Illogical Arguments That Destroy Your Rights

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As we consider how America should respond to recent gun violence and other issues in our country, those eager to take away constitutional  freedoms from millions of law-abiding citizens to thwart future bad acts of a few, often resort to tried and true arguments with little concern for the fact they are completely illogical.

For instance, if you’ve been watching the gun debate recently, one critic of gun rights, CNN’s Piers Morgan, routinely states that no one can make an argument why people need guns such as the Armalite AR-15 platform (contrary to belief, the A is for Armalite, not assault). This statement would only be relevant or logical in a country where freedom is not the default.

I cannot stress enough that in a free country, the starting point is that everything should be legal. From there, we make a case with a well-reasoned argument where We the people agree that something should be made illegal because one person’s right to do it infringes on the rights of another.Piers Morgan

So as we move into the well-reasoned arguments for criminalization and regulation, let me outline one that is commonly improperly formulated; the cause-and-effect argument.

Starting with the aforementioned gun debate, some argue that gun owners are dangerous people. However, a proper analysis of the numbers clearly refutes this. There are approximately 80 million adults in America who own guns and nearly 11,000 criminal gun deaths. That means that 0.01% of gun owners kill, leaving 99.99% who don’t. So by no proper mathematical analysis can you argue gun owners are unsafe when for every one killer among us gun owners, there are 9,999 who are not.Armalite AR-15

Another similar false cause-and-effect argument is that marijuana is a gateway drug. People assert that by virtue of using marijuana, the drug triggers the user to gravitate to harder and more dangerous drugs. The first issue with this argument is that studies show alcohol is usually the drug that addicts of harder drugs start with. Once bored with that, they may gravitate to marijuana, then harder drugs after that. But because alcohol is legal, it is often removed from the dialogue.

But the reason alcohol and marijuana are the drugs people usually start with in the first place is by virtue of their abundance in the marketplace. They are simply the ones most readily available, and therefore, the ones people most often initially experiment with.

But I want to focus on these cause-and-effect arguments as they are completely backwards. In order to argue cause-and-effect, we first start with the cause (in this case marijuana users) and then see how many effects (harder drug use) result. But, the opposite is occurring.

Let me give an example to prove my point. We know that all Boston Celtics are basketball players, but not all basketball players are Boston Celtics—thousands in fact are not, nor ever will be. So those making the marijuana gateway drug cause-and-effect argument falsely are arguing that by virtue of being a basketball player, you are likely to become a Boston Celtic. While many kids with a basketball in their hands might love this notion, there are almost infinitely more with broken dreams and a regular job.Boston Celtics Logo

While I have never used marijuana, I happen to know many habitual users. They’re in the millions across America, so I’m sure you do to.

Like me, I would hope you’ve noticed that most of them have used it for years without ever graduating to cocaine, meth, or anything else. So I’d like to think you knew all along this argument was wrong, but simply hard a hard time refuting the math people gave you because you weren’t aware of their flawed methodology. Now that you realize it’s a false premise, you’ll be better prepared to refute such nonsense in the future.

As a poker player, I’ve seen how such arguments destroy liberty and ruin lives. Look no further than online poker’s infamous Black Friday. Thousands of American rounders were literally forced into unemployment as they were denied their rights to earn an honest living playing a game of skill based on the cause-and-effect argument that gambling ruins lives and therefore should be regulated or outlawed completely.

First let me point out that poker isn’t gambling—it is a game of skill. It has even been ruled as such by the federal government since 1986. So we have people who falsely consider poker to be a game of random chance, who then make it illegal using another false argument of the backwards cause-and-affect. 

Millions of people visit casinos every year without losing their house, car, or child’s college fund, yet because every gambling addict who did lose everything started in a casino, the significantly greater portion who can responsibly lay a few bucks on the line get punished. We can no longer enjoy the one form of entertainment that might actually pay us back.Poker's Pocket Rockets

So next time someone uses the false cause-and-effect argument to take away your rights, I hope this will help you to be better prepared to take them down by destroying their poor methodology.  More importantly, the next time someone says to you, “Why do you need that gun, drug, etc.?,” you can respond by saying something like this:

This is a free country, I don’t have to make such an argument—everything should be legal here. The onus is on you to make a case for making it illegal by explaining how me enjoying that freedom infringes upon your rights. If you cannot make such a case, we’re done here.

If we’re lucky, they will either have an epiphany and embrace freedom like you and I, or they will remain swathed in a blanket of ignorance and intolerance as they wrongly argue to oppress you by using false arguments and logical fallacies under the guise that it’s “For your own good.”

Advertisements

Involuntary Collusion: A Regulation Even This Libertarian Can Embrace

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Libertarians and capitalists rightfully despise regulations in a free market since it erodes, thwarts, and deincentivizes innovation. But one thing that has always caused me to wrestle with my non-regulation-is-king beliefs is the concept of regulating involuntary collusion. I’m coining the phrase mind you, so don’t bother Googling it.

Companies are supposed to compete with one another by either lowering prices, increasing quality, or both—each one taking a unique approach to the same end. If they are free to innovate, the consumers win as companies go to war on the gridiron of commerce.  Anyone who has ever ran faster than the person next to them, solely because that person was running faster than them, knows that competition yields greater performance.Foot Race

Now let’s talk about collusion. It is illegal for business heads to get together and agree to cooperate in some way as to benefit themselves at the expense of the consumer or worker.

For instance, NFL team owners could not collectively decide that they are paying the players too much and all agree to cut payroll across the board. Nor could they decide they don’t consider game jersey profits high enough and agree to bump the price 10% across the board. I’m not going to go into the  history of collusion, but suffice it to say that it violates the concept of free market capitalism because it’s the opposite of competition; it’s cooperation.

The astute of you will notice I used the word collectively that last paragraph. So you might ask why it’s OK for employees to collectively bargain? It is certainly legalized collusion after all. Short answer—I have no %$#&ing idea why it’s allowed. I covered this in my article Why is this even legal? so I won’t go into it here.Rally Held To Stand In Solidarity With Union Workers Across The Country

Now that we understand what a free market is supposed to be and what collusion is, what do I mean by involuntary collusion?

Free market capitalism allows for consumers who don’t like what one company is doing, to find another that doesn’t engage in that practice. However, in industry there exists the term Industry Standards which threaten this principle. Sometimes it just refers to a best practice where years of competing have brought all companies to a similar ultimate conclusion. For instance: tool companies like Mac or Snap-On who give a lifetime warranty on their tools because their competition is doing it and they need to keep up. Since you can’t “one-up” a lifetime warranty, it just becomes an industry standard best practice. But other times it involves companies doing something that the public despises, yet because all companies do it, consumers can no longer avoid the practice.

A perfect example of government regulating this is the National Do-Not-Call List. Companies found that automated telemarketing was cheap, easy, and effective. Even though consumers hated these robo-calls, many corporations adopted this practice leaving consumers without the ability to avoid it. So we the people had to look to government to make them stop.

In these situations, companies all do the same thing, just as they would be if they were colluding against the consumer, but they never agreed to it—it just happened involuntarily through corporate evolution.

Let me give a non-government example of how such legislation can be effective and important. In auto racing, weight is the enemy; therefore nothing is needlessly added to a car that would add weight, unless that thing generates more speed that overcomes the loss of speed from the added weight.

However, safety equipment doesn’t make a car go faster, the weight is a hindrance; it exists solely to protect the driver in an accident. So race series directors often must enact regulations that require such safety equipment be on the cars of all participants. Race teams are paid to win, so if you don’t force them all to comply, the ones who do, always lose to the teams who throw caution to the wind. The only way to get one team to comply and make life safe for their drivers is to require they all comply—leaving no one with a competitive advantage. Think of it as the governing body of racing protecting the rights to life of the driver.070812_dd_ww_IMG_6162[1]

So in the same vein, I do believe that because our country is based on free market capitalist principles, it’s important our government ensure the market is indeed free. It isn’t enough to know there are multiple companies in the marketplace—we must insure they are indeed competing with each other.

With this in mind, I feel it important to say that even as a libertarian and free market guy, I am 100% behind the new laws in six states prohibiting employers from requiring employees to disclose personal online passwords and data. Companies are hiring you for your ability to work. Whether you like to bathe in peanut oil and play with Barbies while watching Big Bang Theory reruns on your own time has no consequence on your ability to enter data into a computer. What you do in the privacy of your own home or amongst friends is none of their business.

My right to privacy is directly linked to my right to pursue happiness, something our Declaration of Independence says I was born with, and my government has a duty to protect.

Businesses are supposed to succeed by appealing to consumers, not by collectively taking advantage of them. We’ve seen what happens when we allow companies to collude by watching business tycoons past. It was anything but good for the people, the workers, or the economy—it becomes, in effect, a conglomerate monopoly.

Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller

So while I want us to deregulate on a massive scale that would cause Republicans and Democrats alike to shiver from the cold harshness of liberty, I do think lawmakers would be well served to find instances where companies have adopted an industry standard where by which businesses are no longer competing; unwittingly or not, against the consumer, and then quash it accordingly. The strength of our economy and our liberty depend on it.

Hollywood and Socialism: The ultimate in hypocrisy and ignorance.

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Socialism: an interesting concept. Depending on who you are, your reasons for supporting it may vary.

Let’s start first with the basic concept which is inherently altruistic in nature. The idea that we should all pull together in an ultimate show of social equality—no winners or losers.

The people who have never lived under socialist rule who describe themselves as socialists, or their less extreme quasi-socialists who simply believe equal opportunity should be synonymous with equal result (We’ll call them quocialists), see socialism as a means of helping the less fortunate.

hollywood-sign[1]I find Hollywood ironic—they are composed of America’s most outspoken quocialists. However, think back to every movie where the plot line was a government that tried to create a socialistic utopia. 1984 and others all had one common thread: utopias suck and a government that tries to create one is inherently evil. There are hundreds of movies based on this concept, yet the hero is always someone yearning for freedom who leads a rebellion to fight the power. Government is never the benevolent protagonist.

So are Hollywood writers smart, yet actors blissfully ignorant?

Maybe.

If so, actors are either dupes or hypocrites. They take roles that reflect that big government is evil, while promoting it as the answer to everyone’s problems off the silver screen.

So then why do quocialists continue to pound the drum of more government? If you’re ignorant of history, and want to be loved by everyone, you fight to take away the bread crumbs from the rich and assume that will be enough to feed the poor.

The problem with this, is that they’re not taking just the bread crumbs—that’s never enough. They’re trying to take three or more courses of a five-course meal. Plus, they aren’t doing all of the giving, they’re forcing others to do it.

The reason I say they are ignorant is because we have many real-world examples of socialism to learn from. I cannot recall one socialist nation whose people don’t live in squalor. Hollywood writes these movies—even they can’t make it seem awesome. History shows it leads to deplorable economies; yet these folks, mired in ideology so thick they can no longer see through it, promote something that anyone with a modicum of knowledge has seen, never works to the benefit of the people.

DictatorSo let’s throw out full-blown socialism for the half-hearted version our president routinely proposes; you know, the one where he says he loves business, but conveniently leaves out the “so I can tax them to hell and back” part.

Apparently these folks again are ignoring that no government has ever taxed itself into prosperity, and conversely ignoring that as a country embraces free markets and liberty, it thrives.

Look at Hong Kong vs China as a prime example. As the people of mainland China jump to their death from the Foxconn plant because conditions are so bad; a mere boat ride away, Hong Kong is a massively growing economy where people thrive and prosper making nearly 2-1/2 times as much per capita. Similar culture and people, just communism vs capitalism.

Suicide Prevention Nets at Foxconn factory
Suicide Prevention Nets at Foxconn factory

Compare the number of people fleeing socialist nations for America versus the number of Americans fleeing to go live in a socialist nation—then try to make your best case for socialism.

The problem is that Hollywood literally lives in a land of make-believe; where if something can be written, through imagination and companies like Industrial Light & Magic, it can be turned into an on-screen reality. When you live with a mantra that anything is possible, you start to believe that anything really is possible; such as making sure no one is left behind. The intentions are good. But much like science-fiction, it’s always lacking in real science that actually works.

Now to look at other paradigms, let’s talk about the people who live under socialist rule.

  • We know that people living under socialism often are dying to get out. Why do we know this? Because they are literally dying to get out. If you’ve not yet been disarmed, you become a rebel, fight the power, and likely die a martyr. If you have been disarmed; cutting and running is the soup du jour, with dreams of asylum yet nightmares of a watery grave on your mind.
  • Some are exactly what socialist rulers hope they would be: loyal servants of the state. They’ve been ingrained with the notion that serving your country is the most noble cause imaginable just as we’ve been ingrained that freedom is an unalienable right. If every person were born without a sense of individualism and a desire to want more, this socialism fad might just work. Too bad that’s not in the nature of mankind. Even the most loyal patriot drives 60 mph in a 55 mph zone. We just want to be free!
  • Many stay and take advantage of the hard work of others. They are beaten down, convinced there’s no reason for hard work (in their world there isn’t), and just do what they can to stay off the radar while working as little as possible and living off of the state.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in being any one of those people.

The last group I want to emphasize the most: socialist leaders. From Adolf HitlerKim Jong Il, Fidel Castro et al., they all have one thing in common. They expect everyone to pull their “fair share” and work together as a unified state. Name me one socialist leader however who doesn’t own several mansions, diamond encrusted Mercedes Benzes, and servants to wash85204d1147826246-diamond-encrusted-mercedes-benz-sl-diamond-2[1] their family jewels—yes, those jewels.

I’ll believe real-world socialism isn’t evil hypocrisy when I see one socialist leader that lives on the same income as the people they govern.

The quocialists of America continue to assert that income disparity here in America is bad, but in China you have a couple of billionaires thanks to government corruption, then the other 99% who are lucky if they’re making a fifth of what we do here. Maybe American quocialists ought to take notice that while the real socialists build the iPhone and iPad, it’s those of us who live under capitalism that can actually afford to own one.

There are thousands of people in the United States that make far more money than the presidential salary our current POTUS rakes in. but that would rarely be tolerated under socialist rule?

So for Americans, socialism in any form is just a means for them to convince you they want what is best for you. Some are altruistic, but most are doing it to feel good about themselves. For people under socialism, they’re miserable, live in conditions I wouldn’t subject my dog to, or they die on a boat or a revolution dying to escape. Can you cite examples of anyone dying while trying to flee America or any other free country?

For socialist leaders, they have no intention of giving the people anything other than what is needed to convince the people not to revolt—not a penny more. To them, the food provided is merely fuel for the workhorses of their economy. Promises of primary needs are merely done for self-preservation of the socialist ruler, not the benefit of the people. Like Hollywood, they want to be worshiped and loved, but just can’t be bothered to do any actual work to earn that worship and love.

So are socialist leaders evil? All the socialist leaders I know of are.

Are Hollywood quocialists evil? No, They’re just altruistic, but lazy and ignorant.

Are people who live under socialist rule evil? No, they’re victims.

Taxes should be a fee for services rendered, not a penalty for success.

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

With the hullabaloo about the fiscal cliff and April 15th on its way, it’s time again to think about taxes. I know you would rather slide down a fire pole covered in razor blades and battery acid than think about Uncle Sam’s yearly dues, but we can be the instruments of change. If liberty minded people can inject a little logic and reason into the somewhat socialist-minded which currently dominate our media, Senate, White House, and any number of voting blocks, change can happen.Uncle Sam

So with that in mind, let’s talk first about what taxes are for. The government is an extension of the people here in the United States. Everything our government does should be a service that you and I have elected them to do at our behest. We pay these folks for services rendered through taxes levied.

In the private sector, when we hire someone to do a job, they name their price, and we pay it. However, let me provide an example of what they don’t say:

How much do you make? Oh, you make $200,000 a year? Well in that case, I’m going to charge you $10,000. I know I only charged your neighbor $5,000, but he only makes $100,000 a year. I’m sure you understand.

I know that exchange sounded ridiculous because it is. But imagine the next person you hire to perform a service for you asking how much you make before giving their estimate. If you tell me that your response would be remotely different from, “none of your damn business” I’m going to call you a liar. Yet this is exactly how our tax system works, and we tolerate it year after year.

We the people must demand a complete overhaul to our tax system based on consumption, not income. Income taxes, property taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes should be constitutionally abolished via an amendment, and all taxes should be attained by only two methods. A fee for services, such as when we buy license plates, or a consumption tax on commerce. Since the government provides infrastructure and protection so that we can conduct such commerce; that’s a more fair method.

The reasons this makes far more logical sense are numerous, so I’ll do my best to enumerate a few:

First, an income tax is a penalty for success, whereas a consumption tax is a fee for services rendered. In America, the land of opportunity, we shouldn’t be penalizing people for being successful, we should be encouraging it.

The Fair Tax is probably the most comprehensive proposal along these lines, but I haven’t read it all completely and am not necessarily endorsing it; however, it certainly seems better than the monstrosity we have now.fairtax[1]

Those who feel it would raise taxes on the poor may not be aware that they proposed a prebate to cover the taxes that would be applied to the basic needs of every American, so that in effect, your first $3,500 in taxes for instance (A made up number for purposes of this debate) would be paid for you up front. If you decide to spend more, those taxes are your responsibility.

I think we’ve all seen examples of wasteful spending from those who shouldn’t be doing so. Have you seen someone who has $2,000 wheels and a $5,000 stereo in a $500 car, yet never seems to have a money for the things that matter. I had one such example ask me for $5 at a convenience store.Random Hoopty

Second, those with money would still pay a higher tax rate because they buy more goods and conduct more commerce. It would effectively be a progressive system as it is currently; except now, there wouldn’t be write-offs and loopholes to take advantage of. Businesses would pay taxes on the products they buy, as well as consumers. Everyone benefiting from government services, is now contributing their equitable share, without anyone getting taxed twice.

Third, The IRS is massively reduced as a result, no more stress of getting your taxes done before tax day and what you might owe, and no more worrying about when and how you have to pay taxes.

For instance, if a family member helps you financially by giving you money, you won’t have to worry about reporting that. If someone is gifted or wins an expensive item like a car or a home makeover, they no longer have to sell that car or home just to pay the income taxes on it. Sadly, these beneficiaries of goodwill and fortune often end up losing all they have won or been given because of the income taxes owed. I’d like to think that reasonable people find this appalling.

Plue, there are many instances were you are expected to know what and when to pay that many are either ignorant of, or purposefully don’t report, in order to cheat.

Fourth, Imagine getting all of your paycheck instead of the 1/2 – 2/3 you get now, and then you decide what you’ll pay in taxes by how much you spend on goods and services out of that paycheck. If it was a bad week, you only buy the essentials, and thus you pay no tax, presuming we wouldn’t levy food and water.

The last point I’d like to make, which could be the most important of all—no more freeloaders. We all know that there are citizens and non-citizens who often work under the table or are involved in criminal enterprise and thus pay no income taxes. All of a sudden, the people gaming the system and not putting their two cents in (literally), will be compelled to pay their share for the services the government provides them too.

Sadly Republicans and Democrats alike seem to dismiss such a system. Libertarianism is catching on in the United States though, and this was part of their platform. Sharing this story and information about the Fair Tax on Twitter, Facebook, et al., will hopefully help to get a consumption and fee based tax system to take hold in the marketplace of ideas; furthering the national discussion. This should not be a partisan issue since the rate and prebates can be set at whatever number the current legislature decides.

However, it is a radical change; thus, a tough row to hoe. But if we passed the radical overhaul to our healthcare system, known as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), we can certainly achieve change as logical as a consumption tax if clear thinking Americans make some noise.

No one is worth that amount of money! What Dictates Someone’s Payscale?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

This last election showed that painting those with money out to be people who have unfairly attained wealth at the expense of the masses is sadly resonating here in America. We are supposed to be the land of opportunity; where one can achieve as much success as their imagination, hard work, and risk can take them. Yet once they do, the quasi-socialists of today attack instead of praise, and the masses harbor jealousy and animosity instead of admiration and respect.

One of the arguments that irritates me like sand encrusted toilet paper is the no-one-should-be-worth-that-much argument. Fairytales like Robin Hood and almost every movie with a happy ending have ingrained us to believe that just by being altruistic, hard-working, and smart, you should achieve fame and fortune.Robin Hood

The reality is that Robin Hood would have likely been shot, and rightly so—he’s a thief. Hard work doesn’t come close to guaranteeing you a better living—it most often just leads to more hard work. Altruism is hardly a harbinger of hope for wealth neither. Do you know of any active duty soldiers listed on the Forbes 500 list? Neither do I.

So do the socialists have a point? Let’s apply some logic with a side of skepticism.

Are people who are rich stealing from the poor? I mentioned I don’t know of any soldiers on the Forbes 500, but I don’t know of any career criminals on there either. Contrary to the Hollywood portrayal of high-profile con artists, et al., the fact is that most thieves are broke and about two steps away from a lengthy prison stay. So they certainly don’t make up the 2%.

Are they taking advantage of the poor by paying them less than what they are worth? Anyone with a modicum of understanding in regards to economic history knows that companies competing in a free market yield a better product at a lower cost. But what people so often fail to realize is that employees are competing in a free market too. If a person goes to work somewhere, and the company doesn’t pay well, most go work somewhere else. Companies who have a reputation for thrift eventually only get the dregs of the working world applying, and then it’s not long before they go out of business at the mercy of companies who opted to treat their employees better.

Business moguls of a past era such as Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller were not competing in a free market; they were collusionists and monopolists. But we Americans created laws to protect the consumer from capitalists who endeavored to destroy the free market over a century ago by passing anti-trust laws and prohibiting collusion. There’s likely no one left that has been taken advantage of in such a way.

Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller

So then why are NFL players paid millions while soldiers are paid modest 5-figure salaries? I’ve struggled with this one for a while, because I don’t feel good about it either. As I racked my brain for answers, it dawned on me that the number one factor in what people get paid is irreplaceability. If we’re talking about entrepreneurs; add risk to that.

I know the anti-capitalists on the left hate corporate bosses, but the fact is that every one who has ever dreamed, has dreamed of owning their own business or being independently wealthy. So let’s logically draw the scenario out. If you started your own company, and within that company you had a need for a job that was fairly rudimentary, would you pay someone a fortune to do it? Of course not. You would hire a person at a low wage, because no matter how dirty, altruistic, or physically demanding that job might be, if you are 99% sure you could train a gorilla to do it, why would you pay anyone more? If the person doing it leaves, it’s pretty easy to plug a new person into the mix and have them trained and running in little time.

However, if your new business involved a biological research lab which required someone with a background in the study of the molecular structure of cancerous cells and how they react to radiation exposure, you can’t just grab a homeless guy off the street and hope for the best, can you?

So when we look at most everyone who is employed, the more money they make is in direct correlation with how easy it would be to replace them. As much as it pains me to say this, many have the abilities required to be a school teacher, police officer, or a soldier. It is not however easy to find a guy who can jump three feet, catch a football in one hand, while being tackled, and yet somehow have the wherewithal to reach out his toes to get both feet in-bounds. It aches my heart to know an athlete makes more than a soldier, but my logic generally holds true.Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks

When it comes to entrepreneurs, I mentioned the addition of risk. Any gambler or stock investor will tell you that if you want to make a million dollars, you have to start with 10 million. Those who have only seen movies about gamblers and investors have been duped by Hollywood into believing that you can put up a dollar and win millions. You might think the lottery disproves this, but the fact is that for every one million won, there are several million lost. Entrepreneurs make money by risking almost all that they have on an idea that they think you the consumer will consider irreplaceable, such as your smart phone that you can’t live without. Therefore, irreplaceability + risk = success.

So the bottom line is that hard work is only a good way to not get fired, altruism is a good way to be loved by many, and intellect is merely a good foundation for success, but only if applied in such a way as to make you more irreplaceable.

If you want to make a fortune, you must find a way to become one in a million. If you really want to make a fortune, put your bank account, home, and first-born at risk and invent something irreplaceable. But all that being said, virtue is its own reward, and as long as you are happy in your career, and you feel good about who you are as a person, try being happy instead of jealous for those who have attained more than you. As long as they did you no harm, there’s no logical reason to advocate taking what they’ve achieved away from them or hating them for achieving a success greater than your own. The American dream isn’t just for you—stop being selfish. If you must have an emotion about them, try being motivated to be like them instead of tearing them down.

Gun Owners and Women Drivers Must Be Stopped!

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Sadly, anti-gun nuts have reached a new low in America. They’ve decided that your personal information as a gun owner should be made public, regardless of the risk it imposes upon you. Apparently, exercising your rights under the Constitution is now akin to being a sexual predator to these zealots since they feel in both cases, the public should be aware of who you are and where you live.

Blog1The Journal News in New York, in order to further its hateful agenda, decided to publish the locations of all registered handgun permit holders in the Westchester and Rockland counties without disclosing any logical reason for doing so. So it merely appears motivated by a desire to put those who applied and were granted a permit for a handgun at undue risk as if they are by default, a danger to society.

I certainly love the US Constitution, and am quite in favor of freedom of the press, but this clear invasion of people’s privacy has to be a sign for Americans to stand up against pervasive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which allowed this data to be disclosed in the first place.

If attaining a permit is considered a matter of public record, then where does it end? If I’m driving down the highway and I see a beautiful woman I’d like to meet; I can’t take down her license plate and file a FOIA request to get access to her address and phone number in order to more easily stalk her. That would be a huge violation of privacy, and no  one outside the rapist community would support that. The government has her information since she applied for a drivers permit, but that shouldn’t mean I have the right to know that data.

So let me give a similar analogy to what has transpired here. Imagine I decided to request drivers license information for all females in the district and published their names and addresses. Maybe I think female drivers are dangerous just like this newspaper thinks gun owners are dangerous.  Therefore, I want you to be protected from these dangerous women drivers.

Both cases involve people asking for information about lawful citizens who have done nothing wrong, but instead merely applied for a driving permit or a gun permit. Since there are a greater percentage of deaths by car in relation to car owners as there are deaths by gun rational to gun owners; clearly we need to know who has a license to drive, right?

blog1Obviously I’m being facetious, stats show women are generally very good drivers, just as stats show gun owners are rarely violent. But my argument against women drivers is EXACTLY the same as the anti-gun zealots arguments against lawful gun owners. For every one of them who wrongfully harms someone, there are thousands upon thousands who have never, nor will never harm an innocent being. Yet these sanctimonious people have decided that if one gun owner is bad, they must all be. There’s a word for that kind of nonsense; B-I-G-O-T-R-Y.

Reasonable and intelligent people just agree to disagree, but the anti-gun zealots that do these kind of things can’t bring themselves to do that. If you don’t agree with them, in their mind, you’re the most hateful S-O-B on the planet, and they have no qualms about destroying you; feeling better about themselves for having done so.

To them, gun owners are pure evil, and these journalists feel like Batman thwarting the Joker by taking them down. Responsible gun owners have been politely agreeing to disagree with those who don’t want guns for years. Charleton Heston never went to a anyone and tried to force them to buy a gun, yet these people are trying to force us to give up ours.joker_and_batman_by_moroteo56-d3g54v9[1]

Responsible journalists used to go after a scoop and expose corruption, as in the Watergate scandal. They did mountains of work and networking, gathered evidence, corroborated that evidence, and made sure that what they wrote was fair, accurate, and accomplished noble goals like protecting the people from a corrupt government.

The hacks of today however, are too often a cult that worships their lord and savior currently residing at the White House. Instead of protecting the people from an oppressive government, they protect the government from the people revolting against an overreaching government by suppressing stories of corruption, while at the same time attacking the Americans who would stand and fight against such a corruption.

I’ve heard if you want to make Pecan Pie, you have to crack a few nuts, and some gun owners have decided that’s just what they’ll do. For example, the folks who made this yard sign below apparently decided to strike back against anti-gun advocates who take issue with their right to bear arms, and I’m sure in the wake of this story, there will be others:

Blog1-Neighbor

I think it’s logical to assume that criminals looking to steal a gun have just been provided a list of places a gun is likely to be found that probably isn’t as well protected as a gun shop. If they can case the place and catch the homeowners away—pay dirt!

So now that every lawful gun owner has legitimately been put in harm’s way, turning the tables sadly seems to be the only thing gun owners can do to get their attention. But I cannot condone putting the lives of these people needlessly at risk either—it seems hypocritical.

The sign above would make it clear to any would-be-robber, molester, and murderer, which house his odds of success are greater at and level of danger is less at. I understand the “eye for an eye” concept at play, but it still seems wrong.

With any luck, these are severe overreactions after a national tragedy that will subside as cooler heads prevail, but nonetheless, us responsible gun owners cannot just continue to allow ourselves to be abused by anti-gun wing nuts. However, instead of striking back as the in the above picture, I hope gun owners will instead look to solidify Constitutional liberty by calling for serious modifications to FOIA regulations all across the nation. It should be done so that private information is not disclosed under any circumstance, outside the investigation of a crime, unless that information may be infringing upon the rights to life, liberty, and property of another individual, such as the aforementioned sexual predators.

We cannot have liberty if we do not have privacy, and even anti-gun nuts deserve theirs. Sadly, while many people who don’t care to own a gun wouldn’t dream of exposing their gun owning neighbors to something as disgusting as this, there are the irrational hate mongers in the media who have no reservations about it. Instead of resorting to dangerous games, I hope gun owners will take the high road and demand our government be better caretakers of our private information. Because lawful citizens of all kinds should never be allowed to be put at risk by political rivals in order to further a political agenda.

 

Chicago Murders vs Connecticut Massacre: Typical vs Atypical

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Earlier, I saw a story from Chicago that struck a chord. So again, I want to demonstrate a little skepticism.

gun-violence-vigil[1]I want to stress that the people in the story are acknowledging the tragedy in Connecticut as horrific, and are not trying to downplay it in any way. But they are also correct that we don’t hear nearly as much about violence in Chicago among young black youths as we do when tragedies like the one in Newtown occur in white communities. Why is this happening, and is it racism?

First: are there any mass school shootings in Chicago? I don’t recall, nor did a simple Google search reveal anyone recently murdering a large group of children and teachers in a Chicago school. If it has happened, then I am terribly sorry for not acknowledging the lost—I am truly ignorant of such an occurrence. If I am correct however, then we don’t have an apple to compare to an apple.
I believe that most shootings in Chicago involve a  violent youth, often gang related, settling a score with someone. As so often happens when public shootings occur, innocent people are caught in the crossfire, and that often does make the news. However gang-on-gang violence is simply too common to report.
The number of murders in the state of Connecticut for 2011 with a population of 3,580,709 were 128 . Conversely, the murders in the city of Chicago with a population of only 2,707,120 were 433 . If we do some quick math, Connecticut has a ratio of 1:27,974 vs Chicago’s 1:6,252. This means you are approximately 4-1/2 times as likely to get murdered in Chicago as you are in Connecticut. That’s pretty alarming when you consider that there were less deaths in Afghanistan among our troops at 418 in the same year.
So why do I believe these stats are relative to the topic of discussion? There are a number of issues. The shooting in Newtown was a single incident; the second largest school shooting in American history in a state that ranks 37th in murders. Compare that to multiple incidents throughout the year in a city that is in the top 6% of the country’s most violent.
zumanewtownwide[1]So what makes something newsworthy? It’s not whether something is violent or not—people are murdered every day in America. Something is newsworthy by virtue of how atypical it is. The more atypical, the more newsworthy. So I would argue that the issue isn’t about race, it’s about the rareness with which an occurrence such as the one in Newtown happens compared to the frequency of those in Chicago.
So are these people crying wolf? Let me say that there are unfortunately people who make a living out of exploiting racism. I won’t mention any names, but people should always be skeptical of those who make a living off of “raising awareness.” If racism were eradicated, such people would be out of a job. Therefore, if there isn’t any overtly racist acts to report, these types often look for something that could be construed as racism, and move forward with the assumption it is in order to remain relevant. Sadly, it’s a living.
But in this case, these are just average Chicagoans speaking out, so their claim isn’t one borne out of exploitation, but instead justified disappointment in the lack of concern for their losses while many mourn the loss of others. It’s a fair argument.
So what do I believe the issues regarding Chicago are?
Chicago is one of the nations most violent cities, yet the people can’t properly defend themselves thanks to over-restrictive gun laws. We have heard that one of the strongest deterrents for most criminals is fear of the homeowner they’re about to invade being armed. Thanks to laws in Chicago, those fears are somewhat allayed. They tried these gun laws to reduce crime, but in 2012, there are 488 murders and counting. Stats show gun laws don’t help, but I suspect reports of intruders routinely getting killed sure would.No_gun[1]

Another problem I believe is that teacher’s unions have destroyed Chicago schools. Even the fairly left-wing mayor Rahm Emanuel had to go to battle with them, and he’s someone who is traditionally a union supporter. They cost far too much for the poor results they produce, and had no intention of improving their quality. Instead, they simply fought for higher wages—and sadly won! When you have a sub-par education system, children come out of schools, often sans diplomas, to either obtain low paying jobs or join a gang and make big money. For them, it’s a sad but easy choice.

I also believe that like many inner cities, Chicago needs better parenting and adult role models. Parents need to spend more time teaching their children that education is important and that gangs are a dead end—literally. I’ve seen far too many parents glorifying thug-life, encouraging their kids to be hard instead of smart, and not working with their children to make sure they’re actually learning. I’ve personally known many single parents, of varied races, who seem to be more concerned with going out and getting their drink on, than being a proper parent.
Being a libertarian, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that legalizing and regulating vices like drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc., has historically proven to reduce violent crime. Free people rarely war with each other.
Lastly, I think Chicago needs people who have the courage to take action to reduce the crime in their city. People have made depraved indifference an art form. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, yet people would sooner film a violent act with their cell phone than use it to call the police.
So is the coverage of the school shooting in Newtown vs the lack of coverage for Chicago racist? I don’t think so. If I am to believe the people making this claim, I would have to believe that the directors at NBC, CNN, Fox, et al., all sit around and say, “Don’t bother with the deaths in Chicago, they’re just black people.” If someone thinks that’s how white people think, they should consult their mirror for evidence of a racist.

The fact is, the tragedies of Chicago, by volume alone, outweigh the tragedy in Newtown. It kills me inside to see all of the people dying in the inner cities of our country, no matter what color their skin is. Why it’s not so often talked about in the media however, is merely a result of typical occurrences in Chicago versus an atypical massacre in Connecticut. It’s not racism—just rarity. I have no doubt, that if someone were to replicate the Newtown incident in Chicago, it would be talked about just as much; let’s hope we never find out.

 

log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

%d bloggers like this: