JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2006/12/other-side.html (28 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1167310394-544749  Francis W. Porretto at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 12:53:14 +0000

The anti-gun position is not a reasoned stance. It's a religious faith for some, a stalking horse for totalitarian powers for others. You wom't dissuade the first camp with logic, though Mike Adams's and Teresa Hayden's approach might have some merit. You won't dissuade the second camp at all. Indeed, they want you to try; it wears you out to no good end and gives them more opportunities to slander you.

I find myself reflecting this morning on the term "civil disobedience." Many folks would say that to bear arms in violation of some local or state ordinance is an act of civil disobedience -- that is, a deliberate test of the soundness of the law. But we've had that test already. I say: to carry arms, whether openly or covertly, is an assertion of an explicitly guaranteed Constitutional right. It's the ordinances against it that are tests -- tests of our forbearance in light of these plainly outrageous violations of the Supreme Law of the Land.

Spread the word.

jsid-1167315878-544751  Kevin Baker at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:24:38 +0000

Welcome back, Francis. I've missed your commentary.

jsid-1167317337-544753  Mark Alger at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:48:57 +0000

I'd offer this counter: the real cause of violence is liberalism -- the mother-my-dog nanny-statism which allows, nay encourages dependence on the state as a replacement for the family as the core of a man's being. And, of course, the state being cold, uncaring, and amoral, it raises children who become sociopaths.


jsid-1167317397-544754  Mark Alger at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:49:57 +0000

I should add to my thesis: "in this context." The real causes of violence in other contexts could be other than liberalism. Not betting on it, but must admit to the possibility.


jsid-1167317435-544755  Bruce at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:50:35 +0000

Ah...a good, old-fashioned dead horse beating. Just what I needed this morning. Well done.

jsid-1167322794-544764  BobG at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:19:54 +0000

Very well done.

jsid-1167323322-544766  PawPaw at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:28:42 +0000

Thank, I needed that. I linked to it over at my place.

jsid-1167323610-544767  Joe Huffman at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:33:30 +0000

First, thanks for the link to Just One Question.

Second, I have a minor correction and elaboration on a point you made: The VPC paper written by Josh Sugarmann which you quoted was actually written in 1988, not 1998. I suspect the copyright footer was mistyped or the study was put on the web in 1998. If you go to this page you will see the 1988 date. Wikipedia also has the 1988 date as do a few other websites.

I have to have a certain amount of admiration for Sugarmann. It was this "study" by Sugarmann that was the seed for the "assault weapon" ban of 1994--all based on the deliberate confusion of the public. Mr. Sugarmann knows the truth and when the '94 ban was about to sunset in 2004, while other anti-gun bigots were screaming about "blood will flow in the streets", Sugarmann quietly told people that "not much will change" with the expiration of the ban. He successfully created the ban out of his insight on the ignorance and gullibility of the people and then moved on when he knew the deception could no longer be sustained.

jsid-1167324037-544769  Kevin Baker at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:40:37 +0000

You know, Joe, I knew that. I've been studying this long enough to know that paper came out long before the '94 AWB. I'll correct it. Thanks for the heads-up.

As for Sugarmann, he is at least honest enough to come out and say openly that his objective is the banning of the private ownership of handguns, "assault weapons," and whatever else he can eventually get banned. Most of the other groups won't 'fess up.

jsid-1167324992-544772  Joe Huffman at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:56:32 +0000

I was almost certain you did. It was the copyright date on the VPC website that made it so easy to make.

And the minor error didn't harm your point about the "sea of disinformation". But in the bigger scheme of things 1988 versus 1998 could make a difference to us when trying to make a different point.

Please don't hesitate to correct me when I make a mistake as well. To continue holding the high moral ground we must minimize our errors.

jsid-1167326403-544776  Sebastian at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 17:20:03 +0000

Did the State Police give you that number? Because it's wrong. The true number is somewhere between 600,000 and 700,000, last I checked. The State Police probably have no idea, since they have nothing to do with LCFs in Pennsylvania. The county sheriffs are the ones who keep those records. 32,000 is probably the number of licenses issued in Philadelphia. I seem to recall the number was somewhere between 20,000-30,000 several years ago, and it's probably gone up.

jsid-1167327367-544778  Ron at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 17:36:07 +0000

Great job with this. The one problem here that needs to be recognized is that our logical discussions never will convince people who are governed by their emotions. Your logic won't make someone else change their feelings that are uniquely their own. This is part of a bigger problem in society that is being fostered to this day. "How do you feel" "Express your feelings". Logic be damned, if it is how you feel, well no one else can change that.

jsid-1167328878-544779  Kevin Baker at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 18:01:18 +0000

I agree, Ron, but this audience is the converted. I preach to the choir here, and I know it. What I want us to do is try to reach the reachable - take them shooting. Get them to understand that owning a gun doesn't make them bloodthirsty killers. Make them angry at being lied to by the people who want to strip a right from them with a false promise of safety. I want to marginalize the gun-grabbers even further than they are right now.

To do that, we must reach out to the middle.

jsid-1167331059-544780  Ron at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 18:37:39 +0000

Agreed. I have converted a few in my day. It is not that hard if you kind of ambush them. People don't know that I own guns or hunt until I get to know them, then tell them what I own/do. By then they already have formed an opinion of me as a respectable, professional, family man, not a red neck (though I am by birth) gun toting lunatic. I have found that many more become interested in firearms when this approach is taken. Next thing you know, we are at the range.

jsid-1167348526-544809  Ernie at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 23:28:46 +0000

You hear from many gun control types that if you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to buy a gun.

That is a faulty analogy. I can BUY a car without a license, I just can't operate it on public streets. To make that a valid analogy, we would have to allow people to operate a gun in public only with a permit, but allow them to buy as many as they wish.

jsid-1167349200-544811  DJ at Thu, 28 Dec 2006 23:40:00 +0000

Of course you preach to the choir, Kevin, but the choir needs it. After all, the choir preaches to others, and someone has to put the words in the right order so the choir does it right.

So, don't stop on our account. Preach all you want. We'll read more.

jsid-1167365840-544818  k-romulus at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 04:17:20 +0000

Meanwhile, in another Philly paper, the Philly police commissioner contradicts Dr. Kelly with an INFORMED opinion:


(quote)Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson last night said the answer goes beyond gun control and policing, noting that gun laws today are what they were in 2002, when homicides numbered 288.

"Unless you change the mind-set, [if] you take away the guns, I think you're still going to have the stabbings and the beatings," Johnson said.

Issues such as education and jobs need to be addressed, too, he added.(end quote)

jsid-1167376978-544820  ben at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 07:22:58 +0000

Very good, Kevin, very good.

jsid-1167418528-544870  Erik at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 18:55:28 +0000

I'd just like to let you know that it is possible to convince people that gun control is wrong.

I can give myself as a pretty good example. I live in Scandinavia, where in order to own a rifle you need to be an active hunter, get licensed for it, and take the necessary tests.

I have such a license myself, I own hunting rifles, and I have also done military service, so I have experience with guns of different kinds. I mention this just to point out that I was not someone that had never seen a firearm at all, I have always been around guns to some degree.

Even so, as many others that has not had much experience with handguns, I used to have the opinion that some sort of regulation of handguns was needed. I didn't really mind people owning them, I just thought it would be a good idea to limit them. After all, I couldn't really see any use for handguns other than the "fun factor", and maybe the fun factor wasn't enough to keep them available, if it increased crime rates..?

On face value the propaganda from the anti-gun crowd is very persuasive, with short and easily remembered slogans, and when it doesn't really affect yourself personally it's easy to accept it as truth and not question it. Especially when you dont get to hear many good "pro-gun" arguments.

What happened to change my mind completely was I started hanging out in an internet forum, where gun control sometimes popped up as a hot subject.
Those in favor of gun control kept up the usual arguments, that sound persuasive to those that aren't really concerned with it, but what totally changed my view was a few on the "pro" side, and one in particular. He kept on coming with wellreasoned and researched material, statistics and examples, and provided links for everything. At first I actually believed he was exaggerating all the numbers, they were so far away from those I'd been showed before. But since he always provided links and sources (which the gun control people seldom did), I started to check out his claims. And all of them was correct. And ever so slightly, I got convinced, and changed my outlook.

Sure, I wasn't that much against it to begin with, but I think a lot of people aren't. The hardcore cun control people are, I believe, not that many. Most people simply dont want guns to be used in crimes, but it's not the guns they have a problem with, it just gets framed that way.

Sorry if this is too long, but I thought it might be nice for you to know that well reasoned arguments, repeated over and over, does have an effect, and does change peoples minds.
It even can have an effect across the oceans, in other countries.

jsid-1167424216-544884  Kevin Baker at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 20:30:16 +0000

That's good to know, but you already had the advantage of (long) gun ownership. Guns, to you, weren't a talisman of evil.

jsid-1167428464-544892  Tim Reed at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 21:41:04 +0000

It should not matter to me that the guy making dumb arguments is an MD. Nonetheless, it makes me crazy because a lack of handwashing by healthcare workers is killing thousands of 100% innocent people every year (if we count malpractice, the death toll would be higher still). Physician, heal thyself. See article from WaPo below:

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has estimated that as many as 2 million infections are acquired in hospitals each year, resulting in 90,000 deaths, said Denise Cardo, director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.

"This is terrible and this is not new," she said. "There are many more things we need to do in terms of preventing those infections, not just counting them."

Hospital executives cautioned that they are still working out the kinks in the data collection, and stressed that many efforts are underway to reduce preventable infections and other errors.

"Can we do better? Absolutely," said Elliot J. Sussman, president and chief executive of Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, Pa. "And this report can be a stimulus to do so."

Sussman, who has been a leader in the safety movement, said it is "ridiculous" to read that 16 hospitals reported not a single infection.

In Seattle, Michael Westley, medical director of the critical care unit at Virginia Mason Medical Center, is leading an effort to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia cases through simple steps such as keeping the patient's head elevated and ensuring the patient breathes independently for at least a few minutes each day.

"If you do those things and you do them every day, the experience has been the numbers of those infections go down," he said. "While our hospitals in general are safe, they could be even safer by routinely employing low-tech interventions."

Westley and other experts say the simplest remedy is hand-washing. Another common but preventable risk is caused by shaving an area prior to surgery, a procedure that creates abrasions that can become easily infected. The preferred technique is clipping hair.

In Pennsylvania, state officials and industry executives haggled over the numbers, particularly the report's estimate that the tally of hospital-acquired infections may be as high as 115,000.

"We think that's remarkably high," said Carolyn F. Scanlan, head of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. She said many of the infections that hospitals billed for may have been acquired before admission.

Volavka, however, said his staff, working with infectious-disease specialists, screened out the infections most likely to have occurred before a patient arrived at the hospital.

Either the true number of hospital-acquired infections is much higher than 12,000 or hospitals are charging for infections that do not exist, said Kitty Gallagher, president of the Lehigh Valley Business Conference on Health Care and a member of the state commission. "Either way you look at it, the employers are paying for these infections."

Several other states, including Virginia, have passed laws requiring similar reporting by hospitals. Thirty states, including Maryland, are considering similar legislation but do not currently collect data on hospital-acquired infections.

jsid-1167432380-544897  Erik at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 22:46:20 +0000

True, I've never seen guns as "evil", and I dont know anyone around here that does. Their view is more that guns are not necessary, and if you can stop a few shootings by removing, or licensing, them, it's worth it, all things considered.
(But then, we've had national military service for a long time, most people have been taught to use firearms, or know someone that has.)

I think a lot of people that on the surface support "gun control" might be a lot like me, to some degree. The people that think guns are evil aren't that many, and it's more or less pointless to try and convince them.
What you did with this post is absolutely correct, in my view. You answer them, and refute their claims. Even if you wont convince them, there's bound to be others watching, and those are the ones that can be convinced.

And I really like Mike Adams idea too, I'm sure it works wonders. :-)

jsid-1167436485-544902  DirtCrashr at Fri, 29 Dec 2006 23:54:45 +0000

"I remember my 21st year with the fondest of memories - family, friends, romance..." -- He does?? What-The-Flamingturd - mine wasn't so great that I remember the whole damn year or even part of it, not fondly anyhow. Not everybody shares a such a fondness for remembering those times, so don't put it on me that it was so freakin' brilliant.

jsid-1167441520-544905  CaptDMO at Sat, 30 Dec 2006 01:18:40 +0000

Our country experiences 30,000 firearm-related deaths each year. The estimated cost to society - including loss of productivity, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life - has been estimated at $63.4 billion per year.
I'm just not seeing the numbers for folks that die in hospitals from oughtright incompetance, nor the amount of cash fraudulently WASTED in the health industry Nationally.

Chose your battles kind Dr..

jsid-1167543149-544973  Stephen Rider at Sun, 31 Dec 2006 05:32:29 +0000

"Of course you preach to the choir, Kevin, but the choir needs it. After all, the choir preaches to others, and someone has to put the words in the right order so the choir does it right."

Absolutely right. I've argued the case for gun rights many times using information I got right here.

I'm no longer surprised by how many people I encounter who will argue the "fact" that violent crime in England has _plummeted_ since they banned guns! The ability to cite articles from England to the contrary (generally, though not always, found through links from this site) is incredibly useful.

I don't know how many I'm convinced, but I've certainly made some of them think a bit.

(Okay, there's one I'm pretty sure I convinced over time....

...then I married her!) :)

jsid-1167678586-545023  Ron at Mon, 01 Jan 2007 19:09:46 +0000

The doctor’s letter is such a dynamic expression of “false perspective” that precipitates false reasoning. I actually have empathy for the doctor; he has fallen into the trap so many people like him get stuck in. Although I am not a doctor, I am a technician. I have changed careers three major times in my life. I started out in the US Navy as a Gunners Mate Guns. My specialty was small arms and munitions. I left the Navy and went into automotive repair. Ten years ago I changed once again to computer networking. My lot in life is pretty simple I fix broken things. The doctor does the same thing just his “thing” is a little bit more complex then mine.
The perspective trap that so many technicians fall into, all they see are broken things. So the doctor works in a specific ER that has a high instance of Gun Shot wounds. So he sees a significant amount of this specific type of injury on a regular and consistent basis. Reality does not constitute this injury as universal problem at every ER. Unfortunately for the doctor it is very easy to feel that way while he is exposed to the same type of injury over and over again. Perspective can be lost very quickly if a technician is not careful. When you view the world from the “broken side of things” and further more allow your mind to fixate on one thing life can get very dark. The doctor could very simply move to a different locality and find the emphasis of the tragedy changes. Today he deals with what he feels are a significant number of gunshot wounds He moves and may not see a gunshot wound, now its drunk driving injuries. His perspective would change or at least the reasons for his argument here.
The perspective trap is insidious. False perspective will skew everything that a person reasons with. When you are stuck in the perspective trap focus can very easily be narrowed into a “thing” instead of an issue. So many times I have walked onto a site and immediately I am told the network is down. After some investigation the fact is the user did not log in with the correct network ID and Password. Yet the person that was attempting to use the network, despite the their obvious error are still convinced the problem is still the network. They will not attempt to learn anything more about a computer then what they need to get the job they have been assigned done. This again is a byproduct of the perspective trap. What I see, what I feel are what I live with everyday so they must be “universally” correct. I don’t need to learn anything because I can see the end result right in front of my eyes I feel it everyday. It all boils down to the “I” and the “I” has become egocentric and will go to great lengths to prove itself right to sustain perspective even if it’s wrong.
Skewed perspective when presented as fact hurts us all. Everything that I can see the doctor has presented is from a skewed perspective. Its all what he feels, “I” feel it so it is a universally true issue. Also I am dismayed by the fact he has taken the “feel sorry for me” or “feel sorry for the victims” stance. This is a very weak if not negligible stance to take because it holds very little merit and even fewer facts. The dramatic words help to express the perceived “foreboding” issue Control guns to stop the tide of death. The “tide” of death? He did not tie in that word in any of his commentary. Although I am sure he feels that way, for him that is a reality that he lives in. Fortunately that is not the universal reality. Got to give it to him though the doctor pitch’s a good story.

jsid-1170181701-550286  mudkitty at Tue, 30 Jan 2007 18:28:21 +0000


jsid-1170187743-550292  Kevin Baker at Tue, 30 Jan 2007 20:09:03 +0000


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