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An interesting question

Sean Linnane: QUESTION.

Excellent milblogger Sean asks the interesting question why right wing NRA members are presented as a threat in America, when the nut jobs on killing sprees have mostly been registered Democrats.

He's looking at his question wrongly. Those so sure they know better how others should live as to have no qualms about using state violence to compel them are precisely the ones to be feared around weapons. Mostly, of course, they will prefer to have others use the state's weapons on their behalf, but if they have a mental breakdown there is nothing in their ethics, upbringing or personal inclinations to provide a moral barrier to using their own.

State forceIn Los Angeles, as the hunt for another registered Democrat on a killing spree continues, police opened fire on two innocent ladies delivering newspapers from the same kind of truck as the suspect. They seem to have done so without any attempt at identification. They didn't even shout a warning first.

It seems that those drawn to jobs as the state's armed enforcers are also among those not to be trusted with weapons. I suggest it's for the same psychological reasons. As the validated agents of what they see as a superior moral force, they feel justified in their appalling actions, but also sure that if they get it wrong the state will defend them. Reckless and panicky they may be, but having injured two innocents they "protect and serve" they are safe. At least as safe, say, as an NHS mandarin who presided over the deaths of thousands.

Nor is it coincidence that unthinking advocates of statist violence are so consistent in seeking to disarm others. Those others, after all, are people who want weapons for defence against either them, or their beloved state, when they get out of control.

There is no contradiction here, Sean. It is not a bug. It's a feature.


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Not bad, but does it really matter what the mission statement says when everybody is freelancing.
A mission statement suggests direction, purpose and orderly implementation. None of which seems to exist here.


How about "To Prevent and detect Crime. To apprehend and prosecute perpetrators. To keep order on the streets. To protect and defend life and property. To uphold the citizens rights and liberties"


Another city which you may wish to reconsider visiting:

Unbelievable recklessness and incompetence. Cleveland police mission statement
-The Mission of the members of the Cleveland Division of Police is to enhance the quality of life, strengthen our neighborhoods and deliver superior services with professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence by working in partnership with our neighborhoods and community. The usual PC guff,notice it does not say it will deliver the services lawfully or safely, perhaps because they knew their own limitations.

Cleveland votes democrat-of course.


I think there is this whole high fructose maise corn syrup in processed foods issue. It goes into food as different as bread, to cerials, to lunch meat, to youghurt, also obviously "high fat" sodas.

I don't remeber using the word plot - mainly because I didn't ^_^ It is true that the US government did support and promote it in earlier times. They listened to the wrong advice maybe. They can't be trusted to get stuff right, they shouldnt be imposing stuff and social engineering.

Road to Heck.. Good intentions?

They should stick to the few things best done by government and not keep branching out.

Some people get irrational about anything, but it is not irrational in it's self to be wary or even supicious of government.

People will do all sorts of things they might not absolutely condone on a personal level if they feel they are working for some greater "good". Think of the "Stanford" experiment


I didn't say there were no reasons to fear government; I said that fear of governments can slide into irrational panic and outrage. And it can. Google John Bedell.

Or promote the use of fructose in everything and then talk about taxing "bad" food.

The only "bad food" that I have heard that the U.S. is trying to tax is soda - which contains fructose. I agree that the government props up the fast food industry but I'm not sure they have a big monosaccharide-based plot.


Tom said April 29...


Now why would libertarians worry the government might be trying to infect them when they know the government is really using force to take their portable property?

You are confusing them with the right again arn't you.

To be fair tho the government have done some pretty dubious things, like expose military personnel to the effects of atomic bombs to find out what would happen.

...And they do have this unfortunate authoritarian tendancy to do stuff like force people to drink flouride in their water, rather than make the facts known and let them decide if they want the benefits by buying toothpaste.

Or promote the use of fructose in everything and then talk about taxing "bad" food. Taxing again...


That's an interesting theory Sean has, but he needs to expand it. Mass murders are pretty rare (though not rare enough). Every year one-on-one gun murders kill thousands in the USA, they happen to be almost exclusively black-on-black and American blacks seem to vote en-bloc for Democrats, perhaps it is a Democrat gun-owner problem.

Then again, a lot of the bailout money has been filtered to Police Departments to protect jobs, perhaps the LAPD and Torrance PD in Democrat California is infested with Democrat voting officers, perhaps it is a Democrat gun-owner problem.

Do you see a problem emerging?

A small but significant correction is required to Tom's reporting of the LA manhunt. The newspaper deliverors were driving a Blue Toyota, the police goons fired over 60 rounds at the truck without a verbal warning, the suspect drives a Grey Nissan, another unfortunate driving a Black Honda was also rammed and shot at. It is as well you are avoiding Southern California on your trip Tom, these morons have no sense of their roles as police officers.


Eric Harris praised the Nazis and sneered at "niggs and spics". Are we supposed to believe he was a prospective Democrat? Jared Loughner, meanwhile, literally shot a Democrat. Linnane, meanwhile, fails to mention Jim David Adkisson, who shot two people as part of self-proclaimed one-man war against liberalism.

(As an aside, he appears to think that neuroscience is a social science. Eh?)

This is not to say that all gunmen are right wing but that the correlation between specific political orientations and mass murder is extremely weak. I would speculate that where politics are a crucial factor it has more to do with demonisation and paranoia, which can afflict both Liberals who think they are surrounded by devious right-wing racists and Conservatives or libertarians who think the government is going to infect their bodily fluids.

james higham

Now Tom, I thought you were too busy driving around the States to blog? :)


Tom, That is an interesting point about registered Dmocratsgoing crazy with guns. I guess Libertarians not being authoritarians would basically just want not to be interfered with unnecesarily so they view firearms as another form of defence and have a natutal disinclination to initiate violence on moral grounds.

It would be interesting to break down Depublicans and Democrats by how authoritarian they might be.

It seems that Democrates and socialists must by definition be more in favour of the use of collective violence/force, as they just can't get those who might not agree with them to go along withot some coercian.

On Marks comment about the warrior Gene - If they really found it, maybe the scientists just don't understand the whole linked group of behaviours this so-called gene, or set of genes, really might involve?

Surely a true warrior/defender/hero needs to be more sane than most, more rational, controlled, reponsible, deeper, gentler with open eyes and less illusions. To be able to feel what others feel and to be able to decide and react in a moment.

Confucious (kung-fu-tze) said that the superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.


That's interesting and may be our first point of agreement. An historic moment. So perhaps the death of religion has denied the safety of monasteries to those with violent urges to control - and led to them infesting the state apparatus, the Eco campaigns, PETA, the anti-smoking movement and all the other manifestations of modern puritanism? It would certainly account for the level of zealotry. And the "hard, uncaring" libertarians are actually gentle non-violent types who simply can't imagine needing powerful outside restraints to help them control violent urges against others? It makes sense to me.


And yes, I suspect that those who enjoy violence or power are highly likely to be in jobs which gives them an opportunity to use violence or have power over people. The interesting question is why society might allow such jobs to exist.
In my personal experience of Americans, they don't seem to be a peoples who are overcome with doubt about anything much. They are sure of themselves, but luckily they have institutions which limit the power to act on this feeling. I suspect that certainty leads to strongly binary views of good and evil and therefore a tendency towards more violent law enforcement and deference to the "good" guys.
The great thing about Britain is that it is the world capital of doubt. We are at our best when we are uncertain. It is why we hate jobsworths, tolerate eccentricity and don't go in for enthusiasm much. It's probably something to do with the weather, which is why I don't expect Islamic extremism to last long in this country. It's easy to be certain when you live in a desert, less so in Leicester.
Not sure why the food is bad though.


I think you make good point.
Certainty kills - normally other people. Those who are convinced that they are representatives of right may end up doing terrible things.

Regarding the psychological speculations- there is little of importance that is less accessible to us than the contents of another's mind -"No matter how close two people are, an infinite distance separates them".
As such, arm chair psychiatry/anthropology tends to tell us more about the speculator than their intended subject.
Having said that, I suspect that those with a propensity towards violence might be more inclined to seek government control - (and therefore support the democrats?) for the reason that they fear what they themselves might do if they are free.
Those without such feelings probably don't imagine that outside control is necessary.
I recently saw on the bbc that scientists have discovered a "warrior gene" which is linked to aggression/violence. Apparently, the group which had the highest incidence of this gene was not boxers or criminals, but rather buddhist monks - the scientist speculated that they had chosen an environment which would help them to control the urge to be violent.


I know what you think about that. As the man who kindly provides the platform for you to repeat it endlessly, I would. How about answering the question posed by the post, Mark - rather than turning every comments section into the same discussion?


Here is the problem. Yuse Libertarians like to criticise the state, but it is really quite unclear as to what realistic form of social organisation you do subscribe to.
I get the feeling that it is simply the word "government" which irritates you rather than the relation that organisation might have to anything else.


Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

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