Alan Sanborn: Ascent Of The Greedy, Ignorant And Power-Hungry

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool

And when he sees his reflection, he’s fulfilled

Oh, man is opposed to fair play

He wants it all and he wants it his way…

…who’s gonna take away his license to kill

– Bob Dylan

 

As a parent, I still live with the adorable small children who my two boys no longer are. These two tall, talented young men will always be the smiling, trusting young souls that I once cuddled with.

Back then even a dream could leave me shaking for days – a nightmare of seeing one of my children lost in a war or drowned or just not coming home on the bus.

To this day, I remain haunted by the terrifying dread of the real near-misses. The just-learned-to-swim seven-year-old being somehow all of a sudden out in the middle of the current in the Trinity River. Seeing a head snap back at the neck from a fall off an overhang. Or losing a two-and-a-half year-old in a huge crowd at night. When any of those moments surface in my mind I can recall the numbing suspension of reality –what could have happened still scares me.

Yet, I don’t think I can even begin to comprehend the pain of the parents of the children who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I picture them returning home to a small pair of pants still in the dryer. A first-grader’s drawing still stuck to the refrigerator door. I don’t know how one could remain the same person after losing a child – especially a young child, especially in such a horrific way.

President Obama visited and did what he does best. He said the right words. He said them with the right humility, tone and respect. And he said that we need to act as a nation to do something to end this random violence which is becoming all too common.

What he didn’t say, though, is that our nation, under his command, is doing the same thing again and again from Yemen to Pakistan. Mothers are left wailing in horror as their children are reduced to body parts by American drone strikes – mothers who will ask themselves for the rest of their lives “why didn’t I go for the firewood instead?”

Why is this different from Sandy Hook? This is, week after week, a story of stealth and awesome fire power visited on people who have no way to defend themselves –who have nowhere to run, nowhere to be safe, and no way to know where or when if if they might be the next target.

Why can’t we muster so much as a tear for the Pakistani mother who is left alone in a tiny earthen home with only a drawing or a tiny bracelet from her dead daughter’s arm?

Why is this really different from Sandy Hook? Because U.S. drones are not killing American children.

In that sense we are probably not that different from any other people. We feel death intensely in our immediate family and perhaps our extended family. As we are further removed from death and mayhem, we are interested, but it doesn’t change our lives significantly. And when floods and murders happen to our “enemies” or people halfway around the world we care little, if at all.

Nonetheless, Sandy Hook is happening every day around the world, and often in our name. It’s our history as a nation. We are a nation of guns and weapons – and we use them like no one else ever has. It’s our leading export industry. It’s our means of insuring an empire built on the idea that America has the right to all of the world’s resources. America still manufactures two things well – weapons and enemies to use them on. And woe to any Congressperson who says no to an arms contract or the NRA.

Since 911, we’ve had no end of military worship, weapons expansion and violent media. We’ve always maintained this reverence for all things military, whether we were liberating Europe or slaughtering Native Americans, going after bin Laden or trying to steal Iraqi oil.

We are a country that spends umpteen millions of dollars on the upkeep and ceremony and cult of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – but there is no National Monument to the Embattled Inner City Teacher, and no Eulogy for the Unfunded Mental Health Care.

Cut teachers’ benefits, gut social services, badmouth police, bust workers’ unions. But don’t think one impure thought about our men in uniform – or even consider cutting a military budget nearly as large as the whole rest of the world combined.

Less clean air, less clean drinking water, lower wages, fewer family-owned homes, less Medicare, less Social Security, less “government intrusion,” less healthcare, less social services, fewer mental health facilities. It seems that the only thing that Americans agree on is that we need more guns.

The logic seems to be that once everyone is packing a weapon, we will finally be safe. That would mean that everyone in every bar, every night would be carrying, everyone involved in a road rage incident would be armed, every hormonal ranting teenager would have a gun in a drawer nearby. The logic fails me. Is there anyone in the world who feels safer with the increasing power, the sophistication and the sheer number of weapons that we’re surrounded with today? I don’t.

Is it really all that strange that a confused and lonely young man, raised in a country that often solves it’s problems with belligerent power and weapons, chooses to do the same thing?

We’re all familiar with the experiments that have shown when you put more and more rats in a cage you get more and more abhorrent behavior. Since we’ve pushed our planet past its ability to sustain us, we can probably apply that idea to ourselves. It might be interesting to repeat the same experiment, but then throw in a dizzying number of little rat automatic weapons.

My experience with Americans is that we are not, as individuals, vicious or violent. Rather, the vast majority of us are caring and compassionate. I’ve traveled enough to believe that people in other countries aren’t all that much different than we are (although generally not as well-armed). My faith is that most people, given a choice, will choose health care over atomic weapons, education over belligerence and care for the planet that sustains us over blowing things up all over the world.

Most people want to pursue a career that they believe in, feed their family and breathe clean air. Unfortunately, the most insecure among us have the strongest desire to pursue power, money and guns. So they end up with the most power, money and guns. And because they have the power, the money and the guns, they get to manipulate the system and impose laws according to their own insecurities. Their laws are based on a fear of the future and not on a faith in their neighbor.

Congress will most likely start talking background checks and trigger locks – and doing something at least symbolic regarding gun-control. Once again, we will probably deal with symptoms and miss the underlying problem. As I see it, the real problem is that democracy is eroding – that the power of a caring, compassionate people is constantly being eroded and placed in a few greedy hands. The result is as Dwight Eisenhower pointed out so well:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Alan Sanborn is an Arcata father, husband, son and artist.

 

95 Responses to “Alan Sanborn: Ascent Of The Greedy, Ignorant And Power-Hungry”

  1. Kevin Hoover

    Laura Cooskey I've enjoyed your thoughts, and am with you on this.
    As stirring as the rhetoric can be and as well as it plays on Facebook, the libertarian philosophy just doesn't hold in the real world. If civilians can own anything the military has, then a whole hell of a lot of unstable and angry people are going to be walking around with even more ability to decimate masses of people at will, and they will.

    #67937
  2. With $200 bucks, a 6 month wait, and enough money and you can own basically anything military has.
    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Restricted-weapons-legally-on-sale-in-Stafford-4193647.php

    #64926
  3. With $200 bucks, a 6 month wait, enough money and you can own basically anything the military has, legally.
    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Restricted-weapons-legally-on-sale-in-Stafford-4193647.php

    #67938
  4. Laura Cooskey

    Yes Kevin, and can you imagine when people would then need to have those bigger military weapons in order to protect themselves from those who had them first, constantly raising the stakes? You wouldn't be able to go to the movie theater in anything less than a tank. Drive-ins would be reborn!

    #64927
  5. Laura Cooskey

    Yes Kevin, and can you imagine when people would then need to have those bigger military weapons in order to protect themselves from those who had them first, constantly raising the stakes? You wouldn't be able to go to the movie theater in anything less than a tank. Drive-ins would be reborn!

    #67939
  6. I guess the same could be said for people exercising their first amendment rights too huh Kevin.

    #64928
  7. I guess the same could be said for people exercising their first amendment rights too huh Kevin.

    #67940
  8. Kevin Hoover

    I have no idea what that means.

    #64929
  9. Kevin Hoover

    I have no idea what that means.

    #67941
  10. Kevin Hoover

    Excellent, Laura, you have found the glass-half-full point of view – bring back the drive-ins!

    #64930
  11. Kevin Hoover

    Excellent, Laura, you have found the glass-half-full point of view – bring back the drive-ins!

    #67942
  12. "As stirring as the rhetoric can be and as well as it plays on Facebook, the libertarian philosophy just doesn't hold in the real world. If civilians can own anything the military has, then a whole hell of a lot of unstable and angry people are going to be walking around with even more ability to decimate masses of people at will, and they will. "

    What that means is that some folks could say the same thing about the libertarian idea that you should have freedom of the press.

    #64931
  13. "As stirring as the rhetoric can be and as well as it plays on Facebook, the libertarian philosophy just doesn't hold in the real world. If civilians can own anything the military has, then a whole hell of a lot of unstable and angry people are going to be walking around with even more ability to decimate masses of people at will, and they will. "

    What that means is that some folks could say the same thing about the libertarian idea that you should have freedom of the press.

    #67943
  14. Kevin Hoover

    I still can't make any coherent sense of that. I guess I need to spend more time commenting on websites to improve my intellect.
    By the way, how is someone supposed to obtain Apache helicopters and cluster bombs with $200 and a six-month wait?

    #64932
  15. Kevin Hoover

    I still can't make any coherent sense of that. I guess I need to spend more time commenting on websites to improve my intellect.
    By the way, how is someone supposed to obtain Apache helicopters and cluster bombs with $200 and a six-month wait?

    #67944
  16. Kevin Hoover
    "The number of such guns was limited after President Ronald Reagan signed a law stipulating no more new machine guns, starting in 1986, could be produced for civilian ownership. The move was born from a 1934 law that first required machine guns be registered with the government and established a $200 tax. The restriction was meant to rein in Tommy guns from the gangster days."

    "Requirements are about the same as buying a regular gun. Owners generally cannot be felons, must be a U.S. citizen or legally residing in the United States and must promise to keep the gun properly secured.

    They also have to provide to authorities the exact address of the guns' owner and be amenable to in-person visits by inspectors. The six-month waiting period is also seen as a possible deterrent to criminals.

    A Department of Justice-issued application states that the "chief law-enforcement officer" in the community where an individual gun owner lives must sign a form to confirm he or she has been advised the gun will be in their area and that they have no objection."

    #64933
  17. Kevin Hoover
    "The number of such guns was limited after President Ronald Reagan signed a law stipulating no more new machine guns, starting in 1986, could be produced for civilian ownership. The move was born from a 1934 law that first required machine guns be registered with the government and established a $200 tax. The restriction was meant to rein in Tommy guns from the gangster days."

    "Requirements are about the same as buying a regular gun. Owners generally cannot be felons, must be a U.S. citizen or legally residing in the United States and must promise to keep the gun properly secured.

    They also have to provide to authorities the exact address of the guns' owner and be amenable to in-person visits by inspectors. The six-month waiting period is also seen as a possible deterrent to criminals.

    A Department of Justice-issued application states that the "chief law-enforcement officer" in the community where an individual gun owner lives must sign a form to confirm he or she has been advised the gun will be in their area and that they have no objection."

    #67945
  18. Kevin Hoover
    Let me make it clear.
    There are people that think that the first amendment is as dangerous as the second, and that some editors have used their power to ruin peoples lives.
    Is that clear enough to comprehend?

    #64935
  19. Kevin Hoover
    Let me make it clear.
    There are people that think that the first amendment is as dangerous as the second, and that some editors have used their power to ruin peoples lives.
    Is that clear enough to comprehend?

    #67947
  20. Kevin Hoover

    In one sense, yes, in that it's clearly deranged. But what does it have to do with this?

    "As stirring as the rhetoric can be and as well as it plays on Facebook, the libertarian philosophy just doesn't hold in the real world. If civilians can own anything the military has, then a whole hell of a lot of unstable and angry people are going to be walking around with even more ability to decimate masses of people at will, and they will. "

    #64937
  21. Kevin Hoover

    In one sense, yes, in that it's clearly deranged. But what does it have to do with this?

    "As stirring as the rhetoric can be and as well as it plays on Facebook, the libertarian philosophy just doesn't hold in the real world. If civilians can own anything the military has, then a whole hell of a lot of unstable and angry people are going to be walking around with even more ability to decimate masses of people at will, and they will. "

    #67949
  22. Laura Cooskey; From the psychological point of view I feel it would be better to state that the intellectual level of pro gun citizens is as dynamic as any other politically active group. What ends up happening is the process of stereotyping a specific group as a means to categorize certain people; usually just out of the ignorance of those outside that circle and sometimes for social or political propaganda. I will not deny that I have met my fair share of pro firearms citizens who are, frankly, poster-children for pro eugenics propaganda. However, it should also be said that this is true of every group which is stereotyped. Any outsider will have an immediate desire to view the people of a different group as being distinctly separate and barbarian when compared to their own social group. Sadly, that is just the natural hard-wiring of the human brain and it stems from some long term, unchanged facet of our evolution and it is something that exists in so many people that it is considered a true rarity Not to find it in a person.
    I won't deny that the stereotypical pro gun advocate is a drunken red-neck with a large sweat stained muscle beater in place of what is obviously a XXXL big boy with a serious lacking of good teeth. The problem with that image is most pro gun advocates are current and ex-military people who have proven their ability not only to use a firearm safely, but to view the firearm respectively. Such people have a tenancy to do with any tool that can effectively be used as a weapon or to otherwise do harm to others.

    Additionally, I cannot deny that one small part of the pro gun motivation is the simple retention of rights. From this point do I personally derive a particular motivation for my views. I would never deny that there are people who will absolutely mis-use their rights to firearms just as such people will mis-use any rights to anything they have. Dangerous people will harm others with cars, with kitchen knives, with hand tools; such is their way. But until they do such a thing, I cannot in right conscious deny every citizen the rights they were born with to use and possess tools of any kind because of the socially handicapped who either can't or otherwise refuse to function in society. This is especially true of tools which are far more commonly used in sport and self defense as opposed to criminal aggression.

    Not to take attention away from the primary subject here, I find it interesting that you have brought in the gender aspect of this. Reason being, I do find interesting that you have set a psychological stage that represents men as the stereotypical pro gun group with women taking the stage as the civilized/adult part of society. I would have to say this setup is exceptionally flawed as I know just as many pro gun women and just as many anti-gun men. But more to the point, I have not seen any evidence that proves women to be more evolved then men. Both genders possess substantial flaws and a few reasonably noble traits which cannot rationally be graded with one above the other. That men typically make the loudest noise regarding gun rights has nothing to do with some hypothetical need to be rebellious and violent. It is more accurate to say that the male mind will traditionally lend itself to it's natural hardwiring; guns are tools and predominately men just love tools. I would say the flaw in this isn't about violence, but about pride. We created tools that have lead to consistently greater tools and technology and men are very proud of that. I would also say it is very reasonable that men are proud of these accomplishments for, though corruption is a problem, these tools have been the instruments that have built an entire global society unlike anything we have ever known before.

    Now this isn't to take away from the female aspect of society at all. It is simply to say that both genders have little choice but to do the roles we have been designed for. Whether the species was designed by a God, by some intelligence of nature, or by pure random accident doesn't change the fact that there are naturally placed gender roles which seek to share the burdens of living and thriving rather than put all the work onto a single side. I find it interesting that most people, occasionally even myself, find it appealing to elevate the status of humanity beyond it's obvious purposes. The reality is, men and women are equal, but separate. Philosophically this doesn't sit well on too many civilized mouths, but nature is not exactly an entity that has proven to care about human sensibilities. Typically men are hardwired and structurally designed to develop resource acquiring skills and abilities much more effectively than females. Typically women are hardwired and structurally designed to develop resource management skills and abilities much more effectively than males. This is not the case in every situation, but it is a scientifically established fact. This is not to say that these things are or should be viewed as opposites in which competition should be derived. It is to say that one without the other ends up being useless. The male gender cannot reasonably expect to gain the best use of their resources if they are not managed any more than the female gender can expect to accomplish anything without an effective supply of resources.

    It has been my experience that the best way to figure out the truth of a subject is to simply break it down to its most basic elements. Breaking down gender roles effectively makes it easy to see where equality comes from (not in how great the other is, but in how simple we both are) and this same framework can be done with the issue of gun control. Simply answer a few very basic questions; 1. Do governments (both current and historical) have a precedence of malevolence after disarming the citizenry? (No) 2. Has imposing harsher punishments and regulation improved the per capita crime rates in this nation? (No) 3. Is it a statistical fact that citizens who legally own firearms rarely use them against other people, for violence or defense? (Yes) 4. Has the criminal mindset changed into something more civil due to weapon control laws? (No). So breaking down to the basics is simple. What happens when a group of people manage to out-tool other groups of people in their vicinity? The lesser technology is either violently consumed by the greater or the lesser technology society finds less success, less often until no resources are left for them to thrive, in which case they die or get violently assimilated into other groups. This isn't about fear, but the reality of the human condition. It is tempting (living in the ivory tower as you say) to want to believe that the world is a good place with a few bad apples. I wish with all my heart that such was true. But reality is a much harsher place. We live in a world full of people who cannot even comprehend half the time that what they do will have an adverse effect on others. Many cannot even bring themselves to notice that other people might have importance. That the very nature that propels a dog eat dog existence, however, it is a simple truth. Even in the ivory tower there are those that live their whole lives trying to control other people while having next to no ability to control themselves.

    Now, this is entirely too long of a response, but I do hope it answers some of your questions.

    #64947
  23. Laura Cooskey; From the psychological point of view I feel it would be better to state that the intellectual level of pro gun citizens is as dynamic as any other politically active group. What ends up happening is the process of stereotyping a specific group as a means to categorize certain people; usually just out of the ignorance of those outside that circle and sometimes for social or political propaganda. I will not deny that I have met my fair share of pro firearms citizens who are, frankly, poster-children for pro eugenics propaganda. However, it should also be said that this is true of every group which is stereotyped. Any outsider will have an immediate desire to view the people of a different group as being distinctly separate and barbarian when compared to their own social group. Sadly, that is just the natural hard-wiring of the human brain and it stems from some long term, unchanged facet of our evolution and it is something that exists in so many people that it is considered a true rarity Not to find it in a person.
    I won't deny that the stereotypical pro gun advocate is a drunken red-neck with a large sweat stained muscle beater in place of what is obviously a XXXL big boy with a serious lacking of good teeth. The problem with that image is most pro gun advocates are current and ex-military people who have proven their ability not only to use a firearm safely, but to view the firearm respectively. Such people have a tenancy to do with any tool that can effectively be used as a weapon or to otherwise do harm to others.

    Additionally, I cannot deny that one small part of the pro gun motivation is the simple retention of rights. From this point do I personally derive a particular motivation for my views. I would never deny that there are people who will absolutely mis-use their rights to firearms just as such people will mis-use any rights to anything they have. Dangerous people will harm others with cars, with kitchen knives, with hand tools; such is their way. But until they do such a thing, I cannot in right conscious deny every citizen the rights they were born with to use and possess tools of any kind because of the socially handicapped who either can't or otherwise refuse to function in society. This is especially true of tools which are far more commonly used in sport and self defense as opposed to criminal aggression.

    Not to take attention away from the primary subject here, I find it interesting that you have brought in the gender aspect of this. Reason being, I do find interesting that you have set a psychological stage that represents men as the stereotypical pro gun group with women taking the stage as the civilized/adult part of society. I would have to say this setup is exceptionally flawed as I know just as many pro gun women and just as many anti-gun men. But more to the point, I have not seen any evidence that proves women to be more evolved then men. Both genders possess substantial flaws and a few reasonably noble traits which cannot rationally be graded with one above the other. That men typically make the loudest noise regarding gun rights has nothing to do with some hypothetical need to be rebellious and violent. It is more accurate to say that the male mind will traditionally lend itself to it's natural hardwiring; guns are tools and predominately men just love tools. I would say the flaw in this isn't about violence, but about pride. We created tools that have lead to consistently greater tools and technology and men are very proud of that. I would also say it is very reasonable that men are proud of these accomplishments for, though corruption is a problem, these tools have been the instruments that have built an entire global society unlike anything we have ever known before.

    Now this isn't to take away from the female aspect of society at all. It is simply to say that both genders have little choice but to do the roles we have been designed for. Whether the species was designed by a God, by some intelligence of nature, or by pure random accident doesn't change the fact that there are naturally placed gender roles which seek to share the burdens of living and thriving rather than put all the work onto a single side. I find it interesting that most people, occasionally even myself, find it appealing to elevate the status of humanity beyond it's obvious purposes. The reality is, men and women are equal, but separate. Philosophically this doesn't sit well on too many civilized mouths, but nature is not exactly an entity that has proven to care about human sensibilities. Typically men are hardwired and structurally designed to develop resource acquiring skills and abilities much more effectively than females. Typically women are hardwired and structurally designed to develop resource management skills and abilities much more effectively than males. This is not the case in every situation, but it is a scientifically established fact. This is not to say that these things are or should be viewed as opposites in which competition should be derived. It is to say that one without the other ends up being useless. The male gender cannot reasonably expect to gain the best use of their resources if they are not managed any more than the female gender can expect to accomplish anything without an effective supply of resources.

    It has been my experience that the best way to figure out the truth of a subject is to simply break it down to its most basic elements. Breaking down gender roles effectively makes it easy to see where equality comes from (not in how great the other is, but in how simple we both are) and this same framework can be done with the issue of gun control. Simply answer a few very basic questions; 1. Do governments (both current and historical) have a precedence of malevolence after disarming the citizenry? (No) 2. Has imposing harsher punishments and regulation improved the per capita crime rates in this nation? (No) 3. Is it a statistical fact that citizens who legally own firearms rarely use them against other people, for violence or defense? (Yes) 4. Has the criminal mindset changed into something more civil due to weapon control laws? (No). So breaking down to the basics is simple. What happens when a group of people manage to out-tool other groups of people in their vicinity? The lesser technology is either violently consumed by the greater or the lesser technology society finds less success, less often until no resources are left for them to thrive, in which case they die or get violently assimilated into other groups. This isn't about fear, but the reality of the human condition. It is tempting (living in the ivory tower as you say) to want to believe that the world is a good place with a few bad apples. I wish with all my heart that such was true. But reality is a much harsher place. We live in a world full of people who cannot even comprehend half the time that what they do will have an adverse effect on others. Many cannot even bring themselves to notice that other people might have importance. That the very nature that propels a dog eat dog existence, however, it is a simple truth. Even in the ivory tower there are those that live their whole lives trying to control other people while having next to no ability to control themselves.

    Now, this is entirely too long of a response, but I do hope it answers some of your questions.

    #67950
  24. hi dan how are u hows missity doing are u birds still chewing up everything miss u dan please send me pictures of u all my email is jeichman@mymetromail.com luv u jane

    #64946
  25. hi dan how are u hows missity doing are u birds still chewing up everything miss u dan please send me pictures of u all my email is jeichman@mymetromail.com luv u jane

    #67920
  26. Kevin Hoover; I would definitely have to disagree with the reasoning for your stance on this matter. One very prominent point I would like to make is this, many civilians used to be the same active duty military that you are passively elevating. Many more are directly related to those veterans. So I would have to ask if you would really prefer to continue in a line of thinking that suddenly demeans the capability of the those civilians? is it really to say that once a person is no longer an active member of our military, they suddenly lose all mental reservation and respect for the weapons we trusted them with before?

    Additionally I would have to restate the obvious from my previous posts; if you take away guns from the civil body who is left with all the guns that currently exist? Your government who has full command of the military, organized crime syndicates and individual criminals who don't care one way or the other about the laws of the land.

    So lets take away the proven fact that this government has is so inept in it's moral direction and self management that any right thinking person would shudder at the thought of letting them manage the janitors tool closet, let alone preserving and securing your rights to life, liberty and property and just go with precedence. What nations have we seen in the last, say, 200 years that have thrived without severe corruption of power against the people after successfully disarming the majority of their population?

    We can eve be more specific. In the last 200 years, how many atrocities has this government committed directly after gaining a secure foothold over any group of people? 1. The people in this land have endured genocide (Indain natives), often with using more brutal killing tactics in order to preserve ammunition. 2. Violent and threatening stand-offs by large corporations with U.S. military support against workers (leading to the formation of Unions) 3. Severe injustice and inequality, legitimized by local police and government, ignored by national government against minority citizens (Civil Rights – Suffrage – Slavery)

    Is that truly the history you want with that kind of power over you?

    #64948
  27. Kevin Hoover; I would definitely have to disagree with the reasoning for your stance on this matter. One very prominent point I would like to make is this, many civilians used to be the same active duty military that you are passively elevating. Many more are directly related to those veterans. So I would have to ask if you would really prefer to continue in a line of thinking that suddenly demeans the capability of the those civilians? is it really to say that once a person is no longer an active member of our military, they suddenly lose all mental reservation and respect for the weapons we trusted them with before?

    Additionally I would have to restate the obvious from my previous posts; if you take away guns from the civil body who is left with all the guns that currently exist? Your government who has full command of the military, organized crime syndicates and individual criminals who don't care one way or the other about the laws of the land.

    So lets take away the proven fact that this government has is so inept in it's moral direction and self management that any right thinking person would shudder at the thought of letting them manage the janitors tool closet, let alone preserving and securing your rights to life, liberty and property and just go with precedence. What nations have we seen in the last, say, 200 years that have thrived without severe corruption of power against the people after successfully disarming the majority of their population?

    We can eve be more specific. In the last 200 years, how many atrocities has this government committed directly after gaining a secure foothold over any group of people? 1. The people in this land have endured genocide (Indain natives), often with using more brutal killing tactics in order to preserve ammunition. 2. Violent and threatening stand-offs by large corporations with U.S. military support against workers (leading to the formation of Unions) 3. Severe injustice and inequality, legitimized by local police and government, ignored by national government against minority citizens (Civil Rights – Suffrage – Slavery)

    Is that truly the history you want with that kind of power over you?

    #67951
  28. Kevin Hoover

    " is it really to say that once a person is no longer an active member of our military, they suddenly lose all mental reservation and respect for the weapons we trusted them with before?"

    That's a bit of a straw man argument, isn't it? In any case, no.I'm a veteran as well.

    " Your government who has full command of the military, organized crime syndicates and individual criminals who don't care one way or the other about the laws of the land."

    This probably forms the underpinnings of our disagreement. I don't consider the individuals in our government so craven and bereft of judgment, ethics or morality. Incompetent at times, absolutely.

    Essentially, I am not aware of any time in U.S. history where small arms have dissuaded the Feds from imposing their will on the populace. Now that they have helicopters, poison gas, RPGs and drones, the chances of me or you fending them off with bullets are negligible. They'll win if it ever comes to that.

    My belief is that we need government, have a pretty good, somewhat dysfunctional democracy and our challenge is to participate in our democratic institutions to make the government be of, for and by the people.

    Assault weapons simply fuel the war of troubled loners against schoolkids and shopping mall patrons.

    #64951
  29. Kevin Hoover

    " is it really to say that once a person is no longer an active member of our military, they suddenly lose all mental reservation and respect for the weapons we trusted them with before?"

    That's a bit of a straw man argument, isn't it? In any case, no.I'm a veteran as well.

    " Your government who has full command of the military, organized crime syndicates and individual criminals who don't care one way or the other about the laws of the land."

    This probably forms the underpinnings of our disagreement. I don't consider the individuals in our government so craven and bereft of judgment, ethics or morality. Incompetent at times, absolutely.

    Essentially, I am not aware of any time in U.S. history where small arms have dissuaded the Feds from imposing their will on the populace. Now that they have helicopters, poison gas, RPGs and drones, the chances of me or you fending them off with bullets are negligible. They'll win if it ever comes to that.

    My belief is that we need government, have a pretty good, somewhat dysfunctional democracy and our challenge is to participate in our democratic institutions to make the government be of, for and by the people.

    Assault weapons simply fuel the war of troubled loners against schoolkids and shopping mall patrons.

    #67952
  30. Nice ad hominem attacks.
    I was almost upset that you are closing the paper.

    #64954
  31. Nice ad hominem attacks.
    I was almost upset that you are closing the paper.

    #67953
  32. Phil D Bowl

    Kevin Hoover "Essentially, I am not aware of any time in U.S. history where small arms have dissuaded the Feds from imposing their will on the populace. Now that they have helicopters, poison gas, RPGs and drones, the chances of me or you fending them off with bullets are negligible. They'll win if it ever comes to that."

    The uprisings against government all over the world recently, governments that had much more firepower than the people doesn't dissuade you from that argument at all?

    You're using a example that hasn't had the need to go to that level at this point, or hasn't hand a need enough to. Seems to give people an advantage in places that have.

    #64956
  33. Kevin Hoover "Essentially, I am not aware of any time in U.S. history where small arms have dissuaded the Feds from imposing their will on the populace. Now that they have helicopters, poison gas, RPGs and drones, the chances of me or you fending them off with bullets are negligible. They'll win if it ever comes to that."

    The uprisings against government all over the world recently, governments that had much more firepower than the people doesn't dissuade you from that argument at all?

    You're using a example that hasn't had the need to go to that level at this point, or hasn't hand a need enough to. Seems to give people an advantage in places that have.

    #67954
  34. Kevin Hoover

    Mark Sailors What are you talking about?

    #64957
  35. Kevin Hoover

    Mark Sailors What are you talking about?

    #67955
  36. Kevin Hoover

    Phil D Bowl "The uprisings against government all over the world recently, governments that had much more firepower than the people doesn't dissuade you from that argument at all?"

    No. If the American social contract devolves into a state of chaos, what few bits of metal I can propel at high velocity are not going to do me any damn good.

    Also, Phil D. Bowl is not a real name.

    #64958
  37. Kevin Hoover

    Phil D Bowl "The uprisings against government all over the world recently, governments that had much more firepower than the people doesn't dissuade you from that argument at all?"

    No. If the American social contract devolves into a state of chaos, what few bits of metal I can propel at high velocity are not going to do me any damn good.

    Also, Phil D. Bowl is not a real name.

    #67956
  38. Phil D Bowl

    Oh no he di-ant!!!! j/k. Don't know what real name has to do with it,, this is what everyone knows me as, and no I'm not a stripper :).

    For reals though, I think seeing what has happened in Libya, Syria, etc…Even if it hasn't yet, and may not end in a positive way from our POV, it does go to show that a oppressed people with small arms do have much more power than you seem to want to recognize.

    I have a lot of faith in how our government works. It seems to swing from one extreme to the other, which in my eyes kinda creates a chaotic balance, but I don't trust that it will always be that way.

    Although I'm not a owner of firearms, shy from violence, and fully support peaceful resolutions, I have seen throughout many examples in world history, even from governments the citizens viewed as just as stable as we view ours, peaceful protests and attempted peaceful resolutions pushed to violence by governments, at the peak up oppression, and although I don't feel we're anywhere near that point, I am a firm believer in being prepared because the unexpected DOES happen from time to time. I am glad that others are armed, and I strongly believe in that right.

    Power is a very strong influence that will push people to go to extreme measures to acquire. Our government is relatively new, and acquiring power sometimes is a slow, but calculated process.

    I might have a different opinion, if I haven't witnessed such a large portion of the voting public swayed by bright lights and screaming, emotional commentators, without even attempting to fact check, or balance their information load. That's what worries me more than anything! I wouldn't worry so much if most of that screaming media that people expose themselves to wasn't owned by so few outlets, or the fact that most of those people don't even realize that. I recognize that a lot of the people in support of gun rights hold totally opposite views as I do on many issues, but if it's a true oppression, all these little issues that keep us divided now, will be put on the back burner for freedom.

    I believe our founders were very smart in how they setup our representative government, but with enough time, and motivation, anything can be corrupted, and despite the fact that yes, the powers that be could wipe everyone out in a instant, that's as unrealistic to me as small arms holding back a government is to you, as you need a population for power. I concur though nothings out of the realm of possibilities, which is why I think this issue is a important one.

    #64960
  39. Oh no he di-ant!!!! j/k. Don't know what real name has to do with it,, this is what everyone knows me as, and no I'm not a stripper :).

    For reals though, I think seeing what has happened in Libya, Syria, etc…Even if it hasn't yet, and may not end in a positive way from our POV, it does go to show that a oppressed people with small arms do have much more power than you seem to want to recognize.

    I have a lot of faith in how our government works. It seems to swing from one extreme to the other, which in my eyes kinda creates a chaotic balance, but I don't trust that it will always be that way.

    Although I'm not a owner of firearms, shy from violence, and fully support peaceful resolutions, I have seen throughout many examples in world history, even from governments the citizens viewed as just as stable as we view ours, peaceful protests and attempted peaceful resolutions pushed to violence by governments, at the peak up oppression, and although I don't feel we're anywhere near that point, I am a firm believer in being prepared because the unexpected DOES happen from time to time. I am glad that others are armed, and I strongly believe in that right.

    Power is a very strong influence that will push people to go to extreme measures to acquire. Our government is relatively new, and acquiring power sometimes is a slow, but calculated process.

    I might have a different opinion, if I haven't witnessed such a large portion of the voting public swayed by bright lights and screaming, emotional commentators, without even attempting to fact check, or balance their information load. That's what worries me more than anything! I wouldn't worry so much if most of that screaming media that people expose themselves to wasn't owned by so few outlets, or the fact that most of those people don't even realize that. I recognize that a lot of the people in support of gun rights hold totally opposite views as I do on many issues, but if it's a true oppression, all these little issues that keep us divided now, will be put on the back burner for freedom.

    I believe our founders were very smart in how they setup our representative government, but with enough time, and motivation, anything can be corrupted, and despite the fact that yes, the powers that be could wipe everyone out in a instant, that's as unrealistic to me as small arms holding back a government is to you, as you need a population for power. I concur though nothings out of the realm of possibilities, which is why I think this issue is a important one.

    #67957
  40. Kevin Hoover

    So you've renamed yourself after a drug-ingestion procedure. Was that for the credibility boost?

    If it has nothing to do with it, why do you cringe behind a fake name?

    #64962
  41. Kevin Hoover

    So you've renamed yourself after a drug-ingestion procedure. Was that for the credibility boost?

    If it has nothing to do with it, why do you cringe behind a fake name?

    #67958

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