Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Liberals Talk about Guns

 

shutterstock_238729093From Bill McGurn’s latest column in the Wall Street Journal, a truly brilliant insight:

Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them….

[T]he urge to blame the weapon has deep liberal roots. It was particularly pronounced in the latter years of the Cold War when Ronald Reagan was president.

Even as Reagan was applying the pressure that would ultimately bring down the Berlin Wall in 1989—from arming the Afghan resistance to supporting Poland’s Solidarity movement to rebuilding America’s defenses—liberals derided him as a warmonger. Two things especially irked them: He’d called the U.S.S.R. the Evil Empire, and he was skeptical about arms control for the sake of arms control.

So when the Gipper walked away from the 1986 Reykjavik summit because Mikhail Gorbachev insisted his price for a nukes deal was the end of missile defense, Reagan was derided as a dunce. But his decision proved one of his finest moments: Scarcely a year later the Soviets caved and Mr. Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Guns. They’re what liberals talk about so they don’t have to talk about evil.

There are 39 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Douglas Inactive

    Liberals want to ban guns simply because gun ownership doesn’t fit their idea of what a proper, modern, progressive civilization should be. That’s “wild west” stuff, best left in the past, along with slavery, patriarchy, church, and women as stay at home moms. The New Progressive Man simply doesn’t do manhood anymore, and that includes firearms. You really don’t have to go all that deep to see their motives. Their utopia simply has no place for such things as guns. Evil? They believe in evil. They believe anyone that opposes “progress” is evil. You and I are evil. The NRA is evil. Your local preacher is evil. Guns are evil because they were created to do evil things. Liberals want all of our evils… which are to a great extent, traditional American freedoms… to go away.

    • #1
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:19 AM PST
    • Like
  2. Casey Inactive

    That truly is brilliant. But I’d almost say they actually deny evil entirely.

    And if there is no good or evil then governance consists of negotiating the items we want on the menu.

    • #2
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:19 AM PST
    • Like
  3. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Casey:That truly is brilliant. But I’d almost say they actually deny evil entirely.

    And if there is no good or evil then governance consists of negotiating the items we want on the menu.

    I think you pretty much just summed up Rousseau.

    • #3
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:32 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Scott Wilmot Member

    Peter Robinson: Guns. They’re what liberals talk about so they don’t have to talk about evil.

    Those without God have no reference for good and evil – it is all relative to them, so blaming the instrument of violence is all they have.

    • #4
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:33 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Terry Mott Member

    Douglas:Evil? They believe in evil. They believe anyone that opposes “progress” is evil. You and I are evil. The NRA is evil. Your local preacher is evil. Guns are evil because they were created to do evil things. Liberals want all of our evils… which are to a great extent, traditional American freedoms… to go away.

    My soundbite on this idea is that they owe their morality more to Das Kapital than to Leviticus.

    • #5
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:34 AM PST
    • Like
  6. Quake Voter Inactive

    The parallel is insightful but incomplete, sort of a WSJ trademark recently.

    Reagan was never reticent about recounting the horrors of the Soviet regime.

    Conservatives, especially more thoughtful conservatives (no irony intended here) are very timid about discussing candidly the facts on the ground in our cities and rural meth kingdoms.

    “Talking about the liberal inability to talk about evil” sometimes functions as a substitute for addressing the violence and depravity that dominates many poor white enclaves, much of Mexican gangland, and most of the black jurisdictions (formerly neighborhoods) in our cities.

    • #6
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:40 AM PST
    • Like
  7. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Quake Voter: “Talking about the liberal inability to talk about evil” sometimes functions as a substitute for addressing the violence and depravity that dominates many poor white enclaves, much of Mexican gangland, and most of the black jurisdictions (formerly neighborhoods) in our cities.

    Those are just other evil branches on the same evil tree.

    • #7
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:54 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Old Bathos Moderator

    More than mere denial of moral reality, the left is an elaborate fantasy where method and technocratic magic always work. It was a tempting rhetorical dream a century ago. Now it has devolved into a mental illness.

    Technocratic solutions have created a world where young black men and Hispanic gangs slaughter each other and where isolated, unformed white boys become possessed of a caricature of manhood that randomly explodes in murderous rage.

    To propose that the answer is to harass and humiliate rural middle class lawful gun owners may satisfy some visceral tribal hatred of their ideological enemy but is patently absurd as a solution to what their own ideology has wrought.

    • #8
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:10 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    There is, of course, a large element within liberals of wanting to talk about the MEANS of a crime, as if we eliminated one of the more common means of homicide, the motive and opportunity would just suddenly vanish, just like public drunkenness vanished during Prohibition.

    Or, you know, not.

    The other bugaboo within the minds of a statist (not just liberals) is that a citizenry that is even close to being on an equal firepower footing with the central power TERRIFIES them. That’s why most of them are perfectly fine with the ideas of guns=hunting, but guns=personal protection? Well, that’s insurrection, in their mind.

    And in a way, it is. Guns are the gateway drug to freedom, because once you realize you don’t require an armed representative of the state to keep you and your loved ones safe, you start to question what other functions of the state are unnecessary in your life.

    And that REALLY terrifies liberals.

    • #9
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:13 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Mikescapes Member

    Evil is a bit superstitious for me. It implies the devil is somehow an influential factor. Rather, it’s about having enemies; cultures that are completely incompatible. Instead of seeing conservatives as evil, they need to look to Radical Islam as the enemy. They see evil, but, in fact, you can’t see it. It’s an abstract pseudo-religious concept. You defend against a sworn enemy who intends to destroy you. They hate you and you hate them back. Or at least you should give it a try. But liberals are blinded by their contempt for conservative philosophy. So much so that they can’t see the real danger.

    It’s as if they never encountered a bully. Consequently, they don’t know how to cope with one. Fight back might not be such a bad idea. They seek a safe zone, impenetrable from the right. Their political philosophy impairs their vision. Therefore, in a sense, they enable their actual enemies, who have no confusion about whom they plan to attack.

    • #10
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:15 PM PST
    • Like
  11. John Walker Contributor

    Peter Robinson: (quoting William McGurn)

    “Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them…”

    I fear this may be too generous a view of the motivation of those who would disarm citizens of a free republic. I prefer the formulation by L. Neil Smith in his pamphlet “Americans Have Obeyed Their Last Gun Law”:

    [T]he one and only reason politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen want to take your weapons away from you is so that they can do things to you that they couldn’t do if you still had your weapons.

    • #11
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:27 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Quake Voter Inactive

    John Walker: [T]he one and only reason politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen want to take your weapons away from you is so that they can do things to you that they couldn’t do if you still had your weapons.

    And the best, irrefutable argument against liberals who want to confiscate all weapons is the existence of 350 million guns in the homes of Americans who do not wish them confiscated.

    Essentially, the existence of guns is the protection against the unconstitutional confiscation of them.

    Smith thesis in action.

    • #12
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:35 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Olive Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:There is, of course, a large element within liberals of wanting to talk about the MEANS of a crime, as if we eliminated one of the more common means of homicide, the motive and opportunity would just suddenly vanish, just like public drunkenness vanished during Prohibition.

    Or, you know, not.

    SNIP

    And in a way, it is. Guns are the gateway drug to freedom, because once you realize you don’t require an armed representative of the state to keep you and your loved ones safe, you start to question what other functions of the state are unnecessary in your life.

    And that REALLY terrifies liberals.

    This.

    • #13
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:37 PM PST
    • Like
  14. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    John Walker:

    I fear this may be too generous a view of the motivation of those who would disarm citizens of a free republic. I prefer the formulation by L. Neil Smith in his pamphlet “Americans Have Obeyed Their Last Gun Law”:

    [T]he one and only reason politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen want to take your weapons away from you is so that they can do things to you that they couldn’t do if you still had your weapons.

    I wish you were just overstating the case, but in my heart of hearts I know you are one hundred percent right on here.

    • #14
    • December 10, 2015, at 12:40 PM PST
    • Like
  15. BrentB67 Inactive

    Kevin Creighton:There is, of course, a large element within liberals of wanting to talk about the MEANS of a crime, as if we eliminated one of the more common means of homicide, the motive and opportunity would just suddenly vanish, just like public drunkenness vanished during Prohibition.

    Or, you know, not.

    The other bugaboo within the minds of a statist (not just liberals) is that a citizenry that is even close to being on an equal firepower footing with the central power TERRIFIES them. That’s why most of them are perfectly fine with the ideas of guns=hunting, but guns=personal protection? Well, that’s insurrection, in their mind.

    And in a way, it is. Guns are the gateway drug to freedom, because once you realize you don’t require an armed representative of the state to keep you and your loved ones safe, you start to question what other functions of the state are unnecessary in your life.

    And that REALLY terrifies liberals.

    I think this is one reason politicians fear a real gov’t shutdown, not just a paid vacation for 15% of federal employees.

    If we ever realized how much stuff we tax and borrow to pay for that we would never miss if it stopped today the gig in Washington is up.

    • #15
    • December 10, 2015, at 1:04 PM PST
    • Like
  16. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    BrentB67: I think this is one reason politicians fear a real gov’t shutdown, not just a paid vacation for 15% of federal employees.

    There’s rumor we may have another one of those starting next week. I’m exempt, so I still have to come in and work whether I’m being paid for it or not. Those who get furloughed don’t work, but they get paid anyway when it’s all sorted out. I’m getting the short end of that stick.

    • #16
    • December 10, 2015, at 1:31 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Von Snrub Inactive

    At a beer bar in Manhattan a liberal said to me:

    “I think in a truly enlightened society we probably wouldn’t have beer”.

    It appears the impetus of their thinking stems from Star Trek: TNG vs the rough and tumble Star Trek.

    Nice people don’t have guns.

    • #17
    • December 10, 2015, at 2:36 PM PST
    • Like
  18. Michael Brehm Member

    I think they lately realized after their scramble to control all of societies “megaphones” (the media, education, etc.) that a megaphone really can’t protect you from a determined and armed person, and that our side has them literally outgunned. They realize that If push ever came to shove we could settle their nonsense definitively and that thought rattles them.

    So basically, I second what John Walker said; only more obtusely, and with more words ;-)

    • #18
    • December 10, 2015, at 3:10 PM PST
    • Like
  19. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Peter Robinson: Guns. They’re what liberals talk about so they don’t have to talk about evil.

    Interesting, but I have a counterexample and an alternate explanation.

    Counterexample: Liberals consider Republicans to be evil. For instance, Obama uses the same term “extremists” to describe both Jihadis and Republicans.

    My alternative explanation is abstraction. Just like academics have a strong tendency to abstract real world problems to make them amenable to the analysis tools at hand, the left has a strong tendency to abstract problems to make them amenable to the solutions at hand.

    ——

    Added…

    One reason that the left would avoid referencing evil would be that to do so would acknowledge a fundamental Judeo-Christian concept. ‘Can’t have that; no no no. So the left’s evil, mentioned above, would necessarily have to be an informal evil.

    • #19
    • December 10, 2015, at 3:48 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Hugh Member

    Naw,

    They just know that there will eventually be a revolution. They have the government on their side. they need to disarm the population so they can win that revolution.

    • #20
    • December 10, 2015, at 5:11 PM PST
    • Like
  21. HVTs Inactive

    Scott Wilmot:

    Peter Robinson: Guns. They’re what liberals talk about so they don’t have to talk about evil.

    Those without God have no reference for good and evil – it is all relative to them, so blaming the instrument of violence is all they have.

    I think that is the key insight . . . denying ‘evil’ is really just an outgrowth of denying God. What they then must deny is ‘good’, since it’s logically impossible to have ‘good’ but not its opposite. How would one know something is ‘good’ if one can’t define what its absence is? But this is where the cognitive dissonance sets in. Progressives’ worldview demands that there be a ‘good’ for which they strive, all the while shepherding along us poor know-nothings who foolishly resist their obviously superior plans for our lives. So they are forever imprisoned in this conundrum: they deny the existence of the one thing to which they simultaneously insist they have unique insight.

    • #21
    • December 10, 2015, at 6:13 PM PST
    • Like
  22. HVTs Inactive

    Kevin Creighton: Guns are the gateway drug to freedom

    As I’m buying a gun at a nearby gun show this weekend, this will be going through my mind. [:-)

    • #22
    • December 10, 2015, at 6:24 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Terry Mott Member

    It never ceases to amaze me how superstitious the ostensibly “reality based community” is, especially with regard to firearms.

    I once had a liberal friend tell me that she wouldn’t want a gun in her house because she was afraid she’d use it to shoot her husband during an argument. I asked if she’d ever tried to stab him with a kitchen knife during an argument, or been seriously tempted to poison his dinner with drain cleaner? Of course she said, “No.” Why then did she think the presence of an inanimate object might suddenly make her homicidal?

    She had no answer, but was undaunted in her belief.

    Guns are evil, you see. They have the power to make otherwise good people kill their loved ones in a fit of rage.

    • #23
    • December 10, 2015, at 6:31 PM PST
    • Like
  24. HVTs Inactive

    Mike Silver: Evil is a bit superstitious for me. It implies the devil is somehow an influential factor. … They see evil, but, in fact, you can’t see it. It’s an abstract pseudo-religious concept.

    Some concepts are jumbled up here. Evil is an action. There’s nothing abstract about it . . . if it remains abstract than evil has not occurred. The colloquial expression “evil thoughts” merely conveys that actions are preceded by conscious choices. No action, no evil—think about it all you want, but unless you actually do the horrible deed, you’ve not committed … well, what we call (accurately) an evil act.

    If you posit the existence of ‘good’, its opposite is a definitional necessity. That is what we call ‘evil.’ Sorry to sound pedantic, but we simply can’t have it both ways—if there’s no evil, then there’s no good. This is the trap Progressives fall into (noted elsewhere in this thread).

    As for the devil, ‘he’ too is a definitional necessity. If there is a conveyor of ‘good’, there must also be a conveyor of evil. The symmetry is necessary for logical consistency and human comprehension. We have two inseparable terms. The Holy Spirit is the conveyor of ‘good.’ His opposite number is the conveyor of evil—the devil. Of course, gender pronouns don’t actually apply—that’s a linguistic short hand for ease of human communication. We’re talking immaterial ‘beings’ or things—whatever that means is for another thread. [:-)

    • #24
    • December 10, 2015, at 7:11 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Israel P. Inactive

    Peter Robinson: Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them….

    That the liberals cannot deal with the notion of evil is correct. That they want to control guns is also correct.

    That doesn’t mean that the first is in any way a cause of the second. I, for one, do not think this “brilliant insight” is valid.

    • #25
    • December 10, 2015, at 10:03 PM PST
    • Like
  26. TKC1101 Inactive

    Liberals hate guns for a basic reason. When they grew up, the tv and movie heroes used guns and put themselves in danger. The elder generation used guns in war.

    Liberals tend to be cowards, wanting the state to protect them. Guns are a symbol of brave citizens who protect others at risk. They do not measure up and therefore, guns must be banned lest the world discover their fear.

    Dress it up with whatever you want, they are afraid of being found wanting.

    • #26
    • December 10, 2015, at 11:42 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Terry Mott Member

    TKC1101:Liberals tend to be cowards, wanting the state to protect them. Guns are a symbol of brave citizens who protect others at risk. They do not measure up and therefore, guns must be banned lest the world discover their fear.

    Good point. This is likely true for many of them, particularly the men. When I see one of these guys accusing gun owners of owning guns out of fear, or of compensating for inadequate sexual plumbing, I figure they’re just projecting.

    Of course, they must convince themselves they have more noble motives, lest they be confronted with their own cowardice, and so they latch on to whatever rationalizations are floating around left-wing “thought” at the time.

    • #27
    • December 11, 2015, at 12:31 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Guns represent independence. Banning guns means the individual is independent; therefore, state power is increased.

    That’s it. That’s all it is. Health care. Guns. Education. Housing (Fannie/Freddie/public housing). There is nothing without the State.

    Next, they’ll want to own the grocery stores and Old Navy, then the trifecta of Food/Clothing/Shelter control will be complete.

    • #28
    • December 11, 2015, at 3:54 AM PST
    • Like
  29. Pepe LePew Inactive

    Actually, I think most liberals see conservatives as “The Man”, or the oppressor, or the colonist, pick the name—-and that the criminal side is free of the bondage of ordinary everyday rules. They do cheer for what we call evil actors. They despise the ordinary, which is how they see the law-abiding. For example, doesn’t it seem that when Democrats are in office, rules regarding security, state secrets, etc are ignored? The wikileakers are in charge so freelancing leakers are not needed. Didn’t the Democrat governor of Missouri prevent the National Guard from stopping the Ferguson rioters? Most liberals would be happy if only outlaws have guns.

    • #29
    • December 11, 2015, at 4:04 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    HVTs: I think that is the key insight . . . denying ‘evil’ is really just an outgrowth of denying God. What they then must deny is ‘good’, since it’s logically impossible to have ‘good’ but not its opposite. How would one know something is ‘good’ if one can’t define what its absence is?

    Dennis Prager states that the dividing line in American politics is between those who hold themselves to a higher authority (God, the Constitution, Chuck Norris, whatever) and those who see themselves as the only authority.

    For someone in that second group, the concept of “evil” is completely unknown, because it postulates behaviour that is judged by someone other than themselves. Our current President said it best: Sin is when he doesn’t live up to HIS values, not God’s.

    • #30
    • December 11, 2015, at 4:15 AM PST
    • Like

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.