These Things I Believe

One of the more amusing comments about my recent “Baby Mama” rant (or at least amusing to me, anyway), came from over on Daily Kos, when someone there wondered whether if I was on their side, politically speaking. Because, I guess, if I’m not, then it’s not okay to enjoy the snark for its own sake. Or whatever.

Well, I don’t want my political proclivities to be in doubt, so let me be absolutely crystal clear where I stand:

I support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons.

I hope this explains everything.

Thank you for reading.

95 thoughts on “These Things I Believe

  1. That may be a problem here in California considering the push for hand gun bans. I guess it doesn’t have to be a gun that is concealed. It may not be a big problem here where same sex married have a need to carry concealed weapons but I think in some of your more conservative states it would probably be a good idea. Do you feel you have to be a same-sex married couple to be able to carry concealed weapons or should we all be allowed?

  2. I think you just made a couple political pundits’ heads explode trying to make sense of that.

  3. I support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons.

    Sounds like Glenn Reynolds; he’s on record saying he’d love to live in a country where happily married gay couples have closets full of assault weapons.

  4. Meh. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a gun, you can get a permit and keep it nicely stowed inside your house and/or log cabin in the woods for hunting purposes.

    Feeling the need to carry a gun sounds to me like paranoia. After all, you don’t wrap yourself with styrofoam each time you leave the house in case you get hit by a car, which is much more likely. Of course, I don’t live in the USA where everyone has a gun and the murder rate is trying to be like Liberia’s when it grows up.

    Same sex married couples? Fine with me, although I do fear the sudden deluge in marriages (already got a couple weddings planned for this summer). Gifts are expensive, just saying…

  5. Definition of an asshat: Someone who needs to know what”side” you’re on before he can decide if it’s okay to laugh at your jokes.

  6. I support the right of black weapons and chromed weapons to be together. Don’t be hatin’.

    (Not blued ones, that’s just kinky).

  7. OMG! Life is funny.

    I mean who would have thought I’d wake up one beautiful Saturday morning to find I was in the same political space as John Scalzi.

    I am feeling so good I don’t even want to detail all the reasons why Obama is not the candidate for people who support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons.

    Let me just savor the moment….

  8. John,

    You don’t make labeling easy. There doesn’t seem to be a convenient cubbyhole on the political wall for you either.

  9. I think you left something out. That should read: “I support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons on their way to the adoption agency.”

  10. For Sara Genge’s benefit, here’s Wikipedia’s list of murder rates by country:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_murder_rate

    Liberia’s not grown up enough yet to calculate a murder rate, but for comparison, in South Africa it is 40.5, and in the U.S. 5.7, per 100,000 population. The remaining nine countries among the 10 with the highest rates are all in Central and South America, which may have some relevance to the U.S. figures.

    The murder rate among persons with concealed-carry permits is statistically indistinguishable from zero, I believe.

  11. I finally understand where you got the idea for consciousness transfer in OMW.

    Heinlein gave it to you when he took over your body. ;)

    On the next episode of “Whatever”, John Scalzi describes the benefits of line marriages!

    For the record though, I completely agree with your statement and will push it a bit further in the spirit of the man who is living your head.

    An armed population (whether your heterosexual or gay), is an effective deterrent against aggressive government tyranny.

  12. The sad thing is, in most states where you can carry a concealed weapon, you might have to if you are a same-sex couple.

  13. I remember Penn Gillette saying in an interview somewhere saying something along the lines of in America you should be able to get on an airplaine with no photo ID and a gun.

    Personally, I agree with both Penn and yourself.

  14. An armed population (whether you’re heterosexual or gay), is an effective deterrent against aggressive government tyranny.

    “An armed society is a polite society”
    -RAH

  15. Thanks John,

    Twisty thinking and good coffee causes laughing in the morning.
    I’ve been around people that think same sex couples should stay in the closet and the guns should be out in plain sight. You promote the opposite. I’m still giggling.

    By the way, you’re on the “Thinking it through” side, right?

  16. I think Glenn Reynolds has said something similar, phrasing it “I support the right of happily married gay couples to have closets-full of assault weapons.” A position I completely agree with.

  17. That is libertarian, isn’t it? ;) You know, if it weren’t for the economic policies, I’d actually consider identifying as such. As is, there’s no way.

  18. Why has it always got to be a label, Mel? I’m pretty sure a lot of people have philosophical and moral systems which doesn’t have a formal name.

  19. Considering the exceptional number of Internet flame wars that originate upon or involve the Whatever, I’d have been astonished if Scalzi didn’t have a closet full of military-grade weaponry someplace.

  20. MarkHB

    Yep, the labels are the downside. For instance if I identified myself as a MAWG (middle aged white guy), which I am, preconceptions about who I am and what it means will start cropping up. Most of which will be slightly wrong, others seriously wrong, and yet others that will be totally beyond belief wrong. Some will be right, but the pigeonholing will prevail. At least at major media outlets it will, MAWG being a demographic and not a person as such.

    P.S. I don’t follow NASCAR

  21. Jeff S,

    Seems to me an awful lot of the wrong in the world today can be attributed either to the labelling of people, or people adopting labels to define themselves. Besides, it always seems lazy to me.

  22. MarkHB

    Exactly. We may be heading off topic here and maybe this would be a good whateveresque thread to discuss why labeling is so prevalent in our society. Is it lazy? Is it a predilection for categorizing? Is it an “us or them” attitude?

    I dunno, I’m just trying to get by without getting so cynical that I give up on others or myself.

  23. Alan Kellogg @37

    Ah, the moral judgments that have to be made in this life. It boggles the mind.

    gotta go, My wife has to work today, so my daughters and I are headed to the local branch of the Seattle Library for a grand day out. Books and time with the kids. Life is good!

  24. Mark, I know. I’d just like a label that fits when it comes to voting, because it would make the decision so much easier.

    (I’m not in the US, and our system is odd at best.)

  25. JM @32, didn’t you know? His wife maintains the weapons cache. She is also fully trained in the use of a baseball bat and sticks her tounge into spinning fans just for the hell of it.

  26. Hee hee. I’m on your page, Scalzi. (And I don’t mean that in the Congressional-intern fashion.) I completely support the right of married lesbian couples to carry concealed firearms on their way to the fertility clinic for artificial inseminations as well.

    Linda @ #19: It’s even comparitively lower than that chart indicates, as many nations do not include manslaughter in their homicide stats, but we do. To equalize the stats you have to combine the two–which brings South Africa in at an astounding 74.3 per 100K. And some nations just don’t report it much at all, regardless of incidence.

    Eastern Europe and Russia and Africa and South and Central America make us look downright peaceful. As does Mexico, where guns are essentially banned.

  27. I support the right of same sex married couples to conceal carry on their way to adopt a child, artificially inseminate, or whatever other way they choose to become parents while passing by the abortion clinic staffed by people who use chemical recreation in their personal free time while discussing the violent overthrow of the government, burning flags, drawing Mohammad with a bomb in his turban, or turning tricks for some extra cash.

    That wouldn’t fit nearly as well on a t-shirt, though.

  28. How could the intent of the original article be misunderstood? How can someone miss the point and still be able to operate a computer well enough to post a comment? Is there a legion of technically savvy people who travel from home to home, helping folks put dumb stuff online? Is that a viable business?

    And just so you know, I posted this all by myself.

  29. Oddly, so do I. And no, I’m not a stinkin’ libertarian. I love government interference in my life. I don’t think there’s a label that would fit my bizarre collection of beliefs.

  30. 46 Bob, in an era when creationists post that “evolution is just a theory” on their blogs… you have to ask? No worries. People are stone crazy.

  31. Will… I… Um… But… Wait…

    I’m still trying to figure out how all my beliefs just got wrapped up in one sentence…

    Wow…

    Scalzi is a god?

    I’ll put him up right next to Wil Wheaton in the Pantheon…

    Just don’t let it go to your head :-P

  32. Very interesting/amusing. It’s funny the extent to which people rely on situational cues to tell them who they should support/hate/what they should believe about a particular argument. Make those cues even the slightest bit blurry through some irony, and they get all confused.

    (Though fwiw I thought the original post was as clear as it was hilarious. As apparently did 99% of folks out there.)

  33. “An armed society is a polite society”
    -RAH

    Hence the well attested to decorum of the 19th century American west.

    Personally, I think handguns should be banned from manufacture and assault rifles should be issued to every citizen. Oh, and light artillery should be held communally.

    An orbital laser satellite in every pot!

  34. Labels and categories are a good first step toward understanding something. Unfortunately, most people use them as end points, not starting points.

  35. I’m sorely tempted to post seriously, but I’m too busy supporting the right for single-white-men-in-long-term-relationships_with-older-women to make cottage cheese sculpture on the pavement.

    It’s art. Feh.

  36. The guy on DailyKos actually had a point. We get these idiots, and they sound almost *exactly* like that rant, except there isn’t any snark… It is possible to tell the difference. The idiots can’t spell, and they have their “witty” phrases given to them from On High instead of making up their own. Still, it can be difficult if you don’t know the person who’s writing. (Whether having failed to read “The Android’s Dream” should be a criminal offense is a separate issue.)

  37. As a 44 yr old straight white male I have to say the following:

    Same sex married couples should be allowed to display their second amendment rights in public. They should not be forced to conceal their weapons when in public. They should be allowed to carry unconcealed as well as concealed.

    :D

    Dave

  38. Anthony VanWagner:

    When the Republicans field better major candidates, maybe I’ll consider them.

  39. A beautiful summarization, John. Thank you.

    (OT: I caught about forty seconds of your interview on All Things Considered … was there more, or did the bulk of the interview land on the cutting room floor? )-;

    ____
    I support the right to mind ones own business.
    And, although I hope that you feel similarly, that’s
    your business.

  40. ‘The murder rate among persons with concealed-carry permits is statistically indistinguishable from zero, I believe.’

    Good that you may the distinction about permits, because the murder rate of people involved in the drug trade and carrying concealed weapons approaches a very different number than zero.

    Even more interestingly, people in the drug trade who meet others in that trade not associated with their particular organization are not generally noted for being more polite than unarmed citizens meeting other unarmed citizens in daily life. Unless you consider fairly frequent exchanging of fire, along with the injury and death of non-involved individuals to be a form of politeness among street level drug dealers.

    I don’t, personally. I tend to think an armed society is one that has a much higher murder rate than an unarmed one. And only reality backs up my thoughts on that matter, which I realize isn’t considered that important by people who think handing out weapons is a way to reduce murder rates, not increase it.

  41. ‘An armed population (whether your heterosexual or gay), is an effective deterrent against aggressive government tyranny.’

    You really believe this, and are American?

    Luckily, all those charged with being ‘unlawful combatants’ were unarmed, and deserved all the torture they received at the hands of our elected government.

    The one that still says it won’t comply with the Supreme Court, because, really, only the executive is allowed to be the decider.

    You live in a nation that now has secret laws determining how you may travel by air, which has engaged in massive wiretapping against its own citizens, and which continues to engage in a war opposed by a seeming majority of its citizens.

    I guess this makes the U.S. a passive government tyranny. When it turns active, do let us know – because then we can a revolution.

    Or else just decide who cares, and live like good Americans, just as those gun owners have been doing as these changes have been going on, right before their eyes.

  42. I would feel a lot better about the tyranny-deterrence argument for widespread gun ownership (which I regard as an entirely separate issue from personal safety) if, as they’d been telling me all my life, the champions of the 2nd Amendment as a tool against tyranny had actually gone out to fight tyranny. Instead, as a group, gun owners didn’t just stand by as tyranny came to the US, they cheered on just about every scrap of it, rousing only when legislation specifically threatened any measure of oversight on gun sales. True-blue champions of liberty, who shouted all during the ’80s and ’90s about the impending collapse of liberty and how they’d be the ones to save us all when habeus corpus was repealed, when military courts displaced civilian ones, when local authorities were swept aside by federal cops, judges, and jailors…cheered it on. Or they just shut up about the whole thing. They did not noticeably stand up en masse to fight on their own behalf or anyone else’s.

    So I’m inclined to think that that particular justification is just so much bullshit. Or at least it depends on someone other than the N million self-professed armed protectors of liberty we’ve got now.

    (I take the crime argument more seriously because I personally know people, particularly disabled poor people who can neither use other means to protect themselves nor count on timely police intervention, who’ve successfully defended themselves by producing a gun in the face of an intruder. None has ever fired a shot at a criminal, though most are enthusiastic target shooters. But like I said, I think it’s an argument entirely separate from the other, and sometimes leading to very different policies.)

  43. “I support the right of same-sex married couples to carry concealed weapons.”

    Why Mr. Scalzi, it sounds like you might lean in the general direction of…Libertarian.

    “…Not that there’s anything *wrong* with that!”

    *grin*

  44. John:

    You seem to be on the side of not being a fatuous arsehole — despite all efforts to the contrary, there are a few of these fine people on both sides of the aisle.

  45. Now that I’ve completed a year of substitute teaching in a failed urban school district, especially at several schools which rated 1 on the 1 to 10 (10 being best) state rankings, I’m wondering: should public school teachers be allowed to carry handguns in the classroom? Or, when the students are already armed with handguns, should teachers carry assault rifles or bazookas?

    Yes, you in the front. That question will be in the final exam.

  46. I think the discussion went into gun control somewhere around here – ‘I support the right … to carry concealed weapons.’

    Yes, I know, it loses all of its humor written that way. Which is kind of the point about carrying concealed weapons. No one seriously interested in that debate, regardless of their politics, considers it a laughing matter. Because, after all, we are talking about using that concealed weapon to shoot another person, regardless if you are believer in situational ethics, a strong supporter of the right to carry and bear arms, or someone that believes murder is wrong, and that murder is the accurate term whenever one person kills another intentionally.

  47. Dave Robinson @ 60

    Same sex married couples should be allowed to display their second amendment rights in public. They should not be forced to conceal their weapons when in public. They should be allowed to carry unconcealed as well as concealed.

    Actually, more States allow and make it easier to “open carry” then allow “concealed carry”. Ten states have unrestricted open carry laws while only three have unrestricted concealed carry laws, for instance.

    not_scottbot @63

    I don’t, personally. I tend to think an armed society is one that has a much higher murder rate than an unarmed one. And only reality backs up my thoughts on that matter, which I realize isn’t considered that important by people who think handing out weapons is a way to reduce murder rates, not increase it.

    Check your “reality” because it conflicts with Reality. For instance, where I live in Vermont, anyone here can carry open or concealed without a license, so long as you don’t intend to commit a crime.

    Vermont also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country per capita.

    In fact a number of unbiased scientific studies going back to the 1970s have shown just the opposite of your contention: There is a positive correlation between Gun Control and the gun crime rate. The more gun control the higher the crime rate. Which makes sense if you were to think about it a little.

    not_scottbot @ 64

    You live in a nation that now has secret laws determining how you may travel by air, which has engaged in massive wiretapping against its own citizens, and which continues to engage in a war opposed by a seeming majority of its citizens.

    Care to name your country of origin so I may compare laws?

    I find that many of the non-US citizens making such claims often fail to name their own country. And I think it is because most countries have a much worse civil liberties record than ours. This includes Germany, Britain and France.

    Craig Ranapia @67

    John:

    You seem to be on the side of not being a fatuous arsehole — despite all efforts to the contrary, there are a few of these fine people on both sides of the aisle.

    Yeah, but unfortunately the set does not include Obama (or Hillary).

    Jonathan Vos Post @68

    I’m wondering: should public school teachers be allowed to carry handguns in the classroom?

    I think so, but what is your perspective?

    Or, when the students are already armed with handguns, should teachers carry assault rifles or bazookas?

    You’re being silly, right?

    not_scottbot @ 71

    Because, after all, we are talking about using that concealed weapon to shoot another person, regardless if you are believer in situational ethics, a strong supporter of the right to carry and bear arms, or someone that believes murder is wrong, and that murder is the accurate term whenever one person kills another intentionally.

    This is ridiculous.

    First off, a law abiding citicizen carrying a lawful handgun, open or concealed, is only justified in using lethal force when they believe that there is imminent threat to their life or that of another.

    Imminent threat.

    Self defense is not murder. Look it up.

  48. Every well-bred petty crook knows that the small, concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.

  49. Oh, thank gh0d a Firefly quote. It was getting awfully stuffy in here for a while!

    The whole “gun debate” thing strikes me as a bit silly, really. Then again, my significant other weighs about as much as a drinking straw and works in Birmingham (UK) all week, so of course I’d rather she were legally permitted to defend herself effectively.

  50. Concealable weapons are an interesting phenomenon, politically speaking. They are legal in NH, my home state, but I think the basis is that you don’t scare people with them and only retrieve them if the situation is dire – thus preserving your right to defend yourself while still preserving the option of everyone else to not feel intimidated and, uh, underpowered in your presence. In some places you’re only legal while carrying concealed; “brandishing” is punishable. In other places the concealment is equated with “you must be up to something”, and *that* is punishable. Go figure. Personally, I’ve always considered firearms to be something of a social version of the tourniquet. You haul out a tourniquet only when the situation is so bad that you must risk sacrificing a limb in order to save a life. (Remember that, old Girl and Boy Scouts.) You don’t grab the tourniquet for a paper cut or even for a scraped knee, do you? And yet there they are, still in your first aid kit, probably the least likely thing to be used – even less likely than that CPR mask – but you don’t throw them away. They are there, just in case.

    As for the rest of Progressivism (and categories themselves), I’ve never been quite sure where I stand. I’m an Army veteran and have been comfortable with firearms long before I joined up. I also believe that anyone who’s physically smaller or in any way less able to defend themselves than the typical predator should have some alternate means of self defense – and by this I don’t mean a telephone; that takes too long, people. I have some disabled folks I call friends, and I love them ALIVE.

    I am also in my 6th committed year of same-sex coupledness (I survived “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), but somehow don’t feel the need to have my entire life revolve around my being gay, or being a gun owner, or my preference for hamburgers over hot dogs, or much of anything else. I am disheartened by what I believe the Democratic party is doing and wish they understood that equal rights means equal rights for *everyone*, not almost everyone. Yep, that means gays, lesbians, transsexuals, the disabled, white people, black people… and even women.

    I suppose that makes me an independent.

  51. Open carry of handguns by university professors could prevent Virgina Tech-type events. Hence it is being debated by the professorial community. My modest proposal merely pushes the debate into the high school classroom and beyond. The bazooka reference was a reductio ad absurdum of the escalation counter-argument.

    I have had students tried for attempted murder. I have seen teachers leave these urban schools for jobs in prison, where they felt safer.

    I personally felt little risk in such schools. The gang leaders and I usually liked each other, because I genuinely respected them and recognized their leadership skills.

    I’m not interested in the gun debate as such, but do insist that there is a crisis in urban public schools in this country, so much so that radical ideas must be on the table.

  52. Scalzi, John McCain is such a candidate.

    I wonder if you will ever reconsider Obama, his famous Philadelphia race speech for instance: http://knight-monk.livejournal.com/214413.html

    If you have ever wondered how his proposed policies might drastically alter our military strategy, you might want to take a look at this: http://fraterseraphino.livejournal.com/192009.html

    Perhaps he is all that the media make him out to be: http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/

  53. Sgt Arnie,

    I do sometimes taste powdered tooth enamel over being the single demographic everyone can poke fun at. That is, semi-successful straight white guy. Then again, I think being in Blighty’s as much a part of that as anything else.

    One more advert with a smug Superwife smirking at Dimwit Daddy flooding the house with the washing machine, and I’m tellin’ ya – clocktower, sack-lunch and rifle time.

    *twitch, twitch*

    (For anyone prying souls, I’m not really advocating climbing a clocktower and plinking for advertising execs, but I might write a scorching letter to my MP)

  54. Re arming teachers: I have a cousin that taught in a rough urban school system and she found that photos went a long way in controling the kids. She would bring in pictures of where she grew up in WV and let the students count the rattlesnakes around her elementary school. Rattlers on the playground impressed kids. And after a while nobody gave her any grief. She seldom had to get to the pictures of our mutual kin with dead deer and long bows.

  55. ‘Self defense is not murder.’

    Of course not – and torture when practiced by Americans is enhanced interrogation, which just happens to be a word perfect translation of a German term, “verschärfte Vernehmung.” Look it up.

    If you prefer the word ‘killing,’ fine by me. The only point of having a concealed weapon is to be able to intentionally kill another person, when in the eyes of the person with the concealed weapon, the situation requires it. Otherwise, there is no point in carrying a concealed weapon.

    Hope that makes you happier.

    Because if you have a problem with killing, or even talking about concealed weapons without thinking of using it in terms of killing another person, you really shouldn’t be carrying a weapon.

    Whether you call it self-defence (a term often used by one of America’s largest groups of committed concealed weapon carriers, drug dealers), murder, or simply use kill, at least be aware of what you are talking about.

    Everything else is just Hollywood script writing.

    Oh, as for that imminent threat, here is a case, though not involving a concealed weapon. Sadly, I could no longer find a full transcript of the 911 call of a man who certainly understands that the point of having a weapon is to use it – http://jonathanturley.org/2007/12/23/chilling-tape-of-texas-homeowner-killing-two-men-in-texas-re-ignites-national-debate-over-the-castle-doctrine-and-make-my-day-laws/

    Just think of how many people like him could be walking around, making us all feel so much safer if he could just carry a concealed weapon. The full transcript is illuminating – this was a man who wasn’t going to listen to anyone tell him he couldn’t use his weapon – well, until the police arrived and told him with their own drawn weapons to drop the weapon he had just used on two burglars. Sadly for them, the two men he killed in the moment before police arrived were unarmed. If only they had been able to defend themselves against an imminent threat, they might still be alive today.

  56. ‘Check your “reality” because it conflicts with Reality. For instance, where I live in Vermont, anyone here can carry open or concealed without a license, so long as you don’t intend to commit a crime.’

    Well, I grew up in Virginia, and yes, the rifle in the pick-up is part of my experience, along with the handgun under the pick-up seat. As is listening to gunfire in DC – no, those weren’t firecrackers. But if I had to venture a guess based on knowing most of the people I grew up with (at least a third military officers), the number of handguns in a number of DC neighborhoods was higher than in the neighborhood I grew up in. It isn’t the laws per se that make a difference (after all, handguns are banned in DC), it is the number of weapons in the hands of people willing to use them that is the problem. Some people call this reality, without a big ‘R.’

    You should really check out how Canadian gun laws work – handguns are essentially forbidden, since their main purpose is to kill other people, and weapons such as rifles are at least as plentiful in Nova Scotia (where the houses are generally unlocked, in my experience hitchhiking through the province) as they ever were in Virginia. Maybe because the deer population seems roughly equivalent.

    To repeat – a concealed weapon has basically one function, which is to allow the person carrying it to use it to kill another person when the situation requires it, in the eyes of the person carrying the concealed weapon.

    And I’m American, though why people have a problem with this is beyond me.

    I really need to read through first.

  57. I’m in favor of doing away with all concealed permits. If you have a gun on you it should be worn openly. I’m also in favor of issuing permits to anyone who passes a safety course. Regulate guns like we do driving.

  58. JimFon #82 wrote:
    “I’m in favor of doing away with all concealed permits. If you have a gun on you it should be worn openly. I’m also in favor of issuing permits to anyone who passes a safety course. Regulate guns like we do driving.”

    YIKES! With all due respect – those ideas are utterly clueless.

    First of all, obtaining a drivers license is a *privilege* and not a right. Since you obviously don’t understand the difference, let me point out exactly why those are vastly different things. A right is not something granted to you by another, it is by definition inherently yours. A privilege is something granted or DENIED to you by the will or *whim* of another – in this case the government. Telling me that the right to bare arms (in other words the right to effective self defense) should be a ‘privilege’ controlled by the will or whim of the government pretty clearly indicates you have zero comprehension of the difference between being a citizen, and being a subject. I pity you.

    As to your ‘everyone should carry openly’ – this a great idea, if you’re in favor of making things easy for criminals when it comes to ‘victim selection’. Decades worth of data gathered by law enforcement agencies throughout the US and submitted yearly to the FBI shows that states with concealed carry laws routinely enjoy lower violent crime rates, even during times of economic hardship which typically drive up crime and violent crime rates. In states where conceal carry laws are enacted, typically less than 2% of the population obtains concealed carry licenses. Yet the other 98% of the population clearly benefits from this for the simple reason that criminals can’t easily discern who is and isn’t armed. After Florida passed its CCW law, the state had to stop requiring that car rental agencies display stickers on their vehicles as it was allowing the criminals there to target (unarmed) out of state and foreign tourists driving rented vehicles. Once the stickers were removed, the criminals no longer had easily identifiable targets and the crime rates among tourists declined.

  59. Let’s set aside the 2nd amendment for a second. I’m not saying you are wrong, but it is not pertinent to the argument I’m presenting.

    The problem with your Florida example is that it makes the assumption that only a few people will be carrying a weapon. I want to set up an environment where practically everyone will be carrying.

  60. Anthony @ #77

    “Scalzi, John McCain is such a candidate.”

    Actually, he’s not.
    I’m not going to debate on the concealed weapon part, because as a Rep. candidate, it’s very likely true.
    However, when he was on Ellen recently, he made it very clear that he took the party line that “marriage” only exists between a man and a woman and same sex couples would have “contracts.” (Sorry I’m not sure of the linking protocol here, but here’s the exchange:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7addd1-SY8)
    Perhaps he held a different position before recently?

  61. @JimF #84

    Point one – my comment on the percentage of people legally carrying concealed fires in states that allow it is *not* an “assumption”. It is based on the number of concealed carry permits issued by those states vs the total population of said states. It is neither an ‘assumption’ nor a ‘guess-timate’. The simple fact is that a very small minority of law abiding citizens choose to legally carry concealed weapons – and yet the overwhelming majority of citizens of those states who do not carry concealed weapons benefit from it as well.

    Point two – you wrote “I want to set up an environment where practically everyone will be carrying.” Which begs the question – to what end? It also proceeds from the provably false notion that ‘practically everyone’ is willing to accept that sort of responsibility and fulfill the obligations needed to do that safely on a daily. It should go without saying that obviously lots of intelligent people simply aren’t willing to expend the time and effort to do so.

    Lets look at a different and far more common occurance in the US – driving or riding in a motor vehicle. In the US, statistically 1 out of ever 3 people (as in 1/3rd of 350 MILLION people) can expect to be in a serious auto accident in their lifetime. Yet of all the numerous otherwise intelligent and rational people I’ve asked over the years – the only folks who have said “Yeah, I’ve got an emergency Medical Kit in my vehicle.” are people who generally work in medical field, law enforcement, or are professional truck drivers. (In other words, the folks who routinely see the effects of auto accidents first hand.) Carrying a medical kit in the trunk of your vehicle doesn’t come with any sort of emotional, social, or political baggage like firearms do, and yet the vast majority of folks here can’t even summon the wherewithall to do that. We’re talking about a life threating issue with an even higher occurance level than crime. And yet the majority of drivers on US roads can’t be bothered with this simple, inexpensive, and potentially life saving effort. And I’d be willing to bet the same is true in other industrialized nations where automobiles are common.

    While creating “…an environment where practically everyone will be carrying.” sounds great – it ignores the reality of human kind. I’m all for “an evironment where responsible law abidding citizens have the right to CHOOSE whether or not they carry concealed firearms for protection”. This allows those who can’t or simply won’t do so to opt out.

    Now if you want to talk about mandatory gun ownership – you might want to check out Kennesaw, Georgia on the outskirts of Atlanta, and at one time ridden with crime thanks to criminals from Atlanta showing up for ‘easy pickings’.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288

  62. Anne C @85

    However, when he was on Ellen recently, he made it very clear that he took the party line that “marriage” only exists between a man and a woman and same sex couples would have “contracts.”

    Obama is also against Gay Marriage

    Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    So on the question of Married Gay Couples carrying concealed weapons we find that Obama and McCain are equal on the Gay Marriage thing, but Obama wants to ban concealed Carry.

    And in fact, guns in general except for non-semiautomatic rifles (you know, flintlocks).

    So clearly McCain wins.

  63. Brad @86

    That’s an interesting article and you make a good point with the first aid kits. *shrug* I’m very much a libertarian with regards to personal actions. As long as it effects only you the government should not be messing with it. Make personal weapons cheap, easy to get, and have training readily available. Anything beyond that is up to the individual.

  64. Obama on Same sex marriage, the unabridged version:

    Obama, asked if the same-sex marriage ruling in CA causes him to re-think his pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act: “No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I’m a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we’re involved in a national conversation about this issue. You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should … be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.”Obama, asked if the same-sex marriage ruling in CA causes him to re-think his pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act: “No. I still think that these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I’m a strong supporter of civil unions. And I think that, you know, we’re involved in a national conversation about this issue. You know, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should … be able to get the same federal rights and benefits that are conferred onto married couples.”

    link

    Obama’s only objection is the formality of the name, and he’s clearly not caring what California or Massachusetts does. McCain is opposed to the whole concept of the Civil Union.

  65. Josh Jasper

    McCain is opposed to the whole concept of the Civil Union.

    Is that so? Then to what is he referring here?

    McCain said, “I think that people should be able to enter into legal agreements and it’s something that we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas and decisions that have to be made. I just believe in the unique status of marriage between a man and a woman and I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.”

  66. He’s referring to contracts one can pay a lawyer to create like a will or a trust, and private decisions by insurance companies. His voting record is clear – he opposed civil unions.

    John McCain is no friend to the GLBT community. He never has been.

  67. Feeling the need to carry a gun sounds to me like paranoia. After all, you don’t wrap yourself with styrofoam each time you leave the house in case you get hit by a car . . .

    Okay, now, when you say “you”, as in “you don’t wrap yourself with styrofoam . . .”, who exactly are you speaking of? Really, this sounds too much like the joke that ends “well, buddy, I sure hope you’ve got four of them in your pants.”

    Side note: whenever you choose to make negative pronouncements about practices or beliefs or ideas, keep your eye out for phrases such as “sounds to me like”, or “seem to be”, or “well, I don’t like doing that . . .” Such phrases appearing in your writings provide a clear advance indication that your audience is going to be less than overwhelmed with your authority.

  68. “He’s referring to contracts one can pay a lawyer to create like a will or a trust . . .

    Each of which enjoys a special place of definition and enforcement in America today, just like marriage. I mean, what do you think a civil union IS?

  69. Each of which enjoys a special place of definition and enforcement in America today, just like marriage. I mean, what do you think a civil union IS?

    Less endowed with rights than heterosexual marriage. Separate and Unequal. A lousy substitute…

    Take your pick. McCain suggests that, instead of a group of rights organized by the government, and protected on a federal level, same sex couples should have to see a lawyer at their own expense, get contracts that can and have been contested, and just never be allowed many of the rights that no contract can give.

    He’s opposed to civil unions.

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