at Janet Napolitano’s report, as head of the Department of Homeland Security, warning America regarding who is a terrorist; "rightwing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms – and returning war veterans.

California, the banana republic.

School shootings

Rosie's picture


"Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents."

I wasn't aware of that. It is pretty interesting if it is the case. Because, given the other 10 facts about school bullying (the terrible emotional damage to bullied children and especially how little is done to combat it in schools), the gun issue (whether to arm teachers, everyone or ban guns as they did in the UK) may be a patch to the problem and ignores addressing what might be more significant in finding a solution.


Jules Troy's picture

Trouble in paradise!!??

Aunt Agatha's Advice Column

Rosie's picture


Well done Richard

gregster's picture

Crass language, sexist and Biblically unsound. Not funny. Not clever. Stupidly giving out an incorrect sexist message is how I would describe it and totally immature.

She's not beating around the bush there. I can imagine your mutual parting of ways was purely via theological differences. Did he say that, did he mean this, did he come again, was she a virgin? Hence your laissez-faire attitude. Hell, it's all pre-destined anyhow. Jeezy could not help but do what little he did. And get himself killed. You're no longer there to whisper sweet biblical nothings and though I detect some lingering regret from Rosie take it from me you're much more likely to retrieve your soul from the depths of depravity without her fork-tongued interpretations.


Rosie's picture


(Yes, indeed! Known as a howler!)


Damien Grant's picture

Richard got told off.

Awful, Richard

Rosie's picture

Crass language, sexist and Biblically unsound. Not funny. Not clever. Stupidly giving out an incorrect sexist message is how I would describe it and totally immature.

They both ate the fruit.
(Ladies before gentlemen.)
Adam was with her and did not say a word of caution. (You call Greg an accessory to murder but not Adam to this?)

And, in any case, you will know that God uses the devil for his own purposes (as with Judas). All according to His plan.


Genesis 3:6

New International Version (NIV)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

So, yeah

Richard Goode's picture

A contradiction then Damien

Rosie's picture

Since God requires we resist the tempting apple

Richard -

Rosie's picture

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

Have you heard this said in support of the papacy being the beast in Revelations?
As you know the number of the beast = 666 (Revelation 13:17, 18)

VICARIUS FILII DEI is the Pope's official title which means Vicar of the Son of God.

If you add the Roman numerical value of each word, you get:

Total: 112 ( V=5, I=1, C=100, A=0, R=0, I=1, U=5, S=0 )
Total: 53 ( F=0, I=1, L=50, I=1, I=1 )
Total: 501 ( D=500, E=0, I=1 )
TOTAL: 666

sin Rosie

Damien Grant's picture

Starts with a tempting apple.


Rosie's picture

God does not reside in Microsoft products.

No, but the devil may! I was thinking of those souls that are sold!

He resides only in Apple products. A soul requires a closed system, hero worship and an a fear of outsiders.

Well, I would have said Linux except that the fear is from outsiders in that case!

You can read about it in the Book of Job.

Haha. Very witty. (The Book of Jobs, however, may be more apt since it can be found on SEEK and ye shall find!)

Case closed

Richard Goode's picture

Case closed.

King... of the Jews

Damien Grant's picture

To demonstrate that my version of the one true loving forgiving and benign God is the correct one I shall tie you to a wooden pole set atop several bales of hay and sticks. You will be given the chance to repent as the fire consumes your flesh.

Heathen scum.

Should you confess your sins, repent, and accept the infallibility of the Holy Father you will have the comfort that as your soul shall toil in the cess pits of hell for eternity that your last acts on this earth were righteous!


Martin Luther

Richard Goode's picture

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

perhaps it would be for the best

Damien Grant's picture

Wisdom is a heavy burden to live up to. I am sure to fall well short of this mark and my hubris is so great I may be inclined to believe myself that I possess it, which would be a disaster.


Rosie's picture

You are most welcome to all the attention of the omens listed if this is your preference!

(But I suspect I would have to retract the compliment of wisdom paid you!)

Goode Job

Damien Grant's picture


God does not reside in Microsoft products. He resides only in Apple products. A soul requires a closed system, hero worship and an a fear of outsiders.

You can read about it in the Book of Job.


Damien Grant's picture

I do not care for the bible. It was written by Greeks being administered by Romans after being decided upon by a committee.

There is as much divinity in that as there is in the Auckland Super City.

I fall back on St Peter's Rock and his descendants. It has been a good thirty years since I seriously traversed this issue, but I am pretty sure us Catholics (I remain a Catholic despite being an atheist, consider it akin to a secular Jew) hold that every human has a soul and that this soul is immortal.

Let us pray. To the father, the son, and the holy ghost.

Bow, heathen, to the one true faith, for those who turn away from the truth shall burn (as will their puppies!)


Rosie's picture

Wisdom is Damienically possessed!

Very witty, Wilde! Smiling

Your soul is a suite of software running on your brain.

Hmmm. Do you think Bill Gates had a say in this?!

the universe

Damien Grant's picture

It my universe, I am at its centre, and when (if) I did then the universe shall end.

This seems sad for the other beings that appear to inhabit my universe but as their purpose is to worship and be possessed by me, it seems that their usefulness shall be at an end.

I prefer not to pay attention to omens. I prefer omens pay attention to me.


Rosie's picture

Ah! Those omens! The omens of Damien!

Are any of them known to you?! A jackal for a mother, a suicidal nanny at your birthday party, animals reacting violently at the sight of you, mysterious deaths of anyone who "gets in your way", and a mother who has dreams involving you and a red-hooded jackal skeleton?!

One of the links I posted to signs of a person demonically possessed included the hostile reaction of animals and something about very strange dreams as two signs.

I think it is safe to say that demonic possession is rare, don't you?


Richard Goode's picture

I thought a soul has a specific religious meaning and was not merely physical.

A common misunderstanding.

The ‘immortal soul’ cannot be limited to the mortal human body.

The phrase 'immortal soul' is not found in the Bible.

The human soul is mortal.

What is Conditional Immortality?

sole point

Damien Grant's picture

Your soul is a suite of software running on your brain.

Do cats have souls? (if so, Morgan is in big trouble.)

I thought a soul has a specific religious meaning and was not merely physical. The ‘immortal soul’ cannot be limited to the mortal human body.

Haven't you adapted the word soul to describe physical matter? In this your meaning would be inconsistent with those of the Pope.

I take the one true holy catholic and apostolic church as being definite on all matters of Christianity. They are the original. The rest are imposters. Heathen imposters at that. One Rock. Not a fricking quarry.



Damien Grant's picture

The omens of Omen.


Rosie's picture

Can you be possessed by yourself? Would that be the ultimate expression of narcissism?

Is to be possessed by yourself the same thing as to be self-possessed?!

For I think to be self-possessed, as in having full command of one's faculties, feelings, and behavior, is the attribute I most respect and admire in a person. And although to possess the attribute would be to make one worthy of narcissism, the very nature of self-possession would, I think, preclude this undesirable trait. Smiling

As for demonic possession. Well, there are omens aren’t there.

Are there? What are these omens?!


Richard Goode's picture

Can you be possessed by yourself?

Of course! You can and you are. Your soul is a suite of software running on your brain.

Would that be the ultimate expression of narcissism?

Or the ultimate expression of self-ownership?


Richard Goode's picture

(because you also possess wisdom)

Wisdom is Damienically possessed! Laughing out loud

Ah, O'men.

Damien Grant's picture

Rosie, you are very kind, but the view that I must be smart because I possess wisdom might fail as the axiom that I have wisdom is not one widely shared. Other than my dog, (now deceased) I do not think any creature has ever held that I possess wisdom.

As for demonic possession. Well, there are omens aren’t there. Can you be possessed by yourself? Would that be the ultimate expression of narcissism?


Rosie's picture

Since it is clear to me that you are indeed not just smart but very smart (because you also possess wisdom) I think we must return to my observation/explanation that you must also be very nice. Smiling

(I think you may be one of the few on SOLO to have been spared the charge of demonic possession! I did read that demonic possession was very rare which, if so, means that either both Richard's facebook friends and SOLOists must be two uniquely rare groups or demonic possession has become a subject of "special interest" for Richard! Laughing out loud )

maybe Rosie

Damien Grant's picture

I am simply not that smart.


Rosie's picture

You must be a very nice man that you overlooked my not very nice joke.

greg's head

Damien Grant's picture

Well Rosie, Greg can be a little dogmatic. He takes a position and sticks to it, regardless of the evidence. This is a useful trait in a Doberman but less so otherwise.

By conceding a point to him, Greg will see this as evidence of the correctness of his path, rather than perhaps taking the more important lesson, that sometimes people whose minds are not pre-set will realise that their earlier position was wrong and adjust it in the face of the evidence.

Greg does not adjust his belief, no matter the evidence before him. He is not alone in this. Facts, evidence, reason, are more often sought out to bolster pre-conceived views rather than as evidence of what the truth may actually be.

I think humans are hard-wired to think like this. I do the same, but once you realise that you think along these lines it becomes easier to challenge you own thinking. Problem is, you must want to do so first.


Rosie's picture

from Candid Christianity

"This one’s not even that hard, or is it? Aside from the fact that there is no record of Jesus exercising combat (outside driving people selling goods out of the synagogue with a whip), Jesus often speaks to his disciples regarding the sword in very clear terms. We all know that he calls us to “turn the other cheek,” which is a statement that’s met with much disobedience.

"But we also see what Jesus says about Peter slicing a dude’s ear off. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Hmm… what does that mean?

"This came, however, after Jesus “said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’” Clearly, Jesus meant this sword for their protection as he was heading to the cross in just a few hours.

"Thus, we might conclude that Jesus was in favor of protecting yourself at the appropriate times. Ecclesiastes 3 is a popular verse speaking to “a time” for everything, and we see God in the old testament, and in Revelation, engaged in battle.

Perhaps he’d be in favor of the right to bear arms."


Rosie's picture

Damien, I had to laugh at your comment to Greg:

Do not let this go to your head.

Knowing that the subject is about guns, I played with the interpretation of your comment for a bit and wondered, in this case, why not?! Eye

No weasel words from this hothead CNN interviewer...

Rosie's picture

Just so you have an idea of the stats when the argument - well, the first major one - reaches its zenith :

School massacres throughout the ages:

United States
Rest of the world

Plus there are some other very interesting facts in those two wikipedia articles f.y.i.


Damien Grant's picture

Ok. I will concede the point that I moved the goal posts from ‘anyone in authority’ to the Obama administration.

When I said ‘anyone in authority’ I was thinking of the Obama Administrations gun control plan, but I take the point that is not what I said.

Do not let this go to your head.

Attacking the backtracking...etc

gregster's picture

“The senator is not part of the Obama administration. Nor is the Mayor of Chicago.”

You actually wrote No one in the US is talking about preventing law abiding citizens from owning guns. Well, no one in authority.

Rahm Emanuel is not just a Chicago mayor. He was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton and recently up B.O.’s armpits as White House Chief of Staff. Through your pinko-blinkers he is “not in authority?” His influence on the Bank of America, to name one, saw some gun dealerships’ accounts temporarily frozen, and forced them, and others, to boycott certain banks. This man of no authority. Even as mere Mayor he is in authority.

So, "No one in the US is talking about preventing law abiding citizens from owning guns.” is an obvious falsity.

”Show me a link to a statement from the Obama administration saying they want to stop law abiding people from buying guns!” Not necessary, that wasn’t what I was answering, though I could probably quite easily dig something up to quash that assertion.

”Your desperate reaching is pathetic.”

But, now, on to your backtracking non sequitur.

”The Obama administration is not seeking to stop law abiding citizens from owning guns.”

This is somehow proven by pointing at the White House website.

I note that the White House is also not advertising the fact that it is further bankrupting the US, exporting inflation and fomenting worldwide financial collapse, on its website.

”The may want to ban guns but this is not part of what they are advocating.
So why say it is?

Huh? I’m telling you what they would like ideally, and what they wish they could achieve.

You then say that may be true. But because the senior administration don’t say this publically, I am wrong?

the plan

Damien Grant's picture

this is what they are planning.

Limits on selling some assault rifles and stricter laws on who can buy guns.

Pretty simple.

Grandma can own as many handguns as she can afford. She will not be able to own an uzi.

If you think these are wrong, then say why they are wrong.

If you think that there is a secret conspiracy, then provide evidence (but do not say that they are proposing to ban law abiding citizens from owing guns, because this is not a fact.)

Either way, stick to the facts, Greg. Do not deviate from them. Argue your principle, great, I will be there, but I despise the willingness to ignore the facts.

There is no point debating with you if you dispute facts.

You can argue against the administration's plans from a position of principle. So do it, but do not call a duck a frog and then denounce frogs.


Damien Grant's picture

Why bother?

The senator is not part of the Obama administration. Nor is the mayor of Chicago.

Show me a link to a statement from the Obama administration saying they want to stop law abiding people from buying guns!

Not want they may privately wish. I wish to sleep with Kate Upton but I have no intention of doing so.

Your desperate reaching is pathetic.

The Obama administration is not seeking to stop law abiding citizens from owning guns. This is a fact. If their position changes tomorrow this does not mean I am wrong today. The may want to ban guns but this is not part of what they are advocating.

So why say it is?


gregster's picture

I don't mind that you wish to see the world through pinko-tinted lenses. But if you're going to freely distribute accusations of "liar" or "woolly thinker" about, then do expect to be held to account, in this life. I'm not going to do all your remedial work for you, but you could begin here at Trevor Loudon’s New Zeal blog

“Gun ban author Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) openly admits she would
confiscate all privately owned guns in the United States if she could.”

“Activists on the Left don’t really want a dialogue. They want a total ban on guns in private hands, but they rarely admit that.”

“Presidential candidate Obama made
the infamous comment about “bitter”
people who “cling to guns or religion.””

“Using poll data to develop their “message,”
Third Way believes “progressives” can
“take back the Second Amendment”—as if
they ever owned it—by convincing voters
that “reasonable” gun laws don’t undermine
the individual right to keep and bear arms.”

“The best known gun control groups are the Brady Center and the Violence Policy Center (VPC). VPC receives most of its funding from the Joyce Foundation ($6.3 million since 1998) on whose board Obama used to serve; George Soros’ Open Society Institute ($800,000 since 1999); and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($575,000 since 1999).”

The evidence elsewhere is overwhelming. My advice on how to go about discovering it: remove your blinkers.

my question, Greg. ..

Damien Grant's picture

Is why?

It makes no difference to the gun debate that the Obama administration is not seeking to prevent law abiding citizens from owning guns.

So why claim that they are?

I do not understand? What is the point?

Either you want to argue for the sake if it, or you are delusional.

Reaching the way you did was just really odd. It is not rational.

I'm a liar?

Damien Grant's picture

That is your evidence?


What I said was that the Obama administration was not seeking to ban law abiding citizens from buying guns.

You have a letter from the mayor of Chicago who is no longer in the administration.

So. Is the Obama administration seeking to prevent law abiding citizens from buying weapons?


And you accuse me of lying or making stuff up.

Shameful Greg.

The UK in 1964 was a very different place...

Marcus's picture

Yes, you're wrong

gregster's picture

Rahm Emanuel Pressures Banks That Do Business With Gun Manufacturers [Op-Ed]

COMMENTARY | Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly pushing banks and major lenders to pressure gun manufacturers. The Democratic mayor is once again over-stepping the bounds of his office while trying to force his personal mindset onto the public sector.

Rahm Emanuel wrote a letter to the Bank of America and TD Bank on Thursday, the Washington Times notes. In the letter, the Chicago mayor asked the CEOs to “force” gun manufacturer clients to “find common ground” on the proposed weapons and ammunition ban. Emanuel also told the bankers that the “vast majority” of Americans support such a ban.

An excerpt from Emanuel’s letter republished by Politico reads:

“TD Bank currently aids the gun manufacturing industry through a $60 million revolving line of credit with Smith & Wesson, a gun manufacturer that produces the AR-15 — an assault weapon that was used by James Holmes to kill 12 people and wound 58 in a crowded movie theater in Aurora.I ask you to use your influence to push this company to find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban and comprehensive background checks.”

Bank of America provides a $25 million line of credit to Sturm, Ruger and Company. No elected official has the authority strong arm any bank from conducting legal business with a client. His letter carries no official weight, but the nanny state intent and liberal over-reach into the public sector is readily apparent.

Prior to Rahm Emanuel’s letters to Chicago banks, he convinced his city leaders to divest $5 billion in pension fund investments from gun manufacturing companies. The former Obama administration official is not the first governmental leader to flex his political muscle against gun companies.

Both California and New York have also stopped pension investments in companies that conduct business with gun manufacturers. Such gun company animosity by liberal leaders flies in sharp contrast to President Barack Obama’s statements that he is not anti-Second Amendment. The president keeps saying that he respects the Second Amendment and is not trying to take guns away from Americans. The pressure to end pension investments and lines of credit would strictly inhibit the capability of gun companies to make products.

The pressure to cut into gun manufacturer’s profits should anger and terrify every American. Today it is gun companies that liberal lawmakers are trying to stop. What industry or product will fall out of favor with them tomorrow? If you believe that the government would never try to curb your right to buy a legal product, try and buy a large sugary drink in New York City.

The gun manufacturers are not criminals, the gangs roaming Chicago streets and breaking into homes across America are the criminals. At an Ohio gun show this past weekend, there was a sign which thanked President Obama for the recent increase in guns and ammo sales. Although gun control advocates would like folks to believe otherwise, people are not merely walking into a gun show, pointing at a firearm and then walking out the door with a new weapon. Professional gun dealers are legally bound to do a background check whether they are in their store or at a gun show.

The semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines on the gun ban list already exist. A new law will not prevent them, or any other deadly weapon, from being used in a mass shooting. Cocaine and marijuana are illegal, yet very easy to find in any city across the country. A ban on semi-automatic weapons would create a black market for the weapons just like currently exists for drugs. Guns and drugs walk across the Mexican border every day. Existing laws make such actions illegal, yet they readily continue.

Our Founding Fathers did not risk their lives by singing the Declaration of Independence to create a country which looks to their leaders as helicopter parents who need to protect us from ourselves.


Are you lying or just making stuff up Damien?

woolly thinking is woolly thinking

Damien Grant's picture

Simple question;

is the Obama Administration proposing to prevent law abiding citizens from buying a gun?

It is a yes or no answer.

Here is a clue. They are not.

So why imply that they are?

We have principles. We should defend them. Not deny the truth in order to win a debate.

Am I wrong?


Jules Troy's picture

Accusing Fred of wooley thinking?

Oh now I've seen everything.

Woolly thinking.

Damien Grant's picture

How does disarming law abiding citizens in the suburbs control the street gangs in the cities?

No one in the US is talking about preventing law abiding citizens from owning guns. Well, no one in authority.

The Administration wants a background check on everyone who wants to purchase a fire arm.

So, granny can get a gun from a gun shop but gang-bangers (odd term that) cannot.

Why, for the love of Smith and Wesson, you folk need to lie is beyond me, (or wilfully mis-represent the facts, as you have done here. To be fair you do not say that the Administration want to ban law abiding citizens from owning guns, so I assume that your statement was a deliberate mis-direction.)

Stop it. You can make a perfectly good argument for liberal gun laws without resorting to lying. And when you lie in one area, I assume that everything else you are saying is also a lie.

And as for Home Invasion. I have yet to see any stats on this media invented crime. They made is a special crime in New Zealand in response to a media hype despite there being no actual increase in reported incidence. I am not saying it has not increased, but, simply because something is reported in the media does not mean I believe it to be true (bit like the way you probably dismiss global warming but lap up every home invasion story as proof of a trend and ignore school shootings as anecdotal and therefore statistically irrelevant.)

Woolly thinking. It makes me peevish! 


How many of those 11,000 are drug war related?

Frediano's picture


UK is largely an island nation.

America shares a 1900 mile undefended border with Mexico.

Let's bolt Mexico onto Britain's island fortress shores and see how the war on drugs unfolds when gangs are crawling all over the UK shooting each other over a failed drug prohibition. The solution to inner city drug gang violence is not to disarm law abiding folks in the burbs. School shootings? rare, fringe events. In the case of CT, a 20 year old boy 'devastated' by the breakup of his family, who hated his father and shot his mother in the face, spilled that 'devastation' onto innocents. But even though the regard of children as accessories on the resumes of our lives is rampant in the US, this is still a rare fringe act of mayhem. If it were not so, then instead of every night blanket DUI stops, there would be blanket stops looking for wigged out 20 yrs olds hauling guns to schools. The real epidemic racking up dead 5 yr olds in America is DUI, and there are no national calls for 20MPH autos and 3.2 beer. There are widespread blanket DUI stops precisely because DUI is not rare and fringe, and there are not blanket stops looking for wigged out school shootings precisely because they are rare and fringe. The national response to the actual epidemic(no calls for national bans of any type) is not in any way proportional to the over-reach response to the rare fringe mayhem(emotional calls for bans of every type.)

What is it that we expect is going to happen with Americas fringe gangs now killing each other with guns over failed drug prohibition when we introduce anew prohibition? They will suddenly obey prohibitions? They will switch to drive by lethal injections? How does disarming law abiding citizens in the suburbs control the street gangs in the cities?

It's as if we believe that the solution to the drug war is to require doctors to write prescriptions for access to dangerous drugs. (We do.) And when that proves insufficient, we propose that those prescriptions be filled out in TRIPLICATE so that those already obeying the law will do so even more.

America has already coughed up the unfettered state: the LA Riots, where LAPD was totally crouched in a pure defensive mode, unable to protect anybody or anything. That is one use of an assault rifle with a hundred round magazine. (Ironically, because a DUI perp was energetically spanked before being released to DUI again.)

There are home invasions all the time in America. When confronted with multiple attackers, the Emperors of Enough are nowhere to be found.

Firearms are used all the time in America ...without ever being fired. By myself, -at least- twice in the last thirty years. The incidents where 'nothing happens' are not part of the current reporting system or debate, because 'nothing happens.'

Speaking of 20 yr old boys "devastated" by the breakup of their family, about how old would Piers Morgan's oldest be today, Spencer? I wonder what that conversation is like on Father's Day(he's in America now...) Because Piers left three boys aged 8-15 bleeding on the battlefield of the marriage he failed, all over the Holy Need to go sniff after the strange with some other also married journalist now long gone. "Gee Dad, where's the Strange that once justified destroying our family?" For sure, Piers has a huge ethical basis to be passing judgement on the CT shooting by a 20 yr old boy "devastated" by the breakup of his family.

(Slang alert: The Strange: unfamiliar pussy.) Favorite target of reptilian parents who treat children like throw away accessories to their resumes. (governed by one not so admirable reptilian principle: "Can I rub it? Will it rub me?" as the reason worth leaving "devastated" 20 yr old kids in cars with guns in our wake.)

To our north is Canada...and what comes over that border far from Mexico is mostly high capacity ParaOrdnance .45s and lectures. Meanwhile, CND in total and the NYPD are about the same size, with one facing far more danger on a day to day basis from a failed drug war than the other. (Chasing long line fisherman from Gloucester off the Banks is hardly risky.)


Damien Grant's picture

And I agree with you.

It is another stain on my libertarian credentials I am afraid, because I think this I favour restrictive gun control laws.

I was being a bit facetious

Kasper's picture

I was being a bit facetious on the Maori front. You are correct on that point of course. What I am saying is that if we had carry free policies in NZ then gun crime would inevitably increase.

drop of a hat

Damien Grant's picture

"I also agree with Ross that a carry free gun policy in NZ would wreck havoc with Maori people who, statistically, resort to violence and illegal behaviour at the drop of the hat, lawful deterrents not-with-standing."

Really? Drop of a hat? Pretty big hat then.

Maori crime is statistically much higher than non Maori crime, this is a fact. Almost all Maori are also law abiding. This is also a fact. The left will point out that it is not Maori that commit crime, it is poor people. The counter argument is that the causes of poverty are the same traits that cause crime.

The argument is circular so you can believe whatever you want and find evidence to suit your preference, but the statement that Maori resort to crime and violence at the drop of a hat is factually incorrect. It would be better to say that violent crime is more prevalent in the Maori population than in the non-Maori population, the causes of which are disputed. 

Either way, I support restrictive access to guns in New Zealand. The gun-club lobby can argue about their right to self-defence with machine guns and mortars. I do not care about their rights because the cost of giving them guns is the cost of arming the criminals. I care about my own safety above all else and I prefer to live in a society where criminals and lunatics cannot gain access to guns. 

The fantasy that the government is planning on disarming the population in order to implement some evil tyranny is Mel Gibson conspiracy bat-shit crazy nonsense. If guns were freely available who do you think will gain the most benefit, law abiding property owners or criminal gangs? 

Gun control

Kasper's picture

Homicide deaths in 2010

US 11000 +
UK 35

Reisman started out this essay stating he was an advocate of gun control, however, as a means to arm the citizenry against the state. He doesn't address, at all, the state of affairs of current gun legislation in the US and the social issues of such high homicide rates from gun shootings. Everyone knows in the western world that open fire from a gun onto the public and in schools is uniquely an issue in the US. It occurs far more frequently there than anywhere else. Please note Norway, a one off, hasn't escaped my memory.

The issue here is gun control. Do we need more? Should we regulate the type of gun? Those of you who advocate the "right to self defense" and equate it with the right to own whatever weapon the defender sees as being suitable to defend himself, might like to address Pete's questions below.

I don't think the abolition of carry-free is necessary. In fact it would be immoral as that would take away the right to self defense. I also dont think every form of weapon should be available for private attainment. I also agree with Ross that a carry free gun policy in NZ would reck havock with Maori people who, statistically, resort to violence and illegal behaviour at the drop of the hat, lawful deterrents not-with-standing.

Marine sends letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein,

Sandi's picture

No ma'am.

"Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government's right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps

In the context of the times...

Frediano's picture

'regulated' meant 'trained.'

As in 'regular' army, vs 'irregular' army. The first clause lists out a benefit to the state for not infringing a right of the people, period. That listed benefit is neither necessary or a prerequisite, as stated.

Otherwise, the sentence in total makes no sense at all.

As well, the balance of the constitution already granted the power to the government not only to, from time to time, form armies, but as well, to federalize militias when necessary.

To believe that the 2nd amendment in the individual rights was meant to prohibit the government from infringing the right to arm itself would strain credibility.

The court has already ruled on this Amendment; it is an individual right to bear arms, with prejudice, found inside of what is widely acknowledged to be an individual bill of rights.

But moot; any laws to the contrary would simply be ignored, and attempts to enforce them would be regarded as acts of state tyranny, blue helmets or not.

My .45

Frediano's picture

...when actually fired, deploys a 350 ft-lbf dynamic physical event, capable of doing harm

My automobile, when driving down the street, separated from my neighbors and their loved ones by a thickly painted double yellow line and a few feet, is an actually deployed million ft-lbf dynamic event, capable of doing harm.

Do you have cars in NZ? Do you have thickly painted lines on the road? Do you have concerns that perfect strangers are wielding million ft-lbf dynamic events, and you must trust them to aim at targets mere feet from your loved ones...every time you pass somebody heading the opposite direction on the road?

350 ft-lbf.... a million ft-lbf.

Those are the objective facts.

When the 350 ft-lbf object collides with a human, the human is harmed. And yet, it is the human who is the large mass in that small mass/large mass collision.

When the million ft-lbf object collides with a human, the human is also harmed. And it is the human who is the small mass in that small mass/large mass collision. Even if the human is strapped inside the large mass when the million ft-;bf dynamic event is dissipated, kinetic energy to deformed potential energy to heat.

When Rodney King was drunkenly deploying a million ft-lbfs of dynamic energy recklessy and caught by police, he was merely spanked. If he had stumbled out of his million ft-lbf dynamic event object and started to drunkenly deploy 350 ft-lbfs by randomly shooting into the air, we would have applauded if he'd been summarily executed on the spot.

A million ft-lbfs drunkenly deployed = national angst over mere spanking.

350 ft-lbfs drunkenly deployed = medals awarded for shooting him on the spot.

The response I usually get when I point out these facts is that, on the subject of physical harm, "Physics doesn't matter."

And politically, that is indeed true, but only because on average, we're average.


Permits in most of America are perfunctory...

Frediano's picture

...except for convicted felons.

What is rare is, jurisdictions that give citizens a hard time over permits, like NYCity, where permits are restricted to the politically well connected.

Our local county is so gun owner friendly that they send out cheerful little postcards at the end of every permit term, reminding you to spend the no hassle 90 seconds necessary to renew.

It is entirely consistent with the idea of a plurality of states that there be different regulations in different parts of the nation. There is no pressing need for the gun laws in downtown NYCity to be the same as the gun laws in rural Pennsylvania. Folks are always free to vote with their feet. There are experiments run in parallel, not 'the' experiment.

A "The' experiment is prone to single point of failure. That is precisely why monopolistic thinking is dangerous, not only in commerce, but in regulation. It is one of the things that makes Totalitarianism so dangerous.


Brant Gaede's picture

But I said it so much better than you.

snark, snark

Now, you're getting it, Brant

Ross Elliot's picture

"I suspect something much deeper is going on than lack of fire-arms experience--that it centers on individualism and an individualism most common in America..."

Well done. That's the whole point. And I said it quite plainly.

You can now pull you head out of your ass. But don't wash it off, it may need to go back up there.


Craig Ceely's picture

And 20 = a magazine?

Three or more

Damien Grant's picture

would be a Hui!
Four or more, a waka.
a dozen, (walking) a hikoi.
a bakers dozen, an hapu
mnore than that, an iwi.

Hope that helps.


Brant Gaede's picture

How about three or more, Marcus? Then do we get Maories?

cactus, cacti, cactuses: you know I'm confused

Not true Ross...

Marcus's picture

One Maorus, two or more Maori.


Brant Gaede's picture

I suspect something much deeper is going on than lack of fire-arms experience--that it centers on individualism and an individualism most common in America even though we imported our basic political philosophy from England where it was created by many great heroes who put their lives on the line maybe even more than those who signed the American Declaration of Independence. My grandfather, Irving Brant, wrote a book about some of them: "The Bill of Rights, Its Origin and Meaning" (1965).



Ross Elliot's picture

"Now, this "open warfare" business. I take your word it was hyperbole, but it had to have come off a base that wasn't. Could it be that the authorities are afraid of the Maories having guns?"

You're on the wrong track completely. If there was any base for my comments with regard to the NZ situation, it was as I said: my country has zero experience of any gun law that allows for self-defence. It has nary a shred of the experience that the US does with regard to guns in that respect.

I suggested that to simply switch from a situation where gun ownership is so heavily regulated, to one such as exists in the US, is to invite a temporary degree of abuse.

Americans should realise that many attitudes that they take for granted, do not exist in other Western nations. I am wholly thankful that those attitudes *do* exist in the US. Hence my deep love for that society.

And get off your line about US naval protection. I've stated many times here that it's only US carrier battle groups that gaurantee our freedom of trade and a relative state of peace in the world. As with the Romans, as with the British empire. I for one don't need to qualify myself on that point.

And it's not "maories", it's Maori. They have no plural.

stupid people

Damien Grant's picture

A large minority of the population are stupid, and a large subset of those are wankers.

Allowing these people easy access to firearms would not make me happy.

Point taken, Ross, but...

Craig Ceely's picture most jurisdictions here there is a big, big difference between concealed and open carry. I took your "gun in a holster" as open carry. Not at all common anywhere in the US.

Now, now

Brant Gaede's picture

But Ross, if I get off my high horse I'd have to walk!

I didn't know you were so afraid of what people might do with freedom. Hyperbole or not, my objections stand. One reason Austraila and New Zealand can afford their stupid gun laws, aside from the fact that you guys are still colonials needing but never getting a birth in bloody revolution, is the United States Navy, which secures the sovereignty of all Pacific nations. Take that away and those countries had better get their citizens armed to the teeth pronto. Instead of that you get silly spectacles such as New Zealand telling the United States its warships were not welcome in its ports unless there was explicit reassurance they not have nuclear arms on board. So the ships stopped coming. This has resulted in additional inbreeding in your population as US sailors have lost myraid opportunities to impregate Kiwi girls during port calls. Yes, it's true. American servicemen are overpaid, over-sexed and frequently over-there.

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not a basic human right, for as you imply that'd make it a right to have a nuke in your garage. The 2nd is a strange hybrid of a positive and negative right. It's a statement that the Feds have to countenance the assembly of militias armed to the teeth as a counterbalance to Federal power.

The actual human right is the right to self defense. If you have the right to defend yourself you have the right to defend yourself with something.

In Arizona I have the right to open or conceal carry any handgun sans any permit, with a few public and private place restrictions or prohibitions. I might get an Arizona concealed carry permit, not for Arizona but for travel to many other states where it would be honored. It would not be honored in New Jersey, one reason I moved from there back to Arizona where I was born.

In high school (1958) we had a .22 cal. rifle shooting range. At boy scout camp up in the mountains there was another and many boys would arrive with their own guns. I frequently visited homes with guns lying about all over the place. One old cowboy-type guy--this was 1953--proudly showed me his collection of .45 cal single action fully loaded ready to go revolvers. He keep one under his pillow, another hanging by his door in a leather holster. My hunter-anthropologist brother-in-law had at least five long guns in a rack on the wall and a .22 cal semi-auto pistol and a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum with a four inch barrel. As late as 1964 he clould fly into and out of Mexico with that .22. My brother said he killed a man who attacked him with a machette in rural Mexico in the late 40s or early 50s while on a several week anthro-survey trip. I suspect that story was macho-posturing, impress-the-kid bull shit and I personally never heard that from the source, but it might be true, too. Such was Mexico then. (He drank himself to death.)

Now, this "open warfare" business. I take your word it was hyperbole, but it had to have come off a base that wasn't. Could it be that the authorities are afraid of the Maories having guns? It's not acceptable PC to bring in a racial angle, even in the states, or that there is more overt racism amongst certain racial minority groups than in the dominant white populations, all bred out of victimhood psychology. Here we have a "Black Caucus" in Congress. Why isn't there a white one? Etc. It's okay for official victims to be racist, not the unofficial victimizers. I suspect this sort of thing is not the object of public dicusion in your country. It's not here and if not here, where? You see, victims with guns might go gunning. I can assure you that some do and they all aren't blacks, hispanics and American Indians (now a slur so we call them "Native Americans," which I personally used to be having been born in America).



Ross Elliot's picture

"Should any citizen be able to own or purchase any type of weapon? Obviously you get to some absurdities in a hurry if you say yes, because then you should then defend a person's right to own nuclear weapons, cruise missiles, etc. Only an anarchist would support this."

...that's not quite the point.

I addressed this some time ago. I have no problem with someone walking down the street with a holstered gun. What I do have a problem with is that same person taking it out and waving it around for show. Now why is that? Because the very act of doing so in a public place is tantamount to a threat. Do they intend a threat? Possibly not, but it's *reasonable* to consider that a gun-waving individual doesn't have much concern for those he's waving the gun at.

So, to the nuke. Your neighbor decides to build one in their basement, perhaps as a science experiment, whatever. Refer to the common law principle that might be argued: is it reasonable that a suburban nuke build doesn't constitute a threat? I'd contend no. If my neighbor wants to set up a gun range in his basement it's not reasonable to suggest he's any threat to me, although he may keep me awake at night, but the common law would deal with that as well. If his gun explodes, it's not likely I'm in any danger. But if his nuke gets a wayward detonation signal, a lot of people are getting singed.

And that's why, in a free society, we would rely on the common law to make decisions based upon what is reasonable according to objective principles.

Brant? Irritated? No? Great, head back up ass.

Also, Craig...

Ross Elliot's picture

...this goes to our previous discussion about the possibility of change towards freedom in small countries versus large.

In NZ, if you apply for a gun licence, a police officer will come and inspect your home. You will be subject to an official interview. You are required to get two endorsements by other people as to your suitability to hold a licence. If you change your address, it is an offence not to notify the police, who will then inspect your new home to verify that it is also suitable. And you better not mention that you're seeking a licence for the purposes of self-defence. That will automatically disqualify you. This applies across the entire country. No jurisdiction may vary these rules.

Now, while it's true that many US states have restrictive gun ownership rules, many do not. Federalism allows this, and a bloody good thing, too. A citizen who wishes to live in a less restrictive jurisdiction, may do so, and have their rights more fully recognised.

In the monolithic small state of NZ, we have no such option.

Firearms, NZ Police

NZ Firearms Licence Application

Oh, Brant, is the above OK for you? Not irritating at all? Spiffing. Now you can go put your head back up your ass.


Ross Elliot's picture

...get off your high horse and get some perspective.

If you're irritated by any of my comments, tough shit. Your irritation is your own problem. And where the hell did I claim to be an expert? Again, your irritation is none of my concern, or of my doing.

In my reply to Craig I said my open warfare comment was hyperbole. Do you know what that means? Obviously not or you wouldn't have used up your yearly quota of exclamation marks in self-righteous indignation.


Now, Craig...

Ross Elliot's picture more precise.

I didn't say it was "the norm in America". I said "in many states" you "can". That's a quite different thing than your take on my statement.


Brant Gaede's picture

You keep repeating statements you cannot reference or support except by what you "know." This pretend-to-be-an-expert business is irritating.

You did make many more some statements I agree with, but "open warfare"??!!!! Sounds like we can't have capitalism because of dog eat dog competition. We can't have freedom because we are children. But sex away!!! kids. Sex away!!! No bullets there, right?


Gun Freedoms

Craig Ceely's picture

"The idea of packing heat has no cultural context in NZ. It does in the US where you can, in many states, walk down the street with a gun in a holster, and where that has no import; where it is normal and accepted, and more importantly, where it is exercised with a great deal of responsibility."

Ross, you don't think that a "walk down the street with a gun in a holster" is the norm in America, do you? It's not common at all, and in most jurisdictions a license or permit is required, with some jurisdictions doing their damndest to make sure you don't get that permit. California had an open carry law, but that openly-carried (holstered) weapon had to be unloaded. "Vermont carry" is called "Vermont carry" for a reason.

But I take your point about responsibility, and it's an important one. Private citizens are not subject to the moral hazard of knowing that in the event of a mishap an official investigation will almost certainly find them innocent of any wrongdoing -- unlike police officers and other government officials. That's one reason Reisman is arguing for more gun control on government guns -- because they cause more problems than those in private hands.


Ross Elliot's picture

"Are Kiwis really as rude in person as they are here?"

Very rude. Uncommonly basic. Beyond rude. Quite sub-human.

Guttural and hairy. Ape-like. Antipodean in the most horrible sense. Earthy, nasty and stinky.

It's difficult to find adjectives for our low condition. We are wholly bereft and proud of it. Our position at the bottom of the world is deserved and we claim no higher station.


Ross Elliot's picture suggestion of open warfare was hyperbole.

But the fact is in a society that has no experience of individual rights as they pertain to gun ownership, you have a problem.

The idea of packing heat has no cultural context in NZ. It does in the US where you can, in many states, walk down the street with a gun in a holster, and where that has no import; where it is normal and accepted, and more importantly, where it is exercised with a great deal of responsibility.

As a New Zealander, I can tell you with certainty, that to allow our citizens to have the same gun freedom that Americans enjoy would result in untold mishaps until, after many years, we came to understand the responsibility that Americans take for granted.

Do I suggest that NZ should not have more liberal gun laws? No. But I fully recognise the impact of any strong change in the status quo.


Marcus's picture

...reported in the UK today.

This is the first time I can ever remember reading a story on gun control in the UK.

Almost 3,000 guns lost or stolen in UK, figures reveal

"Nearly 3,000 guns were lost by or stolen from people registered to hold them in the past five years, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

More than half of these weapons were shotguns.

The data was released following a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office.

The Gun Control Network, a group which raises awareness of the dangers of guns, called the figures "horrendous and frightening".

A Home Office spokesman said firearms legislation protects public safety while ensuring controls are practical and proportionate...

Overall, gun crime in England and Wales is falling. There was a 19% drop in annual firearm offences according to the latest figures.

Bill Harriman, director of firearms for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation - Britain's largest shooting organisation - said that while there should never be complacency about firearms, the figures needed to be put into perspective.

"There are nearly two million licensed firearms in the UK and 3,000 represents a tiny 0.15% of that figure," said Mr Harriman, who is also a forensic firearms examiner.

"People don't tend to lose their firearms and they are required by law to store them in a police-approved steel cabinet when they are not in use.

"Generally my experience of people who shoot in the UK is that they are very careful and very responsible people.

"We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that rural crime is rising and that is doubtless going to have an effect as opportunist criminals target lonely houses, farmhouses where they suspect there may well be firearms and look for them there."

Andorra to Zanzibar, Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe

Craig Ceely's picture

Ross writes: "In countries like NZ where it's illegal to own any gun for self-defence, an open gun policy would be disastrous. You would have, literally, open warfare."

Why? Are Kiwis really as rude in person as they are here? Eye Seriously, Ross, why would there be open warfare? Why assume that New Zealanders are any less capable of discipline and self-control than anyone else? You already tolerate American spellings such as "self-defense," so..."open warfare?" Really? I don't get it.

You're probably aware, too, that there are some locales in the United States which are, shall we say, not quite as open to civil liberties as others. In Illinois and in New York City, for example, guns in general and handguns in particular are regarded as icky. They hatessss them. No Vermont carry there.

Now as to referencing the US: yes, because Dr. Reisman is an American and so am I. But look, Australia is disarming its population, Britain has largely disarmed its population (except for gangs and criminals), and these are not bad places for civil rights and civil liberties. They will be, if the disarming continues. I think freemen from Andorra to Zanzibar, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe have the right to defend themselves, their families, and their property -- and with firearms, if that's what it comes to. Of course, that depends on the governments involved recognizing their citizens are freemen, doesn't it?

And that definitely includes New Zealanders. Come on, you guys gave us Rutherford and Hillary, Southerland and Split Enz. Surely you can be trusted with a revolver and six rounds.

As an aside...

Ross Elliot's picture

...this debate tends to reference the US.

In countries like NZ where it's illegal to own any gun for self-defence, an open gun policy would be disastrous. You would have, literally, open warfare.

This speaks to a mindset born of culture. My American cousins will find it strange that handguns can't be purchased in NZ unless the applicant belongs to a gun club and then they can only be fired on a sanctioned gun range. To possess a handgun and to use it in any other context is to be subject to very harsh penalties.

American's, bless them, have grown up, as a society, with guns as weapons of self-defence. Most nations have not.

This tells us a great deal about the unique nature of America and her desire for individual liberty. And why the political debate in America is always about the relationship of the state to the individual. Gun ownership is not crucial to liberty, but it is a powerful metaphor for it.


Craig Ceely's picture

I didn't base my argument on the Second Amendment, nor did Dr. Reisman base his argument on the Second Amendment -- and machine guns are legal for private ownership in the US upon payment of a $200 (last I checked) tax. I don't own a machine gun, so I'm not as up to date on this as I could be.

As for context and the Second Amendment, though, I think the 20th century gave us plenty of context. It would be nice to have a government which feared encroaching upon the rights of its citizens, no matter who argued what was "reasonable" or not.

Devil in the details...

Pete L's picture

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.

The context of this amendment, as I understand it, is that the founders wanted a civilian militia available in case the British or other invaders should attack or occupy with standing armies. The idea of repelling home invaders or would-be muggers was not foremost in their minds at the time. We like to read our own ideas about what gun rights are into the 2nd Amendment.

We live in a different era. I'm not saying that the principle of self-defense is invalid, but it's hard to cling to the 2nd Amendment word for word and defend gun rights. It's a completely diferent context.

Should any citizen be able to own or purchase any type of weapon? Obviously you get to some absurdities in a hurry if you say yes, because then you should then defend a person's right to own nuclear weapons, cruise missiles, etc. Only an anarchist would support this.

So you have to then concede that a government has at least some right/obligation to regulate the weapons used by its citizen. And it's where you draw the line that it gets tricky. In my view, the standard should be reasonable self defense and other forms of legal recreation (hunting, sport shooting etc). Is a machine gun a reasonable self defense against common thugs? What about a bazooka? Or a missile launcher? As you move up the ladder in terms of the mass death that a weapon can cause (but which still might be legal), is it unreasonable to have some sort of registration requirements? And isn't it reasonable to outright ban certain weapons?

I recognize that there are people who truly believe that only the government should have guns, and they pursue more and more laws gradually to work towards that aim. I just happen to think that there's a ground somewhere in between that point of view and the "no arms laws whatsoever" crowd.







Brant Gaede's picture


And the Royals are embarassed by naked Harry!?


Gun Control Means People Control

Craig Ceely's picture

I fully endorse Dr. Reisman's vision of gun control.

He's right, too, that the American people need to be armed with Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. So do all others. He's right, too, that such weapons are far more important than firearms.

The nut who shot a former colleague or boss at the Empire State Building the other day harmed one person: the man he murdered. New York City cops injured nine bystanders. No, they didn't kick them out of the way, or trample them underfoot, or hurt their feelings: they shot them. Nine of them. We need more gun control, all right. We need far fewer armed government agents and agencies -- at all levels -- with their various "immunities" and other excuses for wrongdoing and fuckups.

We need all fifty US states to have per capita gun ownership at rates approaching that of Texas, with laws along the lines of what we affectionately know as "Vermont carry." And we need a whole hell of a lot more people reading and cogitating on Mises and Rand.

I've learned over the years that many, maybe most, Objectivists are squishy (at best) on firearms, firearms ownership, and gun owners' rights. I was, too. It's time for that, all of that, to be flushed down the toilet. To be dropped, repudiated, scoffed at, derided, mocked. If you have a right to your own life, then you have a right to self-defense. Period. If you can't get behind this, then you're dependent on those who accept that responsibility. The word "parasite" springs to mind.

Mises and Rand and Reisman's vision of gun control. Hell, yes. And it's about damned time a prominent Objectivist said as much.

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