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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Facts of Life

I've been on the road for the last five weeks. Not work on the road, where I have lots of time in hotels, but rather vacation on the road, where I had to be all social and stuff. It was agony, but sometimes, a man has to do what a man has to do.

Among that doing was this.

(I'm the gray haired guy.)

Over the course of several hours, we went through about $300 of ammunition. Unlike my friend, I'm not particularly a gun guy. I owned a revolver when we lived in Alaska, and carried it when Rusty the Alaskan Wilderness Adventure Dog took me on walks, because up there predators were never very far away. Get crossways with a grizzly, there's no way the State will get there in time.*

Despite my relative lack of enthusiasm, I get it. Guys like mechanical stuff, especially when gadgets are involved. There is no female equivalent of the Sears Tool Center, or Project Binky. Many men like stuff that explodes, or hurtles into the sky while almost but not quite exploding. Hopefully.

Beyond the gadgetry and things that go bang, properly using a gun isn't nearly as easy as it looks. It takes a surprising amount of muscle control, hand eye coordination, and practice to be any good at it. It should come as no surprise that men can be just as enthusiastic about the skill aspect of shooting as they are about the mechanics and gadgets.

Then there is the mindset, practically inarguable, that self defense is an inalienable right that no legitimate government can ever take away. As I noted above, there are some situations where the only help that will arrive in time is that which you provide yourself. That much should be self evident, just as self evident as the existence of people who take that very, very seriously.

To me, it is interesting how these things cleave politically. Progressives are fond of citing self-fluffing studies; all the ones I've seen produce tendentious pre-ordained conclusions to show how wonderful they are, and how not wonderful everyone else is. Perhaps less naval-gazing would allow discovering something rather more fundamental going on. I work in a gadget intensive occupation that requires mechanical knowledge, as well as significant skill and practice. Almost all the guys I work with have hobbies that have the same characteristics. Almost all of them own guns. And almost all of them are anti-Progressive. And I'd bet that goes for every similar occupation. Pilots and mechanics are gun owning individualists. Progressives don't work with their hands, and are collectivists.

I have no idea why these seemingly disparate things should overlap, but in my experience, such as it is, their correlation is almost ironclad.

Which appears to be something confiscationists simply do not get. Even if their arguments have some validity at the margins -- and that is debatable -- their crusade is totalitarian at its heart. It doesn't matter how much other people enjoy their gun hobby, or how intrinsic they view gun ownership to be in a free society, confiscationists will have none of it. They, in their lack of awareness, and inability to leave well enough alone, send gun sales through the roof, and will have started a civil war should they attempt to impose what they cannot get voluntarily.



Last August, my across the street neighbor probably got between a sow and her cubs -- that was his best guess. Regardless, without the gun he was carrying, his family would have been without a husband and a father.



29 comments:

Harry Eagar said...

And all the millions of people whop were not burglars or robbers who get shot to death? They mean nothing to you?

Harry Eagar said...

An alternative view of the hands-on guys, not mine:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/24/white-working-class-issues-free-trade-american-south

Harry Eagar said...

Jamie Gilt

Hey Skipper said...

[harry:] And all the millions of people who were not burglars or robbers who get shot to death? They mean nothing to you?

That number means nothing to me, because it is shot through with innumeracy.

Since you apparently didn't see that comment, I will reproduce it here. It was in response to your assertion about 4,000,000 gun deaths in the US over the last 140 years.

----

Harry, you will be surprised to learn that outside Progworld, innumeracy is considered a public menace. And with some 4,000,000,000 ridiculous assertions since 1867, a serious one.

Because you keep trotting out this figure, you must believe it means something. That brands you as innumerate, and analytically challenged.

Let me help you out here. You have taken an ascertainable fact — 4M gunshot deaths in 116 years — and treated it as conclusive, without acknowledging the difference between gross and net.

4M deaths can only stand as a useful fact if murder and suicide were completely unknown prior to the invention of firearms. Since that is manifestly ridiculous, then at least some of those 4M people were going to die prematurely anyway, with only the means at question.

It gets worse. Some two thirds of premature deaths by firearms are suicides. Suicide varies widely by culture and gender; moreover, there is no correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates. Unless, of course, agenda journalists heroically ignore salient facts to get there.

Because roughly two-thirds of that oft-abused 4M figure are suicides, and the evidence is conclusive that there is no correlation between gun ownership and suicide rates, then 4M gross really amounts to, at most, 1.4M net.

Yet, since most of your better historians agree that murder existed before guns, and that many, if not most, societies before guns had murder rates far higher than societies with guns.

Which means, for those progs at home who are analytically challenged, the correlation between guns and murder rates is negative. In other words, it is impossible to know not only how many of those 1.4M would have been killed anyway, it is even possible that fewer people died because of guns than would have been the case otherwise.

Making matters worse for you, as it they weren't already bad enough, murder rates are far higher among African Americans than anyone else. You can explain that one of two ways: the racist way — African Americans are relatively incapable of safely owning guns; or, the guns-are-irrelevant way — that what the rest of society has done to African Americans over the last 400 years has so damaged them as a group that higher crime rates of all kinds are the result. (This is the close sibling to thinking wholly inadequate mental illness treatment is a reason to confiscate guns. But that's progressivism for you.)

The abiding mystery is why you keep trotting out a number that is so transparently worthless. My theory is that, as a progressive, you are innumerate, and incapable of analytical thought. Compounding that, your anti-gun attitude is indistinguishable from any other religious zealotry.

----

Just as important, what you have to do is convince millions of law abiding gun owners that their insistence upon meaningful self defense needs to be sacrificed to your desires.

They aren't buying it.

Hey Skipper said...

I wonder why.

Harry Eagar said...

Oddly enough, if instead of comparing the US in the 20th c to, say, China in the 19th c, we compare the US in the 20th c with the very, very different country of Canada in the 20th c, we see a dramatic difference in the rate of gun deaths. And then there's Jamie Gilt.

Then there's this:

http://patch.com/rhode-island/woonsocket/woonsocket-man-sentenced-life-pawn-shop-shooting-0

Hey Skipper said...

... we compare the US in the 20th c with the very, very different country of Canada in the 20th c we see a dramatic difference in the rate of gun deaths.

So, presuming you were typing ironically, Canada and the US don't have any particular differences that need to be taken into consideration?

Indeed, it is worth wondering, considering your stampeding innumeracy, if those differences might be sufficient to render a comparison between Canada and the entire US nearly a matter of chalk and cheese.

As I mentioned above, and you have apparently not taken on board, comparing US and Canadian rates as you do raises the problem of disproportionate black violence. Is that violence due to something other than guns, or are blacks unusually incapable of handling firearms?

Let me give you a little more help here. In 2013, three thousand whites were murdered. Assuming all of them were by gunshot, and that there are 245 million whites in the US, that works out to a murder rate of 1.22 per 100,000.

So how's that comparison going for you, Harry?

The point in play here whether eliminating guns -- making the extraordinarily generous assumption that such a thing could be done -- is worth the candle.

Until you can come to some understanding of what that candle is, then you can't possibly hope to answer the question.

Granted, though, that has never stopped religious fanatics before; no reason to expect it will now.

But wait, there's more. The total number of AIDS deaths so far in the US is 650,000. Most of them due to promiscuous gay sex. If you are so morally outraged by gun deaths, where is the insistence that gay bars be closed? Why aren't we registering those with AIDS?

Hey Skipper said...

... we compare the US in the 20th c with the very, very different country of Canada in the 20th c we see a dramatic difference in the rate of gun deaths.

So, presuming you were typing ironically, Canada and the US don't have any particular differences that need to be taken into consideration?

Indeed, it is worth wondering, considering your stampeding innumeracy, if those differences might be sufficient to render a comparison between Canada and the entire US nearly a matter of chalk and cheese.

As I mentioned above, and you have apparently not taken on board, comparing US and Canadian rates as you do raises the problem of disproportionate black violence. Is that violence due to something other than guns, or are blacks unusually incapable of handling firearms?

Let me give you a little more help here. In 2013, three thousand whites were murdered. Assuming all of them were by gunshot, and that there are 245 million whites in the US, that works out to a murder rate of 1.22 per 100,000.

So how's that comparison going for you, Harry?

The point in play here whether eliminating guns -- making the extraordinarily generous assumption that such a thing could be done -- is worth the candle.

Until you can come to some understanding of what that candle is, then you can't possibly hope to answer the question.

Granted, though, that has never stopped religious fanatics before; no reason to expect it will now.

But wait, there's more. The total number of AIDS deaths so far in the US is 650,000. Most of them due to promiscuous gay sex. If you are so morally outraged by gun deaths, where is the insistence that gay bars be closed? Why aren't we registering those with AIDS?

Harry Eagar said...

https://www.change.org/p/quicken-loans-arena-allow-open-carry-of-firearms-at-the-quicken-loans-arena-during-the-rnc-convention-in-july-2

Go ahead and sign

Hey Skipper said...

... the hosting venue—the Quicken Loans Arena—strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises.

Quicken Loans is a company which owns the arena. Yes, the article asserts Quicken's ban is an affront to the 2A. It isn't, and their saying so doesn't make it so.

I have no idea what this has to do with the 2A, which means your point, provided you have one, is entirely mysterious.

Howard said...

Two very good and relevant videos:

Number One With A Bullet

It's the Steel

Harry Eagar said...

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/georgia-man-loses-his-leg-after-shooting-lawnmower-packed-with-explosive/

The NRA bans guns at its annual conventions. I signed because it will be too boring if the delegates cannot stand their ground. Also, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Just a bit of values clarification for the ammosexuals who insist on forcing guns onto school campuses where people don't want them.


Another argument is, if the convention is unarmed, the delegates will not feel safe, and if they don't feel safe, they may not be able to think about their task in a calm, reflective and adult manner. BWAAAAHAHA!

Harry Eagar said...

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/03/boy_4_shot_in_head_with_gun_le.html#incart_river_index

Hey Skipper said...

[harry:] The NRA bans guns at its annual conventions.

I don't believe you.

What I do believe is that when face with real issues of cost and benefit, Harry, you respond with snotty schoolyard insults, and anecdotes that both prove my point and make you look the fool


Howard -- please stop challenging the reality based community with facts. That is very bad manners, because it creates an unsafe space for them.

You have been warned.

Bret said...

Harry wrote: "The NRA bans guns at its annual conventions. "

According to Snopes: ( http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/nraban.asp )

"Claim: The NRA banned the carrying of guns from their own national convention.

FALSE"

Nice try though Harry.

Hey Skipper said...

That's twice in the last couple weeks that Harry has been snoped.

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

I was a bit rushed when I wrote the OP, and sort of gooned the outro. Which is a shame, because that's where, breaking almost every rule of writing, my main point was hidden.

Let's take as several things: we'd all be better off without guns; 300 million guns will not vanish; there are enough people who will not agree to give up their guns that repealing the 2A is out of the question.

The last two are prima facie true. It's only the magnitude of the first that is in question.

Which raises the question -- how large does the benefit of eliminating guns have to be to overcome the undoubted obstacles?

It is here where confiscationists, all of them progressives, are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. On the one hand, they loudly praised the SCOTUS decision that, on constitutional equal protection grounds, awarded marriage to gays. However, having used the constitution for vindication, it seems an epic instance of hypocrisy to then hope to ignore the constitution in order to grab guns by any means possible.

For instance, when the NYT demands, on nothing more than aesthetic grounds, that certain guns be banned, and then later insists having ones name on a terrorist watch list is sufficient grounds to lose a constitutional right, then the NYT should have, but didn't, simply declare that the Constitution no longer matters when it impairs the desires of the NYT editorial board.

That's all well and good, until someone obtains power -- say, Trump -- who might very well want to apply that same reasoning to the NYT and its confiscationist followers.

Then where are they going to turn? Is the cost of just leaving guns well enough alone worth trashing the Constitution?

(Or, for that matter, sending gun and ammunition sales to new records every time Obama opens his mouth on the subject.)

Harry Eagar said...

It may take a while to disarm the idiots but, like Garrison, I believe you have to start somewhere. We've started.

Bottom line: You are either for slavery or against it, for child sacrifice or against it.

It is significant of the intellectual and informational idiocy of the ammosexuals that every time Obama says something sensible about firearms, they go out and iron up.

Hey Skipper said...

... like Garrison, I believe you have to start somewhere. We've started.

Started to what?

Be wrong about everything?

I can remember when some states started liberalizing their gun laws. The confiscationists just knew there was going to be slaughter in the streets.

Wrong. Not just a little wrong, but exactly, precisely, completely the opposite direction wrong.

When pressed to provide actual, you know, information, you -- a microcosm of confiscationists -- either dodge the question entirely, or answer with innumeracy and fantasy. E.g.: The NRA bans guns at its annual conventions.

And when faced with an opportunity to present a coherent defense, you come back with a snotty comment that a poorly raised ten year old would consider immature.

Howard said...

Speaking of idiots...

The Australian experience:

...Ironically, they would be missing the point that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding, and they would serve as a deterrent against rising crime, but they’ve been ignoring such statistics for years. The facts don’t fit into their warped narrative, so they ignore it.

Regardless, it's clear that Australian-style gun control is a total disaster, and it’s placing the innocent at risk. Luckily, we have a written Constitution that prevents the anti-gun left from enacting Orwellian policies attacking our gun rights for now. There won't be any federally mandated gun buybacks or confiscation if America's Second Amendment right supporters continue to be vigilant, politically active, and most important of all–vote.


A different Bill Whittle video

John Stossel video

note: none of this material will be of any value to the brain dead

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

According to Harry, the "ammosexuals" are guilty of intellectual and informational idiocy.

An interesting charge coming from someone as innumerate and factually challenged as you are.

So far, I'm merely repeating myself.

I asserted in that comment that in these regards -- intellectual and informational deficits -- you are a very typical instance of the confiscationist religion.

For example, in this article from the NYT's International section, meaning it is supposed to be news, not opinion, How a Conservative-Led Australia Ended Mass Killings, there is a para that comes either from journalistic negligence that is impressive even by journalists' standards, or a disregard for the truth that should, but won't make progressives blush:

The oft-cited statistic in Australia is a simple one: There have been no mass killings — defined by experts there as a gunman killing five or more people besides himself — since the nation significantly tightened its gun control laws almost 20 years ago.

That is a big, steaming heap of bovine excreta.

What they really meant to say, was that the confiscation of guns has had no discernible impact on mass killings. There have been six since 2000.

A fact that took me all of about 45 seconds to find.

Which really raises a real conundrum. Is the NYT's informational, um, deficit due to even greater than usual journalistic negligence, or typical progressive disregard for inconvenient reality?

Harry, you seem to have no facts on your side. Suicides are no help. Gun confiscation doesn't end mass murders. It hasn't occurred to you that confiscating guns won't do anything about the severely mentally ill, nor are you troubled by the likelihood that pervasive coverage of mass killings only encourages more mass killings. The correlation between guns and homicide in the US is negative. You have no counter to people who assert a natural right to self defense, or any concern for the consequences that are bound to accompany any attempt to confiscate firearms. Clearly you don't care about the US constitution. And you are either unaware of, or don't care, where your thinking ends up:

A young Danish woman is facing a fine for fending off a would-be rapist with pepper spray.

Since I haven't seen from you anything remotely approaching a coherent argument against guns, how is it your antipathy* is anything other than a kind of religious fanaticism?

*Your persistent word choices strongly indicate my question is futile, because you are incapable of a rational argument on this subject.

Harry Eagar said...

Constitutions can be changed. We once changed ours despite opposition from large numbers of armed gun nuts. So there's that.

I notice you never have engaged the problem of child sacrifice.

Nor how we tell the responsible person with a gun from the dangerous one.

erp said...

After the 10th amendment, only the 15th was a good idea. All the others were just more meddling.

... armed opposition? Those moonshiners were small in number and we came to our senses and repealed it before they became completely mobilized.

... child sacrifice? Ya got a problem with that! Don't you know it's an entitlement on your side of the great divide. We even subsidize it and sell their remains for "research."

... gun owners? You can tell a responsible one from a dangerous one because he/she is the one who uses firearms responsibly and frequently saves lives and property by stopping bad guys from wreaking havoc among We, the People.

Sheesh, it's real easy to figure out.

Hey Skipper said...

[harry:] Constitutions can be changed. We once changed ours despite opposition from large numbers of armed gun nuts. So there's that.

Then by all means go ahead and to the work of repealing the 2A. Until then, you and your fellow travelers at the NYT need either respect the constitution and the democratic process, or declare your hatred of it.

I notice you never have engaged the problem of child sacrifice.

That's rich, coming from someone whose idea of engagement is either hurtling goal posts or memholing, starting with your very first comment. Since you have memholed it, then can I take it you agree about your innumeracy?

As for "child sacrifice", you are surrounded by the stench of hypocrisy. I know the NYT is, and I'll bet you are, pro-choice. Somehow the NYT, and you, are pro-murders of convenience, and anti-gun. There's a problem of child sacrifice you really need to confront.

And then there is the inconvenient fact that more children drown than die of gunshots. Yet neither you nor the NYT are on a jeremiad against swimming pools.

Why is that?

Harry Eagar said...

Swimming pools are regulated, guns not. So your comparison is irrelevant.

Dunno how the Times got involved. I have never read anything there about the 2nd Amedment, don't know if it has an editorial position. I did not always favor repealing the 2d Amendentt. It is people like you, though, with your open embrace of the slaughter of innocents, that led me to change my position.

erp said...

Swimming pools are regulated! Again, define your terms. We've had swimming pools in three different states and the only thing that was "regulated" was diving boards were no longer allowed and I think that was the insurance companiy's doing and various local rules about water, drainage, etc.

Harry, citing NYT articles condemning guns would take more time than it's worth. By the slaughter of innocents do you mean like that in Chicago and other places where guns are strictly controlled or the violence perpetrated by adherents of the religion of peace?

Hey Skipper said...

Swimming pools are regulated, guns not. So your comparison is irrelevant.

You have said a great many foolish things about guns, but saying regulation, or lack thereof, renders a comparison about number of deaths moot has to be the paragon of unhinged foolishness.

Or a sure sign of a prog faced with an inconvenient fact, so the first defense is an irrelevant distraction.

I did not always favor repealing the 2d Amendent. It is people like you, though, with your open embrace of the slaughter of innocents ...

That must, absolutely, totally, without reservation mean that you are on a jeremiad of epic proportions (instead of merely trafficking poorly thought out assertions and pure fictions, as here) to end abortion.

Right?

Wait, what the ... like rotting fish but worse ... yep, no doubt about it, the stench of your hypocrisy is fouling the air here in Barcelona.

I have never read anything there about the 2nd Amedment, don't know if it has an editorial position.

You mean the NYT that ran a front page op-ed on the subject? That NYT? The NYT that has been cited a half dozen times in this thread?

Next time you get snotty with erp about not reading newspapers and therefore not know what is going on, I shall remember this and laugh myself breathless.

At your expense.