Intelligence Squared - Second Amendment / Firearms Ownership Debates
Here's a collection of some of the more interesting and telling Second Amendment, gun rights and ownership debate I've come across recently.
Takes a while to absorb them all, but I think well worth the effort.
Intelligence Squared US was founded with one lofty goal: to raise the level of public discourse and to promote a realization that, on contentious issues, both sides have intellectually respectable and often persuasive viewpoints. It is vital to our civil society that we realize these issues are open to debate, and to provide a forum for balanced discussion that transcends emotion and ideology.
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Looking forward to the feedback.
Below are some of my outlined thoughts and evaluation :
1) The more Paul Helmke opens his mouth, the more it's apparent how wrong, biased, and contradictory he is.
Paul Helmke continualy expounds that neither "HE" (nor the Brady Group) is a gun banner or gun banning organization. YET, when Paul is asked if he would be OK with one of his children owning a firearm...he is adamant that based on "everything he's seen", he does NOT want his daughter to have a firearm in any way, shape, or form.
** And make no mistake America...when it come to the hypocrite Helmke, this is EXACTLY how he feels about all of us. In Paul's delusional mind, no one should own guns..of course factoring in the unspoken police, politicians, politically connected, and ass-kiss celebrities exception.
2) John Donahue (Video 5) throws up Shawn Penn as a shining example of how someone with a CCW permit had their gun stolen (in a later video, No. 8 I believe). Wow...Shawn Penn? How many times was he prosecuted for violent behavior against reporters...how many reporters did he punch...yet, HE was approved for a CCW...IN COMMIE-FORNIA, no doubt !!
THAT"S only a shining example of the failing of those in the system, not following the law, and blaming guns to penalize law abiding citizens, and direct accountability away from themselves - BUNK !!
** You see...unwashed peasant masses = no guns
Politically connected, politicians, and celebrities = OK for guns
Other than that, largely Donahue is a weak debater with no real factual data...only anecdotal stories.
3) I was familiar with John Lott, but am going to do more research into Gary Kleck (Video 6). This is a thinking man, who was NOT a gun owner, had no prior bias...just comes into it and applies hardcopre, expertly researched and reported, factual data.
In fact, Gary Kleck is a Liberal. He is, by his own admission, a member of the ACLU, Amnesty International, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations. He is a life-long registered Democrat, as well as a regular contributor to Democratic Party candidates.
He must be an awful disappointment to many of his fellow liberals, as his expert findings and conclusions are that, for the most part, the political rationale for gun control--and the majority of gun control legislation--is seriously flawed.
You'll be intrigued by his reporting.
** None of the "anti-" side could offer concrete facts to counter this guy...all they could bring were stories to try and stir emotion, which was completely against the debate guidlines Intelligence Squared seeks to have. Their "stories" are irelevant anyway, as the Pro-2A and pro self-defense side can trot out just as many stories, likely more, of positive firearms ownership and successful self defense and lives saved from a firearm being a positive contributing factor.
4) Video No. 8 is really good, as it allows the panel members to interact dynamically. There was something of a "technical" nature I noticed. Will wait for others to see if it is picked up, before saying more.
5) The Police Chief on the panel, Kerlikowske, also a weak debater and offering no real factual data, proves that officials at his level are nothing more than paid politicians and puppets to the anti-self defense and anti-2A governing tirants controlling his cushy paycheck.
He sits there and just runs down all of the "talking points" and unfounded statements from the anti-self defense side, then only offers anecdotal stories as "evidence" and "statistical facts".
6) Paul Helmke...yeah, back to him again. Helmke sits there and attempts to discredit the polling sampling done by the Pro-2A and self defense panel, but conveniently forgets to inform that this is the same type of polling the Brady Bunch engage in. So, it's legitimate when he does it...it's bogus if the pro-2A researchers use a similar method.
OK, Paul...just need to get clear on that, as your hypocrisy runs so deep.
At least the Pro-2A side is based on a properly conducted polling, backed up with factual research...whereby Helmke and company have contnually been found to slant the polling, engage biased reporting of their "findings", and offer no real factually, statistics supported data.
7) Since I've viewed Video 13, the conclusion, it was very positive that the Pro-Second Amendment and self-defense panel succeeded in changing more people's mind on the issue. But semed the audience was already stacked against them, as I believe this audience was already more largely comprised of people who already had strong opinions that guns do not reduce crime, and likely aren't even gun owners themselves. You can see their percentage virtually unchanged after the debates, which confirms for me that no matter how much factual data you put in front of the "Sheep-le's" face...they just will not entertain facts, rather operate from pure emotion.
From what I have seen, with those types, what generally changed their mind was being a crime victim, without having a firearm for protection. Assuming they live through the aggression, magically they then are interested in becoming a gun owner. It's sad that it takes that for them to finally "get it". I can deal with Sheep-le who refuse to defend themselves...it's just a great injustice for these lemmings to seek to disarm an entire society to be as victim-oriented as they are.
I wouldn't say there wasn't any change. I think what has been clearly illustrated is that those who think guns do not reduce crime, no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary, will not change their mind. We saw a huge change amongst those who were unsure at the beginning of the debate. I would also postulate that if this debate and been televised nationally, with samples being taken before and after, that there would be an even bigger shift. I think this because given the nature of this type of event, I hate to say it, but I doubt there is a very balanced sampling of individuals, i.e the audience probably consists heavily of academics. This is a generalization, though one I do feel comfortable making, academics are generally liberally oriented and are typically very hard to persuade away from their positions once made. I see this as a huge win for the pro side that they were able to make the shift that they did amongst an academically oriented crowd, it seems that amongst the academics in the crowd there are actually true intellectuals.
If the pro-side really wanted to get under the gun grabbers skin they could have made the analogy of denying the evidence that guns reduce crime as tantamount to individuals who deny the existence of man made global warming. Not a slight to the individualizes amongst this forum that doubt man made global warming, just stating the best way to get under the gun grabbers skin using their own mindset and logic against them.
I am as pro gun as they come! And the liberals are always wanting to debate over the issue of weapons causing more serious crime. But I think as American Citizens and Patriots we should listen to history when it comes to the importance of our Gun Rights!
If you want to think of another reason. Type in "Crimes Committed by the German Wehrmacht" on Google. And you will see what happens when the citizens are not armed.
Armed we are Citizens Unarmed we are subjects! Amazing how people forget history!
There is a common theme on each side. With those who favor individual gun ownership cite that firearms offer a disincentive to criminals, they cite that criminals don't obey bans, and they cite that when bans are imposed crime rates actually go up. But what they also cite is the issue of one's natural right to protect one's self, the lives of his or her family, and his or her property. And, they go on to cite examples of why widespread ownership of firearms is necessary and good: that nefarious governing regimes consistently oppress disarmed citizens.
Those who favor restrictions and bans tend to cite immediate local issues and specific examples of tragedies. They ignore or don't address natural rights or what history shows us.
It seems to me that when you look back at Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, Uganda and countless other places, the terrible abuse could not have taken place if the people had not first been disarmed. So while there may be some room for debate as to whether or not private ownership of firearms deter crime at the local level, it is incontrovertible that an armed populace unquestionably does deter the crime of unbridled tyranny at the national level. Is there a greater crime than in the subjugation of an entire populace or a segment of a populace?
John J. Donohue implies that "A well-regulated militia" means that the militia must be overseen by a higher body: the government. He has clearly fallen into the trap of not understanding what the word "regulated" means in the context of 2A. When you "regulate" a mechanical watch or clock, you ensure that the gear train, pivots, springs and casing are not broken, that they're clean, properly lubricated, and work well together in order that the entire device keeps the correct time. In other words, you ensure that all components work well with all other components. The intent of establishing a militia is to ensure that all members know each other's strengths and weaknesses and work well together to make up an effective force. To this day, when you take a mechanical clock or watch in for service, you ask for it to be "regulated". The word does not mean "to be overseen and controlled". That is a modern bastardization of the word "regulated".
Helmke...God, what a douche. He knocks down statistics because they can be manipulated, then uses statistics to support his position. He cites unique, specific examples and implies those incidents are wildly widespread (without citing statistics or any numbers). But he utterly ignores natural rights and history. He says "we are far and away the most deadly country when it comes to gun crime". This seems wrong to me when you look at many countries in Africa, the ME and elsewhere. I'll see if I can dig up the stats, but I'm pretty certain he's full of sh!t. Then he says that "easy" access to guns means that guns get in the wrong hands and that therefore they should be banned. Evidently, he doesn't understand that prohibition never works. Even when our government went to the measure of adopting a constitutional amendment banning alcohol, people still drank. We have a "war on drugs" yet people still use drugs. We have a criminal population who could never legally acquire a handgun, yet they still do. Only the law-abiding are inclined to obey prohibitions and bans. Criminals will go about their business with impunity.
And this waste of skin says "...we basically allow anyone to get any make and model of gun...". Yes, buttmunch, that's because we have rights.
Later on, this guy makes light of a Supreme Court ruling that stated quite specifically that police are not responsible for personal protection. He uses the common police slogan "To Protect and Defend" as proof that cops exist to see to your safety and who will protect you from harm. The anti-ban guys cite numbers and proof. The pro-ban guys cite b.s.
Kerlikowske asserts "Police officers are highly trained with firearms. They practice and qualify..." No disrespect to LEOs, but my experience at the range shows that many police practice lousy safety, aren't particularly good shots, and don't seem to know sh!t about local gun laws. Most people I shoot with are far more qualified than any cops I've run into at the range. YMMV. He goes on to describe absolute b.s. about cops being killed with their own firearms. He uses terms like "frequently" and "routinely" when this is simply not true.
There's so much wrong with the arguments of those on the left, it boggles the mind. It's almost tempting to go through argument-by-argument and tear apart their arguments.
What no one on either side brought up was the issue of dealing with criminals. Here's my take: When someone commits a violent crime, execute them! No civilized society should do less. Recidivism rates always go to 0%, and it becomes somewhat more difficult to induce others to join a gang when, if caught, they're looking at a certain death penalty. zhuk made a great post (see here) that shows how societies change to meet the requirements of the criminal element rather than deal with criminals and force them to conform to society. Acknowledging and changing our absurd reaction to crime and criminals is the key to reducing crime. Certainly, the good guys owning firearms help reduce crime (deterring or thwarting) but if you want to reduce crime, eliminate criminals.
I'm extremely disappointed with the polling result at the end, but given the venue it isn't surprising.
Great comments and follow-up everyone. I'll have more to write on feedback later, but in my orignal post, in bullet 4, I mentioned that I had noticed something "technical" during the debates, but wanted to first see if others noticed too.
I think you may notice this throughout much of the videos, but it was very apparent to me in Videos 8 & 9 I believe. This is during the interactive portion of the discussions.
Notice when one of the anti's is speaking, and proceeds to deliver statements that are uterly false with no factual grounding (yeah, I know there's so many)...but notice when someone from the Pro-2A side tries to speak and correct it, their microphones are muted.
Contrast that with the alternate, when someone from the Pro-2A side is speaking, and one of the anti's jumps to interject...their microphone is immediately active and allows them to be heard.
This scenario was really apparent between an exchange between Gary Kleck and Paul Helmke. Some of the Pro-2A side attempted to correct a lie from Helmke, and they cannot really be heard...later, when Kleck is speaking, Helmke jumps and starts talking right over him and is allowed to be heard with his active microphone.
I call BS on that on the part of the Intelligence Squared personnel...obviously a biased person was facilitating this and it looks poorly on their debate structuring.
I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but this is tangentially significant.
When a career cop on the verge of retirement crossed paths with a paroled thug aiming to restart his criminal career at Kohl’s jewelry counter Sunday night in Woburn, it ended with splatters of blood, scattered diamonds and two men dead in the wind-driven snow.If we are at the point where states cannot afford to keep convicted felons serving three consecutive life sentences incarcerated or if the parole boards are made up of idiots incapable of exercising some common sense, it makes it all the more important that we the good guys are well-armed.
Great feedback from everyone on this topic.
But with regards to BKT's replies, I plan to write more in direct reply to your thoughts, but just wanted to express how interesting I have found your posts in reply on this topic.
You really hit on some great points and observations.
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