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View Diary: If government is full of tyranny, why arm it to the teeth? (239 comments)

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  •  I've often argued this same point with TB's. (59+ / 0-)

    They say you need to cut everything but defense. Then they say they need guns because TYRANNY!

    Then I ask them about the inherent contradiction:

    How is having a 15-round clip going to help you against a drone attack?

    Dumb like a box of rox.

    •  To gun enthusiasts, the gun is a talisman (63+ / 0-)

      Yes, but you forget for the gun enthusiasts, the gun is a talisman.

      A talisman is an object, imbued with magical properties, that confer special powers on the one who holds the object.  And for gun enthusiasts, holding a gun gives them special powers.

      For gun enthusiasts, a gun gives them the special power of safety and protection against violence (tho' empiric studies of guns show that gun owners have a greater risk of dying by homicide than do non-gun owners).  Additionally, gun enthusiasts are equally sure that having a gun gives them liberty (tho' we all know our civil rights have been increasing circumscribed, even as gun availability in America has soared).

      You can't really expect rational thought from those given to magical thinking.  

      You can read more about the talisman of the gun here (

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:12:26 AM PDT

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      •  Guns & Drones to kill scary brown & black people (12+ / 0-)

        There's no inconsistency what so ever. The Republicans party can no longer just come out and speak about the racism that is inherent to everything they do.

        Kos is playing dumb here. He knows damn well why Republicans hold the positions they do on guns and the military.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:46:53 AM PDT

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        •  Agreed: racist fears fuels desire for guns (5+ / 0-)
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          mconvente, fumie, rudewarrior, wader, WakeUpNeo

          I agree with you: there is a strong element of racist fear that fuels much of the talk about the need for more guns.

          The gun industry needs people to buy more guns.  For the gun industry, more people buying more guns and bullets means more profits.  The gun industry doesn't really care why people buy those guns and bullets, just so long as people keep buying the guns and bullets.

          And it turns out that racial fears are an excellant way to sell more guns and bullets.  So the gun industry is only too happy to pump up those racial fears: the message to whites is that black and brown-skinned criminals seek to commit crimes so you had better get a gun.  The message to black and browned skinned people is that a gun will protect them from white people.

          As an aside, I have always thought the Tea Party was created to give voice to all the racist thinking that the republican party was trying to suppress.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:08:49 AM PDT

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        •  Over-arming the state is foolish and dangerous. (0+ / 0-)

          I also think the feelings of butthurt OFWGs on the matter are hardly relevant to how people get to protect themselves and their families.

          If the endgame of Disaster Capitalism is destined for the United States, even well-sheltered, well-policed urbanizes will need all the firepower they can handle:

      •  Great analysis (5+ / 0-)
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        lyvwyr101, Aunt Pat, ssgbryan, fumie, wader

        This is a very good summary of what the "gun enthusiast" is thinking.

        Also, just had to point out that you and I are probably the only two people on this site that use the Subject: line as it's intended. Seeing your post was like a ray of sunshine in my OCD-Heart.

        [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

        by rabel on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:05:06 AM PDT

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        •  More Than You Know (6+ / 0-)

          When I was a kid, late 60's and early 70's my dad and I would go shooting out at this gunsmith's range that was big buddies with my grandad.

          We'd shoot and then set around and talk guns and stuff with the gunsmith and my grandad who were both old.

          Really gun control wasn't a huge issue back then but must have been the late 60's around the time the 68 GCA was being debated the subject came up.

          The old gunsmith said:

          "We need guns. OK so imagine right now that a carload of big black bucks pulls up and wants to start a fight. What chance would we have, two old man, a skinny young man, and a kid without guns"
          My dad of course  was a huge extreme liberal and very much loved the Kennedy's so of course the first thing I asked him when we went home was what was a "Black BUCK" I thought they were talking about some sort of aggressive deer.

          But there is was, even back then.

        •  I'm glad to be a source of sunshine!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
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          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:09:51 AM PDT

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      •  those powers include creating mass mutiny (14+ / 0-)

        See, it goes like this;

        1) I am right. all my opinions are right. My feelings are always correct. thus they never need to be examined.
        2) Everyone (that matters) feels exactly the same way as I do. that is why I make sweeping pronouncements about "What America wants" and "what God intends" all the time.

        Therefore, when the Kenyan usurper tells his minions to take mah guns away, the army will revolt against him, making my assault rifle more a badge of kinship (a talisman) than an actual weapon to be used against better armed, better trained professional soldiers.
        Which is a very comforting lie, because if i were to actually think this out for more than a few self-deluded seconds, I would realize that David Koresh had it pretty good compared to what I can actually expect when I take up arms against the United States of America.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:08:08 AM PDT

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      •  Not only more danger to themselves (4+ / 0-)
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        Aunt Pat, Possiamo, fumie, wader

        but more danger to the rest of us as well.

        If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

        by nomorerepukes on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:11:25 AM PDT

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      •  To many people, the gun may be a talisman, (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, kharma, RichM, ssgbryan, Possiamo, fumie, wader

        but it's also a projection of the penis, particularly the power the penis projects.  Owning and firing guns gives them a sense of power unattainable for them without the ability a gun gives them to exert that power over others.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:16:44 AM PDT

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          •  The same thing. (1+ / 0-)
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            The sex of the person holding the gun is not a distinction in the desire for the power the gun projects.  

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:11:00 PM PDT

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            •  That's sad, and not for them. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SueDe, DavidMS


              Reviewing unsubstantiated, mostly "derogatory ... speculative literature on the personality characteristics of gun owners," the NIJ Evaluation (p.120) mentions "the psychoanalytic" view that "weapons are phallic symbols representing male dominance and masculine power." The idea of gun ownership as sexual aberration has been casually espoused by such anti-gun luminaries as Arthur Schlessinger Jr., Harlan Ellison, Mike Royko, and Joyce Brothers.[41] The only serious study endorsing this view is by psychiatrist Emmanuel Tanay who sees "the need for a gun" as serving "libidinal purposes ... to enhance or repair a damaged self-image ..., and involving "narcissism ..., [p]assivity, and insecurity".[42]

              There is no viable argument for the penis theory as against pragmatic explanations for gun ownership. Psychiatrist Bruce Danto rejects the penis theory because it fails to account for female gun ownership. In fact, 50 percent of those who own a (p.12)gun only for protection are women (especially black women), even though women are much less likely than men to own guns for sport.[43] This pattern is more accurately explained by a woman's need for protection than by feelings of penile inadequacy.

              Dr. Danto also notes that the penis theory would predict that male gun owners would lean toward the largest barrel and bore weapons available. But the respective popularity of guns of different sizes uniformly appears to reflect purely pragmatic concerns.[44] The penis theory is equally incapable of explaining other demographic differentials in gun ownership. When all gun owners are counted (not just those who own for protection alone), survey evidence shows that

                  gun owners are disproportionately rural, Southern, male, Protestant, affluent and middle class ... [and that] weapons ownership tends to increase with income, or occupational prestige, or both.[45]

              The explanations here are, once again, purely pragmatic; hunting is more an activity of rural people generally, and Southerners particularly, than of city dwellers. Among urbanites, guns are most owned by the affluent because they are more likely to hunt--and also to have the money to afford guns and property that they may need to defend. Most guns are owned for sport, and males more than females engage in gun sports. Survey show Protestants are more likely to hunt than Catholics or Jews (Protestantism is most predominant in rural areas); beyond that, Protestants and gun owners both tend to be descended from older American stock, retaining cultural values redolent of the "individualistic orientation that emanated from the American frontier ..."[46](p.13)

              In contrast, the penis theory has no explanatory value for these demographic trends. Are Protestants or the affluent or rural dwellers or Southerners more subject to feelings of penile inadequacy than Catholics or urbanites or the poor, and so forth? Incidentally, it may be relevant to note that surveys show gun owners are no more hostile to feminism and the women's movement than are non-owners.[47]

              Tanay's arguments for the penis theory validate only his own (self-admitted) fear and loathing of guns. He asserts that "the owner's overvaluation of his gun's worth is an indication of its libidinal value to him." Because Tanay never attempts to explain what "overvaluation" means, there is nothing to distinguish guns from the "overvaluation" involved in having other collectibles. People who do not share the passion often marvel at the amounts of time and money spent by others who "over-value" such more or less intrinsically worthless items as old phonograph records, musical instruments, cars, political campaign buttons, stamps, coins, and candelabra.[48] Much the same problem characterizes Tanay's evidence of "narcissistic investment":

                  Most of the dedicated gun owners handle the gun with obvious pleasure; they look after the gun, clean, polish, and pamper it ... speak of their love and respect for guns.

              Most, if not all, collectors revere the objects they collect; they clean and polish them (if coins or antiques) or encase them (if gems or musical instruments) in velvet, suede, or other attractive settings. Are all collectors motivated by feelings of penile inadequacy? Or does Dr. Tanay's depiction of gun owners reflect only his own narrow-minded inability to evaluate the feelings of those who love and respect something he admittedly loathes?

              A final point of interest is Dr. Tanay's citation of Freud's view that weapons may symbolize the penis in dreams. This, Freud said, is true of dreams involving any long object (e.g., "sticks, umbrellas, poles, trees") but especially objects that may be viewed as penetrating and injuring ("... knives, daggers, lances, sabers; firearms are similarly used ..."). This passage refers to dreams in general without distinguishing gun owners from others. Dr. Tanay is perhaps unaware of--in any event, he does not cite--other passages more relevant to his argument. In these other passages Freud associates retarded sexual and emotional development not with gun ownership, but (p.14)with fear and loathing of weapons.[49] The probative importance that ought to be attached to the views of Freud is, of course, a matter of opinion. The point here is only that those views provide no support for the penis theory of gun ownership.

              •  Very interesting. (0+ / 0-)

                Thank you for the extensive exposition.

                "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

                by SueDe on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 05:54:37 PM PDT

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        •  I have never seen so much obsession (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With speculating on penis sizes as I have in discussions about firearms... all from the anti-gun ownership side. A lot of you really have a one-track mind in that sense.

      •  Mind-reading. Super. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The right to keep and bear arms is a liberty in and of itself.

        I am not in the habit of supporting infringements upon them.

        There. Now you know the issue.
        Notice my answer is shorter and more plausible than yours.
        OTOH my answer doesn't include the excitement of mind-reading nor the fun of an 'us vs them' scenario and it doesn't include the self-congratulating dehumanizing of those who disagree with you.

        To each their own, I guess.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:27:39 AM PDT

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        •  You have perfectly proved my point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, floydgrant

          You have perfectly proved my point.

          To a gun enthusiast such as yourself, you are convinced you are free merely by your possession of a gun, and that without possession of a gun you must therefore be enslaved.

          The rest of America knows that whether or not you hold a gun, you no longer are free of unreasonable government search and seizure; you no longer have the right to an attorney if arrested, or the right to a jury trial if accused of a crime; that your phone conversations and email messages can be scrutinized without court oversight; that your right to vote is being taken from you, and even if you voted a court may decided the election.

          But, by virtue of possessing a gun, you are magically free!  

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:24:22 AM PDT

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          •  Unless 'your point' is that you have reading (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            comprehension problems, then you are wrong.

            The right to keep and bear arms is a right in and of itself.
            Hence, it's inclusion in the 'Bill of Rights'
            In the future when you respond to me, why don't you respond to what I have written, instead of whatever the hell is going on in your imagination?

            "no longer free of unreasonable search and seizure, to an attorney...."
            So your solution to losing liberties is to give another one away?
            I disagree.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:45:35 AM PDT

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      •  I just thought... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They all had very small, ineffectual penises.  

        'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

        by RichM on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:45:12 AM PDT

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      •  I have a further collorary to this theory... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie, wader, floydgrant

        Many of these same 'gov't tyranny' people claim the 2nd amendment was created SPECIFICALLY by the Founders for armed resistance to what is seen as government tyranny. If this is true, why did George Washington -- one of those founders, who wrote the 2nd amendment -- Why did he put down the Whiskey Rebellion?

        here we have one of the founders CLEARLY demonstrating that armed rebellion is NOT a right guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment.

        It shoots the argument so full of holes they only blubber and repeat themselves, louder.

        We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

        by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 11:00:25 AM PDT

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        •  Maybe you're not talking to very smart people. (0+ / 0-)

          Perhaps you haven't discussed this with someone who thinks more analytically than you or those that you do bring the argument up with just roll their eyes to themselves and don't bother to respond to such a ridiculous claim (much as I don't bother to respond to people who promote Homeopathy - it's just not worth wasting my time).

          It's clear that the founders didn't intend the Second Amendment to allow a citizen to do whatever they wanted without government interference just because citizens possessed firearms. Else, the Constitution to which it is attached would not have established a rough framework of a court system - which would make no sense if anyone with a firearm could just ignore the decisions of that court system because they possessed a firearm.

          The reason the Whiskey Rebellion was not successful was mostly that not enough people cared enough to take up arms and/or didn't think the tax was unconstitutional (remember, an issue in the recent Revolution was taxation without representation, not all taxation). The outcome might have been quite different if 13,000 militia were facing 26,000 armed citizens instead of only 500 armed citizens - who decided to go home before the militia got there because it really wasn't that important to them.

          Contrast this to the American Revolution just a bit earlier. In that case, there were colonists willing to put their lives on the line and fight their government - which, without firearms would have been impossible. In the final confrontation of the Whiskey Rebellion, not a single person was killed (and very few were even injured in earlier phases of it) while in the American Revolution, some estimates are that there were about 8,000 "American" combat deaths.

          It is completely reasonable to believe that Washington (who, as you recall, was a military leader during the Revolutionary War) understood the difference between a Revolution and a few disgruntled citizens who were not very committed to their cause and were protesting about a single law rather than a systemic unjust system.

          The Whiskey Rebellion could be better compared to OWS or any of a number of previous protest movements than the American Revolution. No one expects the protesters to take up arms and fight the police -- there just aren't enough protesters to do that nor do (at least most of them) think that's appropriate in that situation.

      •  Guns do seem to inspire talismanic thinking (0+ / 0-) the minds of some of the people against gun ownership. You, for instance,  have utterly failed to describe myself or any gun owners I personally know in the slightest, yet you speak with the same certainty and breathtaking lack of actual experience that any average Rush Limbaugh devotee speaks of feminism. You are obsessed with a stereotype, taking the actions of an outlier and assuming it is representative of the norm, and I suspect engaging in a fair bit of cherrypicking to come up with your fantasy gun owner.

        Just so you know, my guns aren't magical and, not suffering from psychotic delusions, I have never made the mistake of imagining them to be. I am also fully capable of rational thought, even to the extent of believing someone can hold a position radically opposed to my own and still also be considered a rational person, not one gripped by "magical thinking." It is a pity that you do not seem to share that viewpoint, given that a fair number of progressives do own guns and you might actually be able to stand them---or hell, even become friends with them!---if you had the honesty to admit that gun ownership is not an automatic indication of mental illness.

    •  Please! It's so obvious! When the government (5+ / 0-)

      begins to round up true, patriotic Americans, our heroes in the military forces will of course defend the Constitution and do the right thing by rebelling, telling that black commie jihadist "commander in chief" in the White House to go to hell,  and then becoming the allies of the Tea Party and the NRA! 1776 all over again!

      (I'm not kidding. These idiots are absolutely convinced that this would happen.)  

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:12:52 AM PDT

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