Rights versus Rights on US Gun Control

Solid message.  Occupy the NRA!

Footnote: About three-quarters (75%) of Americans surveyed support proposals to ban the sale of automatic weapons, ban high-capacity ammunition clips and expand background checks on all gun buyers, according to an online Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday January 17th 2012, which has a +/- 4.5% error rate. This 75% aka The Rest of the American People.


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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2 Responses to Rights versus Rights on US Gun Control

  1. J. Buccigross says:

    WIthout the Second Amendment to guarantee them, you will have none of the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights. Read the Federalist Papers & other writings of the Founding Fathers. Its not about hunting, its not about sports – its about parity with the government. And in regard to your loose grasp of criminological theory, its self-evident that criminals do not obey laws. Theoretical future fascist government? Take your head out of the sand – there is a president in office who rules by decree – he denounced G.W. Bush’s use of Executive Orders, when Bush used them less than a dozen times. The current occupant of the Oval Office has used Executive Orders over 900 times since taking office – look it up for yourself, don’t believe me. His very first Executive Order, signed his very first day in office, was to seal any & all records pertaining to himself & his wife. Transparency in office? That was supposed to be one of his campaign points.

    Erich Fromm was correct in saying that the “sheeple” (in this case, those you refer to as the “rest of the American People”) will always seek to escape from freedom, to have the relief of not having to take responsibility for themselves. “May your chains rest lightly upon you”.

    And by the way – in this country, the majority rules – so since even most liberal polls show anti-gun rights approval topping off around 38%, that makes your opinion & that of those who would agree with it the minority opinion. So I guess that the Second Amendment DOES trump your so-called “rights”, if you call capitulation to slavery a “right”. Your rights end where ours begin. But don’t worry – those of us “with the guns” will still defend your right to freedom of speech, since you can’t/won’t defend it yourself.

    Molan Labe.

    • @Buccigross. You may not know this, but this blog is about conflict and exists to provoke good quality argument, and the posting on the gun issue was intended to prompt almost exactly the intelligent, considered response you have posted. Thank you.

      Though I was taught growing up that disparaging the character of the person I was arguing with, was a sign of the weakness of my argument, and there is just a tad of this in an otherwise good post. And your underlying contempt for ‘we the people’ in the sheeple remark does rather let you down. Fromm had his own inner authoritarianism one suspects and his own ‘fear of freedom’. And most people I know across the political spectrum and income spread are not afraid of freedom. And those most likely to take away that freedom seem to use phrases like sheeple to justify seizing power. But I assume you are not one of those folk and your attachment to liberty is genuine.

      However, to the substance of your argument, which sits well in some fictional ‘constitution land’. But in the real world, the Bill of Rights has done pretty well for 200+ years and its defense has been in the hands of the judiciary, and the Presidency, and Congress. And the two main threats in my life time to it came from Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney, neither of whom were I think such serious threats because of their personal limitations. Phew.

      The second line of defense is the US Military and the National Guard. I have worked with the former and they are ardent defenders of the constitution. But by character they are conservative and just a little authoritarian. Given this, the chance that they would allow a communist take over is nil. The chance that they may stage a fascist take over is more than zero, but still very low. They are much stronger defenders of strict constitutionalism that the Supreme Court who play politics with the Constitution. And they are indeed the well ordered militia that the Second Amendment had in mind. That the Founding Fathers had cammo clad folk in rural Idaho (had it been a state then) in mind is historically implausible.

      Now let us turn to what we might call the gundamentalist tendency. Fortunately most of those I have met, could not organize a party in a brewery. I have known and worked in business years ago, with people who were in the French, Danish, and German resistance to the Nazis and those who opposed the fascists in Spain and South Africa and who were sent to the Gulag in Stalin’s Soviet Union and East Germany. They were nothing like the paranoid, authoritarian, extreme libertarian/authoritarian in their families, often anti-women gun nuts I have talked to. Maybe I met an unrepresentative sample of the latter, but most of what I read on line is from such folk on this issue. And these folk are nothing like the people I know who hunt in the US.

      The resisters I knew, were ordinary citizens without extreme views. And if there were a fascist take over led by the military in the US, the gun nuts are exactly the extra judicial death squad folks that killed so many people under the Nazis, in South America, and in occupied Europe. The folk in cammo are not much use in a fire fight with trained soldiers, but they are good at executing unarmed political opponents in the ditches at night a la Ku Klux Klan. So I will skip having my Bill of Rights defended by proto fascist, who project their own authoritarian fantasies onto liberals who have even less ability to stage an effective coup than the cammo folk. Oh and I did once meet some people who overthrew their government and so have some knowledge of the skills that takes.

      And of course, your post doesn’t show much knowledge of the outside world. Fascist dictatorships in Germany, Spain, Italy all came to power on the back of the military. Stalin (who while Communist had a lot in common with the Nazis) rested on the Red Army and his police state. Mao ditto. And there are plenty of countries I have lived in that are just as free as the US that have very strict gun controls: such as Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. And indeed I have lived a short time in Australia which has very strict gun controls, and I experienced as far more individualistic and libertarian than the US is these days with death threats from gun enthusiasts when anyone questions they right to bear arms, violating in spirit the First Amendment.

      And of course, the whole point of making guns illegal for lunatics and criminals, is as my local Chief of Police who worked in Detroit inner city, will tell me is that when you find guns in their hands illegally you can lock them up and take them off the streets. And yes strict gun laws don’t prevent criminals getting some guns but the gun nut crowd are knowingly or unknowingly the main source of criminal weapons alongside exports of US made weapons that end up with drug cartels. Tightening up the gun trade is a very real way to cut America’s appalling murder rate.

      Now I don’t expect any of this to convince you but I will listen to any counter arguments and indeed post them as per the spirit of the First Amendment. Respectfully Creative Conflict Wisdom.

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