Tag Archives: gun nuts

What are the odds of violence from the Right in America?

Summary:  Violence is as American as apple pie, part of most social movements since the Founding (used for, against, or both). Might it burst forth again? If so, by whom? The Left feels strongly about climate change, but looks like a spent force — capable of staging street parties but not violence. Political energy, for good or ill, lives in America more strongly on the Right (stoked by our plutocrats, for their advantage). They’re buying guns. Might they use them? This is another post in a series considering possible futures for America unlike those painted in the mainstream media.

Daily Mail, 27 March 2010

Daily Mail, 27 March 2010



  1. Introduction: political violence in our future?
  2. Our trust in our ourselves: failing
  3. Our trust in our elected representatives: failing
  4. Our confidence in the military: rising
  5. Our history of violence
  6. Other posts in this series about the Right in America
  7. For More Information

(1) Introduction: is there political violence in our future?

Let’s start with the harsh observations from yesterday’s post:

  • Gun sales are increasing (see here for a rough indicator of recent growth).
  • The people with guns are largely conservatives, often right-wing extremists.
  • Many of them see a nation of “real Americans” and others.
  • For decades right-wing media increasingly have been saturated with claims that our freedoms are in danger from the coming wave of Sharia-immigrants-communism-anarchy (see these posts).
  • Many believe that citizens using guns are the ultimate defense of liberty from threats domestic as well as foreign.
  • Homeland Security is concerned: see their Assessment of “Rightwing Extremism“, April 2009.

Might the time come when they use their guns on us? Let’s consider our circumstances, and the many warning signs. Imagine if the trends shown below continue, and if America’s current economic stress continues — or increases. What might happen on such a future path?

(2)  Our trust in our elected representatives is falling

Our trust in our fellow Americans is a distinguishing factor between developed nations and failed States. Alienation is a bad sign, and probably a precondition for violence. From Gallup, 27 September 2013. Look at the line for Republicans.

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But Hitler confiscated guns, leaving Germans helpless!

Summary: When Americans demand accuracy from their reliable sources, reform will become possible for America. The Left cannot correct the Right on this flaw, nor vice versa. So long as we (Left and Right) accept lies from our friends and fellow partisans, then our leaders will lead us by lies. So long as we remain sheep, they will treat us like sheep. Here we have yet more examples.


Adolph Hitler said:

This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

Like so many quotations circulated by the Right in America, it’s fake. In fact, the “Hitler confiscated guns” story is largely fake. For details, Chase Mader refers us to this great paper: “On the NRA, Adolph Hitler, Gun Registration, and the Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Culture Wars”, Bernard E. Harcourt (Prof Law, U Chicago), Fordam Law Review, November 2004 (pdf of draft here; image of final here). Also, Hitler was quite popular in Germany until he lost the war.

For a history of this fake quote, for those of you who want the non-scholarly version, see this entry at The Straight Dope.

More wonderful pro-gun quotes: fake advice from the Founders

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Yet another mass killing in America. Watch the reactions on the Right, and learn.

Summary:  After the latest mass killing, our Right-wing goes crazy again, displaying our nation’s broken OODA  loop for all the world to see.  On a hopeful note, perhaps each of these episodes brings us closer to realizing our madness — the first step to reform.

November 2012

November 2012


  1. The “hair of the dog that bit you” solution
  2. Or — mock their small dicks
  3. Do other nations have fewer mass killings because they have more guns?
  4. More reactions from the Right
  5. For More Information
  6. Other posts about guns


(1)  The “hair of the dog that bit you” solution

America has a rate of killings by gun far higher than any other nation, and higher rate of gun ownership. So logic says that the solution is even more guns.

(a)  Glenn Reynolds (Prof of Law, U TN) reminds us of what he wrote after the Virginia Tech shootings (several mass shootings ago): “People don’t stop killers. People with guns do“, op-ed in the NY Daily News, 18 April 2007 — Excerpt:

In fact, some mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens. … Police can’t be everywhere, and as incidents from Columbine to Virginia Tech demonstrate, by the time they show up at a mass shooting, it’s usually too late. On the other hand, one group of people is, by definition, always on the scene: the victims. Only if they’re armed, they may wind up not being victims at all.

… “Gun-free zones” are premised on a fantasy: That murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student, or Bradford Wiles, are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers like Cho Seung-hui. That’s an insult. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one.

Reynolds expands on his “making stuff up to ignore the bloodshed” theory in “Gun-free zones provide false sense of security“, USA Today, 14 December 2012. He opens with some vintage Instapundit madness, citing the late Burroughs as a paragon of responsible gun ownership:

“After a shooting spree,” author William Burroughs once said, “they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” Burroughs continued: “I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

Burroughs’ New York Times obituary gives us more about Burroughs’ gun use:

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The Founders talk to us about guns for a well-regulated militia

Summary:  The debate about the right to bear arms is a black comedy. It takes place amidst casualties like that of a war, the names of the annual crop of the dead endlessly scrolling by into the dustbin of history. The guns supposedly defending our liberty remain quiet while we throw away our rights. The arguments supporting an expansive interpretation are bolstered by an impressive array of fake quotes from our history. It’s a fine demonstration of American politics at the end of the Second Republic.

Assault deaths per 100k. Which line is the USA?
Graph by Kieran Healy; source in section 4. Click to enlarge.


  1. About the Second Amendment
  2. Alexander Hamilton speaks to us
  3. Fake advice from Jefferson
  4. More info about gun control
  5. The other side of the debate…
  6. For More Information

(1)  About the Second Amendment

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
— The Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

From the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School:

“The opposing theories, perhaps oversimplified, are an “individual rights” thesis whereby individuals are protected in ownership, possession, and transportation, and a “states’ rights” thesis whereby it is said the purpose of the clause is to protect the States in their authority to maintain formal, organized militia units.

“Whatever the Amendment may mean, it is a bar only to federal action, not extending to state or private restraints.”

(2)  Alexander Hamilton speaks to us

Alexander Hamilton clearly sides with with “states’ rights” theory in Federalist Paper No. 29: “Concerning the Militia“, published in The Daily Advertiser, 10 January 1788 — Capitals in the original. Excerpt:

“The power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.

“It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness.

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