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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:18 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is online now
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"Guns are the white man's tools of oppression"

(Because we don't have enough gun debate threads yet. )

Although those who favor gun control usually couch it in terms of public safety, I think there's at least in part another agenda that is often implicit and sometimes explicit: that progressive leftists see gun possession as a part of a sociological mindset that they are fiercely determined to stamp out.

According to this view, guns were a key part of the racist, imperialist genocidal expansion of European culture at the expense of the rest of the world from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. That in the US they were used by mobs to murder and terrorize the black (and hispanic, and jewish, and native American) minority. That crime by African-Americans is the inevitable result of inequality, and that punishing the underclass as "criminals" is just the bourgeois white middle class, fat and addicted to it's consumer culture, smugly ignoring the plight of the underprivileged with the aid of its guns.

Further, that as the US moves towards a multicultural society, gun ownership is a pathetic remnant of former white supremacy, that as Obama notoriously spoke of small-town America "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Supposedly then once a sufficient degree of liberalism, pacifism and tolerance is achieved, [snark]Euro-Americans will see the light, give up their murder tools, abolish racist inequality, peace, love and justice will reign, and we'll all sing Kumbaya together. [/snark]

Certainly in past gun threads a few Dopers have posted opinions along these lines. And certainly pro-gun people believe to an almost paranoid degree that opposition to firearms is due to an ideologically driven agenda, one absolutely opposed to a conservative worldview. Is this then a fair charge to level at the antigun crowd?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:30 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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It wouldn't surprise me if some progressives hold this view, but I'd be floored if it were more than a small minority. What's your evidence this is anything like a mainstream view?

Last edited by John Mace; 12-08-2012 at 07:30 PM..
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:35 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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While there is some correlation between gun activism (membership in gun organizations, political activity relating to guns, etc.) and conservative points of view -- how many pro-life doctors have been shot? -- I don't see this is defining nor a major incentive to gun control laws. One might as well say that anti-marijuana laws are an attempt to force conservative values on the populace: it doesn't really work that way. Correlation is not (always) causation.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:39 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Don't tell John Brown.
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:46 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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I don't know that people who are opposed to gun violence are going to get much traction by saying "Hey, now, cut that out."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy
progressive leftists see gun possession as a part of a sociological mindset that they are fiercely determined to stamp out.
I remember seeing several instances (in the recent handgun thread, primarily) in which people stated that guns are part of our country, down to our cultural DNA. So, if the people who are in favor of an armed populace are saying that, I don't think what you said is unrealistic.

Also in that thread was a big discussion of the difference between "getting handguns out of the populace's hands" and "getting the populace to stop shooting people." General consensus, from both sides of the issue, is the first one ain't gonna happen. The second one would be real neat, but how are you going to make that happen? By changing the mindset.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:59 PM
LC Strawhouse LC Strawhouse is offline
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Why is the thread title in quotes? I suspect it would be impossible to actually find a real person who literally talks (or thinks) in those terms. It kinda sounds like an Austin Powers-style parody of wacky 1960s talk. (And I don't even care about guns...)

Last edited by LC Strawhouse; 12-08-2012 at 07:59 PM..
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:11 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
One might as well say that anti-marijuana laws are an attempt to force conservative values on the populace:
in what way is this statement not accurate?
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:42 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is online now
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Originally Posted by LC Strawhouse View Post
Why is the thread title in quotes? I suspect it would be impossible to actually find a real person who literally talks (or thinks) in those terms. It kinda sounds like an Austin Powers-style parody of wacky 1960s talk. (And I don't even care about guns...)
I don't believe the title phrase so I didn't want to make it a statement, and it was meant to be hyperbole for rhetorical purposes. (Although I don't think it's much wackier than some things radicals actually say).
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:03 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
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I dunno, I've had a middle aged black man with mostly white friends and white girlfriends tell me to my face that "people of color" lived in peace and harmony with each other and with nature until "the white man" taught them how to lie and steal and kill each other. If he'd have been an anti-gunner, I could see this argument being part of his repertois.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:32 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
According to this view, guns were a key part of the racist, imperialist genocidal expansion of European culture at the expense of the rest of the world from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. That in the US they were used by mobs to murder and terrorize the black (and hispanic, and jewish, and native American) minority. That crime by African-Americans is the inevitable result of inequality, and that punishing the underclass as "criminals" is just the bourgeois white middle class, fat and addicted to it's consumer culture, smugly ignoring the plight of the underprivileged with the aid of its guns.
I have never heard of anyone who held this view. I suspect you haven't either.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:41 PM
Ibn Warraq Ibn Warraq is offline
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I have never heard of anyone who held this view. I suspect you haven't either.
I'm sure if you look hard enough on the internet you can find someone who believes that cockroaches are spy robots from the planet Altair 6.

That doesn't mean it's a remotely mainstream view.

Perhaps the OP could get us to take his rant a little more seriously by providing a prominent person who expressed such beliefs.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:55 PM
Chimera Chimera is online now
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If guns had been invented by the Mongols, all of Eurasia (and probably eventually all of Africa) would be part Mongol now and there'd be someone somewhere calling them "Tools of the Mongol Oppressors".
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:27 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
If guns had been invented by the Mongols, all of Eurasia (and probably eventually all of Africa) would be part Mongol now and there'd be someone somewhere calling them "Tools of the Mongol Oppressors".
They were invented by the Chinese.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:10 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
in what way is this statement not accurate?
Er... The full suite of conservative values, not merely the tautological value of being opposed to marijuana. i.e., anti-marijuana laws aren't passed to support a pro-life agenda, or to get creationism taught in schools, or to reduce federal spending on entitlements.
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:16 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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It wouldn't surprise me if some progressives hold this view, but I'd be floored if it were more than a small minority. What's your evidence this is anything like a mainstream view?
I agree. I've never seen this line of argument being made in any of the threads I've read here.

The general argument made against guns is that they're used to shoot people and many of those people didn't deserve to get shot. Some people feel that if there were fewer guns there would be fewer innocent people getting shot. It's an argument you can offer counterarguments to, but it's a lot more rational than the argument the OP is describing.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
They were invented by the Chinese.
Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese, who contrary to popular opinion did not use it just for fireworks, but also for military applications. However personal firearms appeared several centuries after the discovery of gunpowder and appeared all over in East Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Last edited by AK84; 12-09-2012 at 01:05 AM..
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:22 AM
Chimera Chimera is online now
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They were invented by the Chinese.
Nothing near the point of my post there, sharpshooter!

Last edited by Chimera; 12-09-2012 at 09:23 AM..
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:39 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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If this were a significant reason for anti-gun sentiment, then one would expect that to be much more widespread amongst American non-whites than whites. Is there any evidence that that is the case?

How do you square this theory with the widespread anti-gun sentiment (and not unpopular restrictions on gun ownership) in most of the rest of the first world?

The oddity that needs explaining is not anti-gun sentiment (which simply stems from a rational desire to avoid unnecessary deaths), but the uniquely American fierce attachment (in some quarters) to gun rights. But the explanation is not far to seek. For historically contingent reasons, gun rights got written into the U.S. constitution early on, and Americans have a strong tendency to fetishize their constitution and regard any criticism of it (especially, perhaps, of the Bill of Rights) as deeply taboo. (Many of the effects of this fetishization are good, in practice, but the case in point is one of the more significant bad effects.)
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:57 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post

The oddity that needs explaining is not anti-gun sentiment (which simply stems from a rational desire to avoid unnecessary deaths), but the uniquely American fierce attachment (in some quarters) to gun rights. But the explanation is not far to seek. For historically contingent reasons, gun rights got written into the U.S. constitution early on, and Americans have a strong tendency to fetishize their constitution and regard any criticism of it (especially, perhaps, of the Bill of Rights) as deeply taboo. (Many of the effects of this fetishization are good, in practice, but the case in point is one of the more significant bad effects.)
True. I think Europeans may underestimate, however, how fundamentally many Americans really do believe they're going to need those guns against a fascist government someday. We got distracted there for a few decades by people talking about deer hunting with an Uzi, but Facebook has revealed much to me - it's not about wanting to hunt, it's about wanting to keep up in the arms race with our own government in case they come for our wives and children in the middle of the night. I'm really not sure why we seem to distrust our government, the one that we elected, so much more fiercely than other countries seem to (and at the same time, we want to bring this form of government to other nations. It's weird.)

But back to the OP...no, I don't think that's a widespread motivation, at least in my neck of the woods. We want brown people to stop shooting at other brown people, but it's because people are fucking dying, and it's not always the person who was being aimed at. I've not heard anyone propose that if we take the guns away, suddenly equality will flourish, just that it will be a little harder to kill people, and innocent bystanders a block away are rarely hit by stray pocket knives.

(That makes it sound like I'm anti-gun, but I'm not. I am, shockingly, anti-shooting people.)
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  #20  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:23 AM
Muffin Muffin is online now
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Lumpy, until you come up with some reliable data, your OP is just unsupported conjecture with no grounds in reality.
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  #21  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:57 AM
Lumpy Lumpy is online now
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Lumpy, until you come up with some reliable data, your OP is just unsupported conjecture with no grounds in reality.
I'll wait to see if anyone else chimes in but if the OP is a strawman, my apologies. Just thought I'd put it out there.
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
Lumpy, until you come up with some reliable data, your OP is just unsupported conjecture with no grounds in reality.
What sort of reliable data are you looking for? Or, to put this another way, do you think the OP just made the whole 'guns are the tools of white oppression' thingy up from whole clothe, or merely that it's not a common, conscious view of most anti-gun advocates? If the former, I invite you to simply type 'guns are the tools of white oppression' into Google, where you'll see...well, ironically, this thread as the top hit ...but you'll also see several other hits, ranging from the bat shit insane to, well, stuff that's even crazier. I'm seeing 10 pages of hits on that, so unless the OP has been busy, he didn't just make it up. If you mean the latter, well, I agree...it's not a view point I've seen in most anti-gun types, at least not their primary view. I've mostly seen this view espoused by some of the more activist Native Americans that' I've known, or sometimes by the more loony lefty types...but sometimes it slips out even by the non-loony ones, as (assuming the quote is true) in the OPs example of Obama saying something similar.

However, I think most anti-gun folks come to this from other directions...mostly, I think, from fear and ignorance and being really bad at understanding risk and probability. I don't say this to rile folks up, but to me the whole 'we need gun control because of how many folks are killed every year!' thingy is similar to the anti-nuke crowd, though with slightly more justification. But it all comes down to a failure to understand the actual numbers in the context of the number of people in this country...or the truly staggering number of ways people die or are injured in this country every day. Your probability of being shot, unless you are a gang member or part of a drug cartel, is about on par with your chance of falling off your roof and breaking something while putting up Christmas lights (your odds of being killed by nuclear power, even in Japan atm, are somewhat less than your odds of being hit by lighting).

Guns definitely make the US have higher numbers of violent crimes and murders than in some other (more civilized I'm sure) countries...but, really, I think it's AMERICANS, and the fact that we are one of the most diverse nations on earth that is the major factor. Take away the guns and the murder rate might go down a bit...but it wouldn't be the peaceful paradise on earth that most anti-gun folks seem to assume. We have a can-do spirit, and I think that Americans would still find a way to kill each other off at similar (and higher absolute) rates than most other countries, with or without guns.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:52 AM
LC Strawhouse LC Strawhouse is offline
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...but sometimes it slips out even by the non-loony ones, as (assuming the quote is true) in the OPs example of Obama saying something similar.
Really?? Forgive me but I doubt that. Anyone I've ever met would laugh someone out of the room if they talked like the OP's hypothetical.

As for Obama's quote, one ambiguous line from a 2008 campaign speech has not since translated into any other policy statements or legislative action (or resurfaced in any other way) so to assert that he shares the views in the OP is very odd to say the least. (though I'll grant that Clint Eastwood's invisible Obama may have said it)

Last edited by LC Strawhouse; 12-09-2012 at 11:57 AM..
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:58 AM
XT XT is offline
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Originally Posted by LC Strawhouse
Really?? Forgive me but I doubt that. Anyone I've ever met who talked like the OP's hypothetical would get laughed out of the room.
To paraphrase: 'But no one I know voted for Nixon, so it's impossible that he won!!' If you've never heard folks say nutty stuff, you need to get out more...or, hell, just go on Fox news for a couple of hours and listen to what they are spewing.

Quote:
As for Obama's quote, one ambiguous line from a 2008 campaign speech has not since translated into any other policy statements or legislative action (or resurfaced in any other way) so to assert that he shares the views in the OP is very odd to say the least. (though I'll grant that Clint Eastwood's invisible Obama may have said it)
Just going by what the OP said...don't know the providence of the quote, but it shows a certain mindset about guns that I HAVE seen quite often by some liberals.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:12 PM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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True. I think Europeans may underestimate, however, how fundamentally many Americans really do believe they're going to need those guns against a fascist government someday. We got distracted there for a few decades by people talking about deer hunting with an Uzi, but Facebook has revealed much to me - it's not about wanting to hunt, it's about wanting to keep up in the arms race with our own government in case they come for our wives and children in the middle of the night. I'm really not sure why we seem to distrust our government, the one that we elected, so much more fiercely than other countries seem to (and at the same time, we want to bring this form of government to other nations. It's weird.)
Where are the privately owned Minuteman missiles.
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  #26  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:14 PM
LC Strawhouse LC Strawhouse is offline
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Originally Posted by XT View Post
To paraphrase: 'But no one I know voted for Nixon, so it's impossible that he won!!' If you've never heard folks say nutty stuff, you need to get out more...or, hell, just go on Fox news for a couple of hours and listen to what they are spewing.
Sure, we've all met a few embittered old men and earnestly foolish college freshmen, but I can't fathom that this is a common belief with any traction whatsoever. It's probably much easier to find a believer in lizard people overlords to find someone who talks about guns in that Marxist-via-Austin Powers way.

I mean, nobody here is jumping in to agree with the OP's hypothetical, and this is a "liberal board", right?
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  #27  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:32 PM
XT XT is offline
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Originally Posted by LC Strawhouse View Post
Sure, we've all met a few embittered old men and earnestly foolish college freshmen, but I can't fathom that this is a common belief with any traction whatsoever. It's probably much easier to find a believer in lizard people overlords to find someone who talks about guns in that Marxist-via-Austin Powers way.

I mean, nobody here is jumping in to agree with the OP's hypothetical, and this is a "liberal board", right?
It's definitely a left leaning board, by US standards...but it's not a bat shit crazy left leaning board. Which is why I said I agreed that while some folks do think that way and it's not a complete fabrication, that most anti-gun folks don't see that as the primary (or hell even on the list) reason they feel as they do.

That said, it's not at 'lizard people overlords' ridiculous level though...it's closer to main stream than that among some circles of lefties or some more radical minority types (as I said, I've mostly heard this sentiment among the more radical Native Americans and some Hispanics I know).

Last edited by XT; 12-09-2012 at 12:32 PM..
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  #28  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:32 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Where are the privately owned Minuteman missiles.
Ask this guy.

(Actually, I have no idea what a Minuteman missile is. But at least one guy does claim to have/had a privately owned missile. Not sure what his motivation was...)
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  #29  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:36 PM
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Ask this guy.

(Actually, I have no idea what a Minuteman missile is. But at least one guy does claim to have/had a privately owned missile. Not sure what his motivation was...)
It's an intercontinental ballistic missile, and I doubt he has one...certainly, not an armed and ready to fly one. I know you can buy some of the old missile silos though...some folks have done that as Armageddon shelters for when the Mayans come to kill us all in another couple of weeks, or for when some other civilizations ending disaster strikes...or, maybe just as a really dark and musky place to have a good vacation house.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:39 PM
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It's an intercontinental ballistic missile, and I doubt he has one...certainly, not an armed and ready to fly one. I know you can buy some of the old missile silos though...some folks have done that as Armageddon shelters for when the Mayans come to kill us all in another couple of weeks, or for when some other civilizations ending disaster strikes...or, maybe just as a really dark and musky place to have a good vacation house.
I'd be temped to buy a missile silo just to have somewhere the kids couldn't knock on the door while I'm in the bathroom...
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  #31  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:48 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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I'll wait to see if anyone else chimes in but if the OP is a strawman, my apologies. Just thought I'd put it out there.
Please consider post #2 a "chime" if you haven't already.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:27 PM
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I dunno, I've had a middle aged black man with mostly white friends and white girlfriends tell me to my face that "people of color" lived in peace and harmony with each other and with nature until "the white man" taught them how to lie and steal and kill each other. If he'd have been an anti-gunner, I could see this argument being part of his repertois.
Did the words "scapegoating", "whipping boy" or "delusional" ever come up in your conversation with him?
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  #33  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:17 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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True. I think Europeans may underestimate, however, how fundamentally many Americans really do believe they're going to need those guns against a fascist government someday. We got distracted there for a few decades by people talking about deer hunting with an Uzi, but Facebook has revealed much to me - it's not about wanting to hunt, it's about wanting to keep up in the arms race with our own government in case they come for our wives and children in the middle of the night. I'm really not sure why we seem to distrust our government, the one that we elected, so much more fiercely than other countries seem to (and at the same time, we want to bring this form of government to other nations. It's weird.)
That hasn't been my experience. There may be people who speak about gun ownership in political terms but I think they're just a vocal fringe. Most of the gun owners I know personally (discounting hunters) see self-protection as their main motive. They feel that owning and carrying a gun gives them the means to defend themselves against a possible crime attempt.
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  #34  
Old 12-09-2012, 05:14 PM
Kimmy_Gibbler Kimmy_Gibbler is offline
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I'm sure if you look hard enough on the internet you can find someone who believes that cockroaches are spy robots from the planet Altair 6.

That doesn't mean it's a remotely mainstream view.

Perhaps the OP could get us to take his rant a little more seriously by providing a prominent person who expressed such beliefs.
I applaud his efficiency. Ordinarily, the strawman-erector has to wait for his opponent to make a statement before mischaracterizing the position. Here Lumpy has cut out the middleman, delivering (farcically) underhanded rhetoric to us directly!
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  #35  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:09 PM
Dissonance Dissonance is offline
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Ask this guy.

(Actually, I have no idea what a Minuteman missile is. But at least one guy does claim to have/had a privately owned missile. Not sure what his motivation was...)
Attention whoring? If you follow the links, he's a New Zealander.
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  #36  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:31 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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redacted...

Last edited by Tamerlane; 12-09-2012 at 09:32 PM..
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:52 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
(Because we don't have enough gun debate threads yet. )

Although those who favor gun control usually couch it in terms of public safety, I think there's at least in part another agenda that is often implicit and sometimes explicit: that progressive leftists see gun possession as a part of a sociological mindset that they are fiercely determined to stamp out.
Can't say I've so much as encountered this attitude.
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