Sunday, January 25, 2009

Evil Inanimate Object Kills Two in Miami

CNN as well as the Miami Herald carried this story of the terrible shooting that occurred in the Liberty City section of Miami yesterday. The results: two dead, nine wounded. From the CNN story we have this:

Police Chief John Timoney said that at least one man with an AK-47 "discharged numerous rounds, then ran around the corner. There were some more rounds discharged there from an AK-47 and another weapon."

In the video interview, which you can see on the Miami Herald site, the Police Chief spoke quite eloquently about the Assault Weapons Ban. He would like to see it reinstated under the Obama administration. It made me wonder about all the criticism I've heard about this particular position. Gun enthusiasts usually attribute this attitude to people like myself, bleeding-heart liberals who don't know enough about guns or the 2nd Amendment to have an opinion. Does Chief Timoney fall into this group? Or is his opinion a more considered one?

Mayor Diaz also got into the act. He mentioned that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been pushing for the reinstatement of this Assault Weapons Ban for a long time. I don't imagine that could mean 100% of the mayors, but I'll bet it includes a good cross section.

"These are weapons of war, and they don't belong on the streets of Miami or any other street in America," Mayor Manuel Diaz said.

I say the AK-47, and other weapons like it, do not qualify as simple inanimate objects like cars or tools. I say they're something more than that, and simplistic comparisons make no sense to me. Some people say there's no use prohibiting something because that's proven not to work. I say, the reasons some of the famous prohibitions haven't worked is because too many people didn't want them to work, e.g. prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and prohibition of cocaine today.

Another song the pro gunners keep singing is that laws only affect the law abiding. Well that's probably true to an extent, and certainly initially. If assault weapons were banned outright, for example, the law abiding would be most affected at first, but soon the trickle down affect would make a major impact on the criminal world. These guns would become much harder to come by, prohibitively expensive, and by that time we'd have a major decrease in their criminal use.

What's your opinion? Is there a legitimate reason to own an AK-47? Is one really necessary for that legitimate purpose? Why are the gun folks so opposed to the ban on assault weapons, since Chief Timoney we so in favor of it? Do you think his opinion is representative of Police Chiefs in major cities? Don't they know what they're talking about?

Please leave a comment.


  1. So cops are all liars when talking about the heinous acts criminals do, or when they point out that a criminal's story of abuse is fabricated. But when police talk about banning guns now they're saints?


    First up, this has been Timoney's political agenda for ages, and he's long proven that the truth is expendable for the sake of his agenda.

    First up, the possibility that the rifle used was an actual AK-47 Assault Rifle is near zero. More likely it was a semi-auto Kalashnikov rifle. (Tho I will note that the suspect and the rifle were not recovered so the possibility of it being a wholly different gun is also VERY possible)

    "These are weapons of war, and they don't belong on the streets of Miami or any other street in America," Mayor Manuel Diaz said.

    Lie! Show me one military that issues semi-auto Kalashnikovs!

    They also talk about the '94 "Assault Weapons Ban" as if it actually banned "AK-47s", meanwhile if the gun was manufactured pre September of 1994, or didn't have a bayonet lug or a flash-hider (Do Kalashnikovs even come with hiders? Most of the ones I've seen have slant-cut muzzle breaks) it was not party to the "ban".

    There's another lie.

    Of course we have to wonder if this model citizen who shot up the place legally purchased, owned and carried the gun. Seeing as open carry of a firearm in Florida is a felony, and I'd put good money that if this douche is ever found he'll be both a felon AND have acquired the gun through illegal channels. Kinda makes laws moot, don't it?

    "I say the AK-47, and other weapons like it, do not qualify as simple inanimate objects like cars or tools. I say they're something more than that, and simplistic comparisons make no sense to me."

    Nice video for you Mike. Maybe it'll clear a few things up.

    "If assault weapons were banned outright, for example, the law abiding would be most affected at first, but soon the trickle down affect would make a major impact on the criminal world."

    Looks like "Flow" has been replaced by "Trickle" something must be working already.

    I did a blog post for you Mike, you should read the whole thing and the embedded article, but also note the video on the page. It'll show you that your "Logic" is deeply flawed on the above point:

    "What's your opinion? Is there a legitimate reason to own an AK-47? Is one really necessary for that legitimate purpose?"

    Yep. I know people who compete with these guns (note I'm talking Kalashnikov rifles, not full-auto AK-47s....tho I do have a friend who owns a full-auto AK-47 as well) I know people who hunt with these guns. I know people who keep guns like this for home defense, and personal defense.

    I keep an SKS handy in the event of a breakdown of law and order (for examples see LA Riots, Chicago Riots, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew, the Great Northeast Blackout, ect ect) the SKS more-or-less is an identical rifle to the AK-pattern guns with the exception that the SKS weighs a bit more, most of them are a hair more accurate, and the SKS feeds from a clip-fed non-removable magazine. It's a fair choice for personal defense...tho if you ask me the 7.62X39mm cartridge both rifles fire is a tad underpowered.

    Also these guns are relatively affordable, (tho prices have skyrocketed, and stocks are drying up since Obama took office) highly reliable, and the ammunition is cheap and easy to find, so they're great guns for target shooting and having fun on the range.

    Also Mike, because the "Assault Weapons Ban" was in ineffective, law, and banned useful tools from the hands of law-abiding citizens I would be one of the many who would "not want the ban to work"

    Tho it's really an illogical legislation to begin with, so I don't imagine how people's will to wish it to fail would make it any less inept.

    And only because it bears repeating, Kalashnikov rifles sold well and sold in volumes 100% letgally DURING the Clinton "Ban"

  2. If assault weapons were banned outright, for example, the law abiding would be most affected at first, but soon the trickle down affect would make a major impact on the criminal world

    given that you're worried about people being killed because of weapons being available, it strikes me that what you're promising us here is literally "pie in the sky when you die".

    no thanks. i'd rather have what i can get while i'm still alive. and you've reminded me - i need to go buy a semiauto 7.62x39, if i can still find an affordable one...

    (seriously, you're promising we'll benefit from a "trickle down effect" some unspecified number of years in the future? what are you, an economist out of the reagan administration?)

  3. "and you've reminded me - i need to go buy a semiauto 7.62x39, if i can still find an affordable one..."

    Let us know if you have any luck! Around here Romacks and WASR-10s are running north of of $500 (and I wouldn't be suprised if the Romacks are running north of $600) and I've seen Yugo SKS selling for over $300.

    ...if you can find one at all.

    Best of luck to you, but those items are becoming hot commodities right now.

  4. Is this Remington model 750 Woodsmaster
    an assault weapon?

    If no, why not? What is significantly different? Or is price the problem--Fine hunting weapons for rich people are OK, but not inexpensive ones for the poor? If it looks "scary"?

    How would the crime been different if a Woodsmaster had been used? A shotgun?

    Police chiefs, especially in big cities are political. They generally have more restrictive views on gun rights than street cops. Big city politicians are more likely to have anti-gun views (although often with loopholes for big city politicians and their supporters...)

    What parts of the assault weapons ban were important--The ban on the Shoulder thing that goes up? Bayonet mounts? handles and stocks?

    Are "assault weapons" really a bigger problem than "ordinary" guns, or are they just one of the easy targets moving towards banning most guns for most ordinary people?

    For the record, I don't own a rifle of any sort--I'm not against a scary rifle ban because it would directly affect me.

  5. Hey Mike,

    Implements of war? How about your steak knives?

    Bow and Arrows, like the ones used in an assault in Houston?

    Many of the advances were the results of warfare, going to ban those also? Civilians injured by gun fire have benefited greatly from the skills and knowledge of military trauma surgeons.

    So if firearms don't quality as simple inanimate objects, do they have rights in and of themselves?

    How about this simple comparison:
    Out of the objects below would a person be any more or less dead if that object was used as a lethal weapon?

    A firearm,
    A knife,
    A car,
    A baseball bat,
    A rock,
    A leather belt,
    A ball bearing from a sling shot,
    An arrow fired from a bow,

    Do I need to go on? All are "simple inanimate" objects. Not one of them have the power to move on their own...all require the person to use them and all of them can kill. Not one of them makes a person or more less dead, so why single out firearms?

    How about banning the car used in the drive by? Doesn't that make more sense...stop drive by's, stop drunk driving accidents, stop vehicular homicide....willing to give up your transportation?

    Just because you refuse to accept the validity of an argument doesn't mean it isn't valid.

  6. Mike,

    Saw this on the Foxnews site

    ROME — Premier Silvio Berlusconi is being criticized for suggesting that Italy's women are so beautiful they need military escorts to avoid rape.

    Berlusconi made the comments Sunday, responding to questions about a proposal to deploy 300,000 soldiers in the streets to fight crime. A series of violent crimes, including a rape in Rome on New Year's Eve and another outside the capital this week, prompted the proposal.

    But Berlusconi said even with added police, such crimes can happen, and that "We would need so many soldiers because our women are so beautiful."

    Opposition lawmaker Giovanna Melandri said Berlusconi's comments were "profoundly offensive."

    Berlusconi says he was complimenting women.

    Now let's just use some common sense. What makes more sense...deploying 300,000 troops in cities or allowing people to be armed to defend themselves?

    And how does this fit in with the safety everyone is supposed to feel and have in Europe?

  7. I guess one of the problems is agreeing on what exactly are assault weapons. I wouldn't know myself, and I have no idea what a barrel shroud might be. But, do you think the resistance is mainly to draw a line to avoid further bans in the future? Shotguns and handguns should be enough to protect the home, I would think. Weer'd mentioned having heavier equipment in case of a Katrina-type emergency, but under normal circumstances I would think you guys could do without the military-type assault weapons. Why do you disagree?

  8. If you look at every single tragedy like this. Every incident and even every war, there is one disturbing trend: no matter what weapon was used, there was always a human involved. Maybe we should just ban humans? That would make about as much sense as banning guns because someone used one illegally.

    From the news stories, no one was caught. No suspect, no gun? How do they know the man used an AK-47 Assault Rifle if they don't have the gun? Maybe the chief ought to be out trying to solve the crime rather than blathering about some political issue.

    "Gun enthusiasts usually attribute this attitude to people like myself, bleeding-heart liberals who don't know enough about guns or the 2nd Amendment to have an opinion. Does Chief Timoney fall into this group?"

    Obviously, yes.

    "Mayor Diaz also got into the act. He mentioned that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been pushing for the reinstatement of this Assault Weapons Ban for a long time. I don't imagine that could mean 100% of the mayors, but I'll bet it includes a good cross section."

    There's a good source. How many members of the Mayors council have been charged with felonies in the last year?

    "I say the AK-47, and other weapons like it, do not qualify as simple inanimate objects like cars or tools. I say they're something more than that.."

    Good point. So do AK-47s get their souls in the factory, or only after they are sold? Does a receiver that does not yet have any other parts have it's soul yet?

    "If assault weapons were banned outright, for example, the law abiding would be most affected at first, but soon the trickle down affect would make a major impact on the criminal world. These guns would become much harder to come by, prohibitively expensive, and by that time we'd have a major decrease in their criminal use."

    Third world cesspools have been banning them for decades and it hasn't helped yet. In your theory, only the law abiding get trickled on.

    "since Chief Timoney we so in favor of it? Do you think his opinion is representative of Police Chiefs in major cities? Don't they know what they're talking about?"

    Obviously they don't.

    If nothing else, this news story is an argument against gun control. Here we have an obvious deviate performing a heinous crime. Where did he buy his assault weapon? Where were the police? Why didn't they stop him? Why didn't they protect the victims? Because they couldn't. We are responsible for protecting ourselves. The government can't do it.

    Murder is already prohibited. Did that stop him? Assault is already prohibited. Did that stop him? What makes anyone think another silly law is going to stop an asshole like that?

  9. It isn't your lack of knowledge keeping you from understanding the difference--There *is* nothing that makes a an assault weapon worse than a semiautomatic hunting rifle. The hunting rifle is generally more powerful. The magazine that comes with a hunting rifle will be lower capacity for easier handling, but high-cap magazines are available. One trigger pull, one bullet from either gun. The hunting rifle probably won't have a bayonet or bayonet mount.

    By giving them a nasty sounding name, it is easier to restrict them.

  10. Mike,

    Here is another inanimate object story for you.

    From FoxNews
    Maryland Prep School Student admits to killing mother over Grades.

    ...Lewin C. Powell III, 16, wore a dark suit and showed no emotion as he answered questions from Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen G. Cox about whether he understood the significance of his guilty plea to first-degree murder...

    Harleston would not specify what led to Powell's emotional difficulties, but the teen told police after he was arrested that his parents had pushed him too hard and he couldn't take it anymore, according to a statement of facts read in court Monday by Assistant State's Attorney Charles R. Gayle.

    Harleston said Powell was not abused by his parents....

    According to the statement of facts, Powell's mother picked him up from his school bus stop on the afternoon of May 13 and told him she had received a call from McDonogh about his academic performance. The two began to argue and, after they got home, Powell began punching his mother.

    At one point, she tried to run outside, but he stopped her at the front door and punched her again repeatedly until she was in what he described as a "daze." He then decided to kill her and moved her near a back door, then grabbed his baseball bat. When he started hitting her with the bat, she was reaching up in an attempt to get out the back door.

    Powell then hid his mother's body in a garage and cleaned the house. His father got home late that night and went to sleep on a sofa. Early the next morning, Powell began beating his father in the head with the bat. The elder Powell talked his son out of killing him and told him he would withdraw money from his bank account to help the boy escape.

    Now would it have made a bit of difference if the mom had been killed with a firearm versus a baseball bat?

  11. "Weer'd mentioned having heavier equipment in case of a Katrina-type emergency, but under normal circumstances I would think you guys could do without the military-type assault weapons. Why do you disagree?"

    Got a whole blog-post for it, Mike!

  12. All right, Bob, you win. I hereby officially call for a total ban on all baseball bats and, while we're at it, cars too.

  13. A tongue-in-Cheek statement.

    But what does it mean?

    There are no comments on my blog. Nothing addressing any of our points.

    Did you hit a Brick-Wall Mike? Either admit you're wrong on the issue, or make a joke?

  14. Mike,

    Where does it end with the banning?

    Tennis rackets have been used to murder, so have screwdrivers (not the drink that I know of).

    Do we have to investigate to find out if we have "assault phillip tip" screwdriver or "hunting model" straight tip? Will there be waiting periods to buy a common tool?

    The point Mike, is that firearms are tools. It is the person using them that makes a decision to use them for good or evil.

    Stop trying to ban a tool.

  15. Bob, I'm sure there have been a few drunk-driving homicides, and probably a few drunken brawls ending in death that could be atributed to the combination of Vodka, Orange Juice, and Stomach Acid : ]

    I'm hoping that Mike is starting to see the fallacy to his bans. Not to mention the stupidity of the current Brittsh and Australian bans on blades.

    Thomas talks about blacksmiths and machinists being able to cobble together Sub Machine guns and rifles with simple tools.

    Meanwhile given a truck leafspring or any other hardened peice of steel and a file a MONKEY can make a sword or a knife.

    Crappier metals (or even plastics or wood) can be used too for lesser results, but no less deadly.

    Maybe you might want to consider reason now, Mike?

  16. More Grist. This discription reminds me a bit of you Mike:


  17. Mike,

    Grist for the mill as Weer'd says.

    Of course there is no slippery slope with "gun violence" or even "knife violence" and the government intrusion into people's life.

    From the excellent Hell in a Handbasket site

    Police tackle internet knife gangs

    Hundreds of weapons have been taken off the streets of Glasgow six months after police started using the web to crack down on gang violence.

    Young trainee officers at Strathclyde Police search social networking sites for pictures of people posing with weapons, mainly knives.

    My first thought was "How many 'Internet Knife gangs does England have" and how long has this problem been swept under the rug. Reading the article made it clear that the "assault weapons" are so dangerous that even pictures are a problem.

    "We're looking for anyone who is brandishing offensive weapons or blades," Holly told Newsbeat.

    Notice how it is not just knives and firearms, but any "offensive weapons". Guess the government doesn't want to have citizens fighting back against the criminals. Might drive up medical bills or something for the criminals, can't have that.

    'The law's been broken'

    The man in charge of this, Superintendent Bob Hamilton, says there are two ways of dealing with people once they've been tracked down.

    If they were posing in a public place, like on the street or a park, the law has been broken and they'll be arrested.

    Even when pictures are taken in private, though, which isn't technically breaking the law, he says the weapons are so dangerous his officers pay a visit to the people involved.

    Have to break this up...notice the fact that NO laws are being broken in some of the pictures but still the police pay a visit. Don't do anything the police might not like or they will be knocking on your door in England.
    Incredible how far gone the formerly Great Britain is!!

    We have large kitchen knives, axes, samurai swords, baseball bats, a huge number and different type of weapons
    Superintendent Bob Hamilton

    Guess Britain is ahead of the game with the "assault baseball bat ban", wonder if you have to pay for a Tax stamp to get the aluminum versions.

    "We show the parents their pictures," he explained, "recover the weapons and make sure they know that behaviour is unacceptable.

    Simple posing with a baseball bat is unacceptable behavior, guess the Little League Baseball so many kids enjoyed growing up isn't very big over there.

    Guess this article really answers the question of where does the banning of items end-- in the complete disarmament of a civilian law abiding population.

  18. Weer'd, great reading that Joe Huffman, Yes to just one question.

  19. Your Reading Comprehension sucks, Mike.

    The Options to answer Mr. Huffman's Question are:

    1. "I don't know." In which case my response is, "Come back to the debate when you can answer 'Yes' or 'No'."
    2. "No." In which case my response is, "Then you should be advocating the repeal of ALL gun control laws and I don't want to hear a single anti-freedom word from you on this topic again."
    3. "Yes and here is my demonstration."

    Your unaccompanied (and you of course have no intention of accompanying your "Yes" with a the required demonstration) "Yes" answer is not in that list.

    You know the reason why...and I suspect you know you're wrong.

    The big question is why do you continue when you know you're incorrect?

  20. I came by for a stroll in the woods of ignorant because of a Trois Pistoles 4-pack and boredome and it's too cold in the shop today to work tonight unless I want to build a big fire in the stove:

    I'll address you entirely indirectly on this and for valid reason:

    UN Charter--- Compare that with the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. It says
    Congress shall make no law restricting the rights of freedom of speech, or religion, peaceful
    assembly, the right to bear arms, and so forth – not except as determined by law, but no law.
    The Constitution embodies the ethic of individualism. The UN embodies the ethic of
    collectivism, and what a difference that makes.
    The second concept that divides collectivism from individualism has to do with the
    origin of state power. As stated previously, individualists believe that a just government
    derives its power, not from conquest and subjugation, but from the people. That means the
    state cannot have any legitimate powers unless they are given to it by its citizens. Another
    way of putting it is that governments may do only those things that their citizens also have a
    right to do. If individuals don’t have the right to perform a certain act, then they can’t grant
    that power to their elected representatives. They can’t delegate what they don’t have. It
    makes no matter how many of them there may be. If none of them have a specified power to
    delegate, then a million of them don’t have it either.
    Let us use an extreme example. Let us assume that a ship has been sunk in a storm,
    and three exhausted men are struggling for survival in the sea. Suddenly, they come upon a
    life-buoy ring. The ring is designed only to keep one person afloat; but, with careful
    cooperation between them, it can keep two of them afloat. However, when the third man
    grasps the ring, it becomes useless, and all three, once again, are at the mercy of the sea.
    They try taking turns: one treading while two hold on to the ring; but after a few hours, none
    of them have strength to continue. The grim truth gradually becomes clear. Unless one of
    them is cut loose from the group, all three will drown. What, then, should these men do?

    Most people would say that two of the men would be justified in overpowering the
    third and casting him off. The right of self-survival is paramount. Taking the life of another,
    terrible as such an act would be, is morally justified if it is necessary to save your own life.
    That certainly is true for individual action, but what about collective action? Where do two
    men get the right to gang up on one man?
    The collectivist answers that two men have a greater right to life because they
    outnumber the third one. It’s a question of mathematics: The greatest good for the greatest
    number. That makes the group more important than the individual and it justifies two men
    forcing one man away from the ring. There is a certain logic to this argument but, if we
    further simplify the example, we will see that, although the action may be correct, it is
    justified by the wrong reasoning.
    Let us assume, now, that there are only two survivors – so we eliminate the concept
    of the group – and let us also assume that the ring will support only one swimmer, not two.
    Under these conditions, it would be similar to facing an enemy in battle. You must kill or be
    killed. Only one can survive. We are dealing now with the competing right of self-survival
    for each individual, and there is no mythological group to confuse the issue. Under this
    extreme condition, it is clear that each person would have the right to do whatever he can to
    preserve his own life, even if it leads to the death of another. Some may argue that it would
    be better to sacrifice one’s life for a stranger, but few would argue that not to do so would be
    wrong. So, when the conditions are simplified to their barest essentials, we see that the right
    to deny life to others comes from the individual’s right to protect his own life. It does not
    need the so-called group to ordain it.
    In the original case of three survivors, the justification for denying life to one of them
    does not come from a majority vote but from their individual and separate right of self-
    survival. In other words, either of them, acting alone, would be justified in this action. They
    are not empowered by the group. When we hire police to protect our community, we are
    merely asking them to do what we, ourselves, have a right to do. Using physical force to
    protect our lives, liberty, and property is a legitimate function of government, because that
    power is derived from the people as individuals. It does not arise from the group.1
    Here’s one more example – a lot less extreme but far more typical of what actually
    goes on every day in legislative bodies. If government officials decide one day that no one
    should work on Sunday, and even assuming the community generally supports their
    decision, where would they get the authority to use the police power of the state to enforce
    such a decree? Individual citizens don’t have the right to compel their neighbors not to
    work, so they can’t delegate that right to their government. Where, then, would the state get
    the authority? The answer is that it would come from itself; it would be self-generated. It
    would be similar to the divine right of ancient monarchies in which it was assumed that
    governments represent the power and the will of God. In more modern times, most
    governments don’t even pretend to have God as their authority, they just rely on swat teams
    and armies, and anyone who objects is eliminated.
    When governments claim to derive their authority from any source other than the
    governed, it always leads to the destruction of liberty. Preventing men from working on Sunday would not seem to be a great threat to freedom, but once the principle is established,
    it opens the door for more edicts, and more, and more until freedom is gone. If we accept
    that the state or any group has the right to do things that individuals alone do not have the
    right to do, then we have unwittingly endorsed the concept that rights are not intrinsic to the
    individual and that they, in fact, do originate with the state. Once we accept that, we are on
    the road to tyranny.
    Collectivists are not concerned over such picky issues. They believe that
    governments do, in fact, have powers that are greater than those of their citizens, and the
    source of those powers, they say, is, not the individuals within society, but society itself, the
    group to which individuals belong.
    This is the third concept that divides collectivism from individualism. Collectivism is
    based on the belief that the group is more important than the individual. According to this
    view, the group is an entity of its own and it has rights of its own. Furthermore, those rights
    are more important than individual rights. Therefore, it is acceptable to sacrifice individuals
    if necessary for “the greater good of the greater number.” How many times have we heard
    that? Who can object to the loss of liberty if it is justified as necessary for the greater good
    of society? The ultimate group, of course, is the state. Therefore, the state is more important
    than individual citizens, and it is acceptable to sacrifice individuals, if necessary, for the
    benefit of the state. This concept is at the heart of all modern totalitarian systems built on the
    model of collectivism.
    Individualists on the other hand say, “Wait a minute. Group? What is group? That’s
    just a word. You can’t touch a group. You can’t see a group. All you can touch and see are
    individuals. The word group is an abstraction and doesn’t exist as a tangible reality. It’s like
    the abstraction called forest. Forest doesn’t exist. Only trees exist. Forest is the concept of
    many trees. Likewise, the word group merely describes the abstract concept of many
    individuals. Only individuals are real and, therefore, there is no such thing as group rights.
    Only individuals have rights.
    Just because there are many individuals in one group and only a few in another does
    not give a higher priority to the individuals in the larger group – even if you call it the state.
    A majority of voters do not have more rights than the minority. Rights are not derived from
    the power of numbers. They do not come from the group. They are intrinsic with each
    human being.
    When someone argues that individuals must be sacrificed for the greater good of
    society, what they are really saying is that some individuals are to be sacrificed for the
    greater good of other individuals. The morality of collectivism is based on numbers.
    Anything may be done so long as the number of people benefiting supposedly is greater
    than the number of people being sacrificed. I say supposedly, because, in the real world,
    those who decide who is to be sacrificed don’t count fairly. Dictators always claim they
    represent the greater good of the greater number but, in reality, they and their support
    organizations usually comprise less than one percent of the population. The theory is that
    someone has to speak for the masses and represent their best interest, because they are too
    dumb to figure it out for themselves. So collectivist leaders, wise and virtuous as they are,
    make the decisions for them. It is possible to explain any atrocity or injustice as a necessary
    measure for the greater good of society. Modern totalitarians always parade as
    Because individualists do not accept group supremacy, collectivists often portray
    them as being selfish and insensitive to the needs of others. That theme is common in
    schools today. If a child is not willing to go along with the group, he is criticized as being
    socially disruptive and not a good “team player” or a good citizen. Those nice folks at the
    tax-exempt foundations had a lot to do with that. But individualism is not based on ego. It is
    based on principle. If you accept the premise that individuals may be sacrificed for the
    group, you have made a huge mistake on two counts. First, individuals are the essence of the
    group, which means the group is being sacrificed anyway, piece by piece. Secondly, the
    underlying principle is deadly. Today, the individual being sacrificed may be unknown to
    you or even someone you dislike. Tomorrow, it could be you. It takes but a moment’s
    reflection to realize that the greater good for the greater number is not achieved by
    sacrificing individuals but by protecting individuals. Society is best served by
    individualism, not collectivism.
    We are dealing here with one of the reasons people make a distinction between
    republics and democracies. In recent years, we have been taught to believe that a democracy
    is the ideal form of government. Supposedly, that is what was created by the American
    Constitution. But, if you read the documents and the speech transcripts of the men who
    wrote the Constitution, you find that they spoke very poorly of democracy. They said in
    plain words that a democracy was one of the worst possible forms of government. And so
    they created what they called a republic. That is why the word democracy doesn’t appear
    anywhere in the Constitution; and, when Americans pledge allegiance to the flag, it’s to the
    republic for which it stands, not the democracy. When Colonel Davy Crockett joined the
    Texas Revolution prior to the famous Battle of the Alamo, he refused to sign the oath of
    allegiance to the future government of Texas until the wording was changed to the future
    republican government of Texas.1 The reason this is important is that the difference between
    a democracy and a republic is the difference between collectivism and individualism.
    In a pure democracy, the majority rules; end of discussion. You might say, “What’s
    wrong with that?” Well, there could be plenty wrong with that. What about a lynch mob?
    There is only one person with a dissenting vote, and he is the guy at the end of the rope.
    That’s pure democracy in action.
    “Ah, wait a minute,” you say. “The majority should rule. Yes, but not to the extent of
    denying the rights of the minority,” and, of course, you would be correct. That is precisely
    what a republic accomplishes. A republic is a government based on the principle of limited
    majority rule so that the minority – even a minority of one – will be protected from the
    whims and passions of the majority. Republics are often characterized by written
    constitutions that spell out the rules to make that possible. That was the function of the
    American Bill of Rights, which is nothing more than a list of things the government may not
    do. It says that Congress, even though it represents the majority, shall pass no law denying
    the minority their rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, peaceful assembly,
    the right to bear arms, and other “unalienable” rights.

    These limitations on majority rule are the essence of a republic, and they also are at
    the core of the ideology called individualism. And so here is another major difference
    between these two concepts: collectivism on the one hand, supporting any government
    action so long as it can be said to be for the greater good of the greater number; and
    individualism on the other hand, defending the rights of the minority against the passions
    and greed of the majority.

    The fourth concept that divides collectivism from individualism has to do with
    responsibilities and freedom of choice. We have spoken about the origin of rights, but there
    is a similar issue involving the origin of responsibilities. Rights and responsibilities go
    together. If you value the right to live your own life without others telling you what to do,
    then you must assume the responsibility to be independent, to provide for yourself without
    expecting others to take care of you. Rights and responsibilities are merely different sides of
    the same coin.
    If only individuals have rights, then it follows that only individuals have
    responsibilities. If groups have rights, then groups also have responsibilities; and, therein,
    lies one of the greatest ideological challenges of our modern age.
    Individualists are champions of individual rights. Therefore, they accept the principle
    of individual responsibility rather than group responsibility. They believe that everyone has
    a personal and direct obligation to provide, first for himself and his family, and then for
    others who may be in need. That does not mean they don’t believe in helping each other.
    Just because I am an individualist does not mean I have to move my piano alone. It just
    means that I believe that moving it is my responsibility, not someone else’s, and it’s up to
    me to organize the voluntary assistance of others.
    The collectivist, on the other hand, declares that individuals are not personally
    responsible for charity, for raising their own children, providing for aging parents, or even
    providing for themselves. These are group obligations of the state. The individualist expects
    to do it himself; the collectivist wants the government to do it for him: to provide
    employment and health care, a minimum wage, food, education, and a decent place to live.
    Collectivists are enamored by government. They worship government. They have a fixation
    on government as the ultimate group mechanism to solve all problems.
    Individualists do not share that faith. They see government as the creator of more
    problems than it solves. They believe that freedom of choice will lead to the best solution of
    social and economic problems. Millions of ideas and efforts, each subject to trial and error
    and competition – in which the best solution becomes obvious by comparing its results to all
    others – that process will produce results that are far superior to what can be achieved by a
    group of politicians or a committee of so-called wise men.
    By contrast, collectivists do not trust freedom. They are afraid of freedom. They are
    convinced that freedom may be all right in small matters such as what color socks you want
    to wear, but when it come to the important issues such as the money supply, banking
    practices, investments, insurance programs, health care, education, and so on, freedom will
    not work. These things, they say, simply must be controlled by the government. Otherwise
    there would be chaos.


    One of the quickest ways to spot a collectivist is to see how he reacts to public
    problems. No matter what bothers him in his daily routine – whether it’s littering the
    highway, smoking in public, dressing indecently, bigotry, sending out junk mail – you name
    it, his immediate response is “There ought to be a law!” And, of course, the professionals in
    government who make a living from coercion are more than happy to cooperate. The
    consequence is that government just keeps growing and growing. It’s a one-way street.
    Every year there are more and more laws and less and less freedom. Each law by itself
    seems relatively benign, justified by some convenience or for the greater good of the greater
    number, but the process continues forever until government is total and freedom is dead.
    Bit-by-bit, the people, themselves, become the solicitor of their own enslavement.

    --G. Edward Griffin

    Feel free to come coerce me and have friends bring body bags.

    Individuals have rights, governments have no rights except those granted by the individual and the military and police should never be armed in such a fashion as to be entirely superior to the populace that HIRED THEM TO DO TASKS.

    I'm a citizen, not a subject. There is a difference, though a europeed-on might not remember that, it's still a fact.

    Goes along with innocent until proven guilty as opposed to the inverse of Napoleonic/Latin American/Sharia laws.

    I was too lazy to C&P edit so that it'd be beautiful in your comments but you're too lazy to open your own fucking eyes.

    Fair trade?

  21. One other thing. I have an extensive collection of murder weapons, not murders committed by me, things that were leftovers from criminal trials that didn't need to be destroyed but were taking up space. I find them interesting historically.

    Guess what they all are?

    Knives given to me by friends that work(ed) in Police Departments including one Italian military field Knife from WW II and a lot of African stuff.

    I don't know, personally of any guns that I own that have killed humans, though it's likely with my African Wars cartridge rifle collection. So I own an Italian "assault knife" that killed somebody and it was made in Milan, stamped right on it.

    You Italians are nothing but bottom feeder, knife peddling scum! One of the Natal (Africa) murder knives has Sicilian markings on it, as to manufacture. Imagine the lives that could be saved if you went after your nations cutlery industry instead of pestered people in a country you abandoned for a collectivist hell hole (In my opinion, after you've seen the historic stuff, Italians are rude, drive like idiots, and have byzantine government and municipal services. Bring back Mussolini!)


  22. Thomas, Thanks for stopping by. I'll read your comment in its entirety as soon as I read the 55 page report Weer'd linked me to.

    Actually I read your comment, quote actually, and enjoyed all that business of the three survivors and one two-man life preserver. You gun guys are so dramatic.

    And I enjoyed the Italian cutlery crack too.

  23. Mike, you still haven't provided the demonstration to your "Yes" answer...or changed your answer.