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Thread: "The Teenage Demagogues"

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    "The Teenage Demagogues"

    The Teenage Demagogues

    By Rich Lowry - March 27, 2018 6:30 AM

    All you needed to know about student activist David Hogg’s speech at the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., over the weekend was that he affixed a price tag on the microphone to symbolize how much National Rifle Association money Senator Marco Rubio took for the lives of students in Florida.

    The stunt wasn’t out of place. Indeed, it perfectly encapsulated the braying spirit of the student gun-control advocacy in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

    These young activists are making our public debate even more poisonous and less civil, and are doing it as teenagers. They are precocious that way.

    The Stoneman Douglas students experienced a horrific trauma. No one can deny their grief or blame them for being impassioned. And allowance has to be made for the fact that they are teenagers, who universally believe that they know better than their hapless elders (Hogg says the problem is that their parents don’t know how to use a democracy).

    Yet none of that excuses their scurrilous smears of the other side in the gun debate. The student activists presume that there is a ready solution to mass shootings that everyone knows, and the only reason why someone might not act on this universally accepted policy is malice or corruption. This makes the other side the equivalent of murderers.

    So at the CNN forum, Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky told Senator Rubio that looking at him is like looking down the barrel of the AR-15 held by the school shooter.

    In a video interview with an outfit called The Outline, David Hogg said that the NRA and its supporters “want to keep killing our children.” Not that they inadvertently enable people who carry out school shootings via misconceived policy, but they themselves kill children and want to keep doing it.

    Lest he be misunderstood, Hogg added, “they could have blood from children spattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they will still see those dollar signs.”

    This is the thought, if you can call it that, behind the price tag at the “March for Our Lives,” which Stoneman Douglas students also wore around their necks. It said “$1.05,” purportedly the amount of support Rubio has gotten from the NRA over his career, $3.3 million, divided by the 3.1 million public and private students in Florida.

    In accusing their opponents of being bought off, the students deny the sincerity and legitimacy of supporters of gun rights. They treat the Second Amendment as an inkblot on the Constitution and dismiss all counterarguments as transparent rationalizations. Not only is this a (appropriately) juvenile view of the gun debate that ignores Supreme Court jurisprudence, the genuine support of the NRA by millions of people, and the serious, practical objections to gun-control proposals, it removes all possibility of a middle ground.

    MORE AT LINK

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/...on-gun-debate/

    I've made no secret of my own opinion of these "student activists" from Stoneham Douglas. Even making allowances for their youthful enthusiasm and self-absorption, I find them to be an embarrassment to any rational proponents of gun control. In public appearances, when mention has been made of making schools safer by making them less open and accessible, or by increasing the armed police presence, they protest that they "don't want to talk about that". They demand to direct and control the conversation - which, of course, inevitably results in no real conversation at all taking place...and they appear to consider their own answers, however vague and irrelevant to the problems ostensibly being addressed, to be the only answers that anyone should be allowed to hear.

    A couple of years ago, I was banned from the Democrats for Progress forum for pointing out the unfairness and inaccuracy of the gun-owner stereotypes being invoked by other members. I wasn't allowed, apparently, to point out that many Democrats are legal (and law abiding) gun owners, as are many people of color and women; the picture of a fat, White, beer-swilling redneck playing soldier in the woods, so beloved by certain political cartoonists and others, is every bit as unfair, inaccurate and wrong-headed as stereotypes get. The Stoneham Douglas folks seem to have taken a somewhat different, though no less reprehensible, tack - attacking anyone who questions the practicability or Constitutionality of their proposals as a soulless if not gleeful murderer of children - but the spirit of the accusations is much the same.

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    How can you blame them? These kids see adults practicing the same tactics and winning presidential elections.

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    Senior Member William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post

    I've made no secret of my own opinion of these "student activists" from Stoneham Douglas. Even making allowances for their youthful enthusiasm and self-absorption, I find them to be an embarrassment to any rational proponents of gun control. In public appearances, when mention has been made of making schools safer by making them less open and accessible, or by increasing the armed police presence, they protest that they "don't want to talk about that". They demand to direct and control the conversation - which, of course, inevitably results in no real conversation at all taking place...and they appear to consider their own answers, however vague and irrelevant to the problems ostensibly being addressed, to be the only answers that anyone should be allowed to hear.

    A couple of years ago, I was banned from the Democrats for Progress forum for pointing out the unfairness and inaccuracy of the gun-owner stereotypes being invoked by other members. I wasn't allowed, apparently, to point out that many Democrats are legal (and law abiding) gun owners, as are many people of color and women; the picture of a fat, White, beer-swilling redneck playing soldier in the woods, so beloved by certain political cartoonists and others, is every bit as unfair, inaccurate and wrong-headed as stereotypes get. The Stoneham Douglas folks seem to have taken a somewhat different, though no less reprehensible, tack - attacking anyone who questions the practicability or Constitutionality of their proposals as a soulless if not gleeful murderer of children - but the spirit of the accusations is much the same.
    Sorry Doug, but there is a simple answer to the problem of gun violence, including school shootings, in your country. It won't be easy but it is simple - it will take a lot of time and effort, and you just need to want it enough. And you know the answer involves getting rid of the 2nd Amendment to your Constitution.

    I don't know about you (you seem much too sensible,) but if comments on these forums are honest, many if not most Americans seem to think the right to carry a killing machine makes them more free than other nations. Of course those people will answer that a gun is only a machine, and cannot do anything by itself, and cars kill more people worldwide than guns. But a car is not designed for the purpose of killing living things - cars kill by accident, and when a human being makes a mistake, but guns mostly kill when a human has the intent to kill or maim another living thing.

    The other problem with doing away with that amendment, is that many Americans seem to treat it like part of Holy Gospel - which is set in stone by God. Sorry if this sounds like I'm telling Americans what to do - but your constitution is like any other constitution, and has been amended heaps - so the 2nd amendment can be amended out. You only need to look at what advantages 300,000,000 guns bring to your society, and compare those advantages to 33,000 unnecessary deaths every year. If the advantages outweigh the cost of human life - then all bets are off. But I suspect people want to keep their guns, cos they like having guns - it makes them feel more powerful.

    As for the kids at Stoneham Douglas, they are a little older than me and should know better, as they seem to be going a little OTT. But then I haven't had to hide in a cupboard while my friends were being shot dead - so I make allowance.

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    Senior Member DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Sorry Doug, but there is a simple answer to the problem of gun violence, including school shootings, in your country. It won't be easy but it is simple - it will take a lot of time and effort, and you just need to want it enough. And you know the answer involves getting rid of the 2nd Amendment to your Constitution.

    I don't know about you (you seem much too sensible,) but if comments on these forums are honest, many if not most Americans seem to think the right to carry a killing machine makes them more free than other nations. Of course those people will answer that a gun is only a machine, and cannot do anything by itself, and cars kill more people worldwide than guns. But a car is not designed for the purpose of killing living things - cars kill by accident, and when a human being makes a mistake, but guns mostly kill when a human has the intent to kill or maim another living thing.

    The other problem with doing away with that amendment, is that many Americans seem to treat it like part of Holy Gospel - which is set in stone by God. Sorry if this sounds like I'm telling Americans what to do - but your constitution is like any other constitution, and has been amended heaps - so the 2nd amendment can be amended out. You only need to look at what advantages 300,000,000 guns bring to your society, and compare those advantages to 33,000 unnecessary deaths every year. If the advantages outweigh the cost of human life - then all bets are off. But I suspect people want to keep their guns, cos they like having guns - it makes them feel more powerful.

    As for the kids at Stoneham Douglas, they are a little older than me and should know better, as they seem to be going a little OTT. But then I haven't had to hide in a cupboard while my friends were being shot dead - so I make allowance.
    William, you have to fully understand the situation, vis-a-vis the private ownership of firearms in the U.S., and take every aspect of it into account in formulating and applying laws. Quite frankly, when you write that doing away with the Second Amendment is a "simple answer" it's clear that you're not really doing that.

    Outlawing the private ownership of guns would be problematic for any number of reasons, beginning with the sheer numbers of them - as you say, 300 million - in a geographical area of about 3.8 million square miles, and with a population of roughly 327 million people - relatively few of whom would ever support or comply with such a radical change in the law. Law enforcement authorities at every level, from small town police chiefs and sheriffs to federal agents from thirty different agencies to Justice Department officials - the individuals who would, in theory, be charged with attempting to enforce such a ban - would overwhelmingly ignore or work against it, as would most civil authorities and military leaders, regardless of their own political affiliations or leanings.

    The notion that Second Amendment advocates and supporters of gun rights generally constitute a smallish clique of "gun nuts" and fringe elements of society is absolutely untrue - a media fabrication. At least 80% of Americans in a recent poll would oppose doing away with the Second Amendment.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.620bbb2b27ad

    I strongly suspect that even many of the other 20% would, if it came down to facing the reality of the proposal, have second thoughts and have no qualms about themselves squirreling away a gun or two for self-defense or other emergencies, or would approve of a friend or relative doing so.

    Some gun control advocates cite Great Britain or Japan as an example to be followed, and suggest that similar restrictions would be effective here. There have never really been many guns in either place, and Great Britain has been actively enacting and enforcing strict controls on most firearms since at least the mid-19th Century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Sorry Doug, but there is a simple answer to the problem of gun violence, including school shootings, in your country. It won't be easy but it is simple - it will take a lot of time and effort, and you just need to want it enough. And you know the answer involves getting rid of the 2nd Amendment to your Constitution.

    I don't know about you (you seem much too sensible,) but if comments on these forums are honest, many if not most Americans seem to think the right to carry a killing machine makes them more free than other nations. Of course those people will answer that a gun is only a machine, and cannot do anything by itself, and cars kill more people worldwide than guns. But a car is not designed for the purpose of killing living things - cars kill by accident, and when a human being makes a mistake, but guns mostly kill when a human has the intent to kill or maim another living thing.

    The other problem with doing away with that amendment, is that many Americans seem to treat it like part of Holy Gospel - which is set in stone by God. Sorry if this sounds like I'm telling Americans what to do - but your constitution is like any other constitution, and has been amended heaps - so the 2nd amendment can be amended out. You only need to look at what advantages 300,000,000 guns bring to your society, and compare those advantages to 33,000 unnecessary deaths every year. If the advantages outweigh the cost of human life - then all bets are off. But I suspect people want to keep their guns, cos they like having guns - it makes them feel more powerful.

    As for the kids at Stoneham Douglas, they are a little older than me and should know better, as they seem to be going a little OTT. But then I haven't had to hide in a cupboard while my friends were being shot dead - so I make allowance.
    I wholeheartedly agree with your premise. However, even being the liberal I am, I have to consider other people's liberties. The ones who are able to own guns responsibly don't deserve to have them taken away, and it is in their right nature to be mad at anybody who attempts to do so. That being said, again, I completely agree with your sentiment about guns. They ARE designed to kill, which is why comparing them to cars or spoons doesn't fly. They are the only tool designed to kill other people that is legal in the United States. And you are absolutely right, our citizens DO treat the 2nd Amendment like it is the Holy Gospel. Actually, our citizens pretend to treat the whole Constitution that way...except when somebody uses it against them to argue a point, then of course, it isn't so Holy anymore, it's flawed.
    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
    Don't carry it all, don't carry it all
    We are all our hands in holders
    Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
    And this I swear to all
    -The Decemberists

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    Senior Member DougRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkloaf View Post
    They ARE designed to kill, which is why comparing them to cars or spoons doesn't fly. They are the only tool designed to kill other people that is legal in the United States.
    A weapon is, by definition, "a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage", and yes - guns qualify...but so do swords, as well as some popular kinds of knives. If guns were somehow made magically to disappear, I'm sure the use of edged weapons would vastly increase, and the next "public safety" campaign would involve banning those, too.

    In the Old West, guns were sometimes referred to as "equalizers" - and so they remain today in many situations. Simply brandishing a gun without resort to firing it can be a very effective method of dissuading an attacker or other would-be criminal. I was almost the victim of a home invasion when I lived in Hawaii in the '80s, but my .38 S&W was close to hand and pointing it at the two large individuals who'd just burst through my front door worked out quite well for me, thanks.

    People like, own - even collect - and use firearms for many different purposes aside from any desire to kill or injure another human being unnecessarily. I'm not a hunter, myself, and personally dislike it except when done in the context of subsistence hunting, but the practice - I won't call it a sport - should probably remain legal, and would actually be far less humane if hunters were forced to use nothing but bows and arrows. My uncle back in Indiana has collected guns for the last sixty years - dozens of them, in two large gun safes - and would be no more inclined or likely to kill an innocent human being with one of them than he would be to sprout wings and fly.

    When you truly and honestly look at the numbers, criminal firearms-related homicides - the deliberate killing of another person with a gun - account for fewer than 10,000 deaths in the U.S. in any given year. This in a country of 327 million, with access to nearly as many guns as there are people. And the firearms most frequently targeted by gun control activists - the so-called "assault style weapons" - are used in a relative handful of crimes of any sort. Any proposal to do away with the right to gun ownership for all Americans as a means of ameliorating an already - despite media hype to the contrary - shrinking problem truly is analogous to going after a fly with a hand grenade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post
    The Teenage Demagogues

    By Rich Lowry - March 27, 2018 6:30 AM

    All you needed to know about student activist David Hogg’s speech at the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C., over the weekend was that he affixed a price tag on the microphone to symbolize how much National Rifle Association money Senator Marco Rubio took for the lives of students in Florida.

    The stunt wasn’t out of place. Indeed, it perfectly encapsulated the braying spirit of the student gun-control advocacy in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

    These young activists are making our public debate even more poisonous and less civil, and are doing it as teenagers. They are precocious that way.

    The Stoneman Douglas students experienced a horrific trauma. No one can deny their grief or blame them for being impassioned. And allowance has to be made for the fact that they are teenagers, who universally believe that they know better than their hapless elders (Hogg says the problem is that their parents don’t know how to use a democracy).

    Yet none of that excuses their scurrilous smears of the other side in the gun debate. The student activists presume that there is a ready solution to mass shootings that everyone knows, and the only reason why someone might not act on this universally accepted policy is malice or corruption. This makes the other side the equivalent of murderers.

    So at the CNN forum, Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky told Senator Rubio that looking at him is like looking down the barrel of the AR-15 held by the school shooter.

    In a video interview with an outfit called The Outline, David Hogg said that the NRA and its supporters “want to keep killing our children.” Not that they inadvertently enable people who carry out school shootings via misconceived policy, but they themselves kill children and want to keep doing it.

    Lest he be misunderstood, Hogg added, “they could have blood from children spattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they will still see those dollar signs.”

    This is the thought, if you can call it that, behind the price tag at the “March for Our Lives,” which Stoneman Douglas students also wore around their necks. It said “$1.05,” purportedly the amount of support Rubio has gotten from the NRA over his career, $3.3 million, divided by the 3.1 million public and private students in Florida.

    In accusing their opponents of being bought off, the students deny the sincerity and legitimacy of supporters of gun rights. They treat the Second Amendment as an inkblot on the Constitution and dismiss all counterarguments as transparent rationalizations. Not only is this a (appropriately) juvenile view of the gun debate that ignores Supreme Court jurisprudence, the genuine support of the NRA by millions of people, and the serious, practical objections to gun-control proposals, it removes all possibility of a middle ground.

    MORE AT LINK

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/...on-gun-debate/

    I've made no secret of my own opinion of these "student activists" from Stoneham Douglas. Even making allowances for their youthful enthusiasm and self-absorption, I find them to be an embarrassment to any rational proponents of gun control. In public appearances, when mention has been made of making schools safer by making them less open and accessible, or by increasing the armed police presence, they protest that they "don't want to talk about that". They demand to direct and control the conversation - which, of course, inevitably results in no real conversation at all taking place...and they appear to consider their own answers, however vague and irrelevant to the problems ostensibly being addressed, to be the only answers that anyone should be allowed to hear.

    A couple of years ago, I was banned from the Democrats for Progress forum for pointing out the unfairness and inaccuracy of the gun-owner stereotypes being invoked by other members. I wasn't allowed, apparently, to point out that many Democrats are legal (and law abiding) gun owners, as are many people of color and women; the picture of a fat, White, beer-swilling redneck playing soldier in the woods, so beloved by certain political cartoonists and others, is every bit as unfair, inaccurate and wrong-headed as stereotypes get. The Stoneham Douglas folks seem to have taken a somewhat different, though no less reprehensible, tack - attacking anyone who questions the practicability or Constitutionality of their proposals as a soulless if not gleeful murderer of children - but the spirit of the accusations is much the same.
    Hi Doug, I think you know me from another place, so I'm sure you know my thinking on this issue. These kids are really no different than the movements of the '60s: they, like then, have an issue, and it's good issue: too many school kids being killed by maniacs with guns. And the adults, now like then, are doing nothing about it. The reason that Sarah Sanders was moved to tears in that press conference was not because she has her own kids, but because a little kid had to show at a press conference and and ask her what the administration is doing about it? I mean, kids have to solve this problem now? The NRA for it's part, responsible law abiding patriotic gun owners are offering nothing in the expertise and rather deciding that the kids are just camera hogging hooligans; which is kind of where you're coming from in my view. And that is just not productive.

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    Senior Member William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkloaf View Post
    I wholeheartedly agree with your premise. However, even being the liberal I am, I have to consider other people's liberties. The ones who are able to own guns responsibly don't deserve to have them taken away, and it is in their right nature to be mad at anybody who attempts to do so. That being said, again, I completely agree with your sentiment about guns. They ARE designed to kill, which is why comparing them to cars or spoons doesn't fly. They are the only tool designed to kill other people that is legal in the United States. And you are absolutely right, our citizens DO treat the 2nd Amendment like it is the Holy Gospel. Actually, our citizens pretend to treat the whole Constitution that way...except when somebody uses it against them to argue a point, then of course, it isn't so Holy anymore, it's flawed.
    Thanks for that, and I understand, and respect, your worries about other people's liberties. But after reading your reply, and DougRich's reply (people I respect,) I asked my dad (who is a barrister,) about that. He says that he is not familiar enough with your national constitution or state laws to give an opinion, but that, in principle, any liberties or freedoms must not affect those of others in the jurisdiction concerned. He pointed to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act of 1966, as an example of why and how the state must protect its citizens from harm which is not always intended. It is therefore illegal in NSW to buy or store certain substances, even though you have no intention of harming anyone.

    And lol, he says I mustn't quote exactly what he says, as I must make my own mind up about things after receiving advice, and give my own opinions here.

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    I would argue that the right to bear arms drives the gun manufacturing industry and to an extent a gun culture in America. I think that it's unfortunate that the 2nd Amendment almost takes priority over the 1st. As a result, the number of guns in the hands of criminals is far higher than it should be and stemming that tide has basically become impossible. The difference between a right to bear arms and qualifying to bear arm is not huge. However such things as gun shows would necessarily disappear. Weapons transfers would be as controlled as the original sale and securing weapons would be the law, including mandatory insurance for "accidents" with weapons. If owning weapons is important, then the requirement for ensuring responsible ownership should not be an onerous condition. It is now, because of the 2nd Amendment.

    If vehicle ownership were a right rather than a privilege, most of the country would be uninsured because you would be unable to mandate most of the laws surrounding car ownership without violating that basic right. Even basic speed limits would be challenged and good luck with convicting people of drunk driving. People wouldn't even need a drivers license or proof of any ability to drive.

    Ironically, the ownership of vehicles is far more essential to the ability of people to work, shop for food and attend to other essential aspects of their lives than owning a gun. Yet motor vehicle ownership and use is highly controlled.

    Ownership of a thing should not be a right. People should have the right to self-defense but naming the means of that self-defense exalts the means above the natural right, removing the natural right of people to demand and legally require responsibility.
    "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougRich View Post
    A weapon is, by definition, "a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage", and yes - guns qualify...but so do swords, as well as some popular kinds of knives. If guns were somehow made magically to disappear, I'm sure the use of edged weapons would vastly increase, and the next "public safety" campaign would involve banning those, too.

    In the Old West, guns were sometimes referred to as "equalizers" - and so they remain today in many situations. Simply brandishing a gun without resort to firing it can be a very effective method of dissuading an attacker or other would-be criminal. I was almost the victim of a home invasion when I lived in Hawaii in the '80s, but my .38 S&W was close to hand and pointing it at the two large individuals who'd just burst through my front door worked out quite well for me, thanks.

    People like, own - even collect - and use firearms for many different purposes aside from any desire to kill or injure another human being unnecessarily. I'm not a hunter, myself, and personally dislike it except when done in the context of subsistence hunting, but the practice - I won't call it a sport - should probably remain legal, and would actually be far less humane if hunters were forced to use nothing but bows and arrows. My uncle back in Indiana has collected guns for the last sixty years - dozens of them, in two large gun safes - and would be no more inclined or likely to kill an innocent human being with one of them than he would be to sprout wings and fly.

    When you truly and honestly look at the numbers, criminal firearms-related homicides - the deliberate killing of another person with a gun - account for fewer than 10,000 deaths in the U.S. in any given year. This in a country of 327 million, with access to nearly as many guns as there are people. And the firearms most frequently targeted by gun control activists - the so-called "assault style weapons" - are used in a relative handful of crimes of any sort. Any proposal to do away with the right to gun ownership for all Americans as a means of ameliorating an already - despite media hype to the contrary - shrinking problem truly is analogous to going after a fly with a hand grenade.

    The way I feel about guns is akin to the way you feel about hunting. I don't like them, but they should remain legal.

    However, I will bock at anybody who says we need to put more guns in schools. That is not the answer. I'm sorry. Guns may be an "equalizer," but that doesn't mean that more people need to own them, and that they need to be normalized in our daily lives. That will not solve anything, and it will eat at the moral fabric of our society.
    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
    Don't carry it all, don't carry it all
    We are all our hands in holders
    Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
    And this I swear to all
    -The Decemberists

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