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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One of those rare times that I side with conservatives...

Time for another article where I may break with the "liberal orthodoxy" as it were. (Contradiction in terms intentional, BTW.) Regarding the recent supreme court decision to lift city, state and local bans on hand guns, I found myself nodding my head (though admittedly not pumping my fist) in approval. Gun Ownership Rights is one of the few issues that I lean conservative on; probably due to my non-corporatist Libertarian philosophy, I suppose. It’s not really a VOTING issue for me – I despise guns, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t ever intend to own a gun... but I do appreciate that the CHOICE of whether or not I own a gun is my own to make, and nobody else’s.

The thing is… I’ve just never bought into the Liberal’s argument that more gun control laws mean less crime. First of all, as Liberals rightly argue all the time: CRIME stems from MAN Y factors, but primarily socio-economic ones. It’s about POVERTY, not GUNS. If you’re broke? You’re more likely to commit a crime. And your ability to LEGALLY obtain a handgun, for the purpose of committing a crime, is completely irrelevant. And the very idea that if you outlaw handguns, that only outlaws will have them, seems to be proven by the comments of the people interviewed for the NPR segment most of whom were trying to make an argument against the supreme court’s decision and in favor of upholding the ban. One of the comments, from a Chicago resident (and I’m PP’ing because I can’t find a full transcript) was pretty exemplary of the argument:
“We have shootings every other day; people getting killed in gang violence; we need less guns not more!”
Now… that’s sounds all well a good, but think about it: If there’s a gang shooting ‘every other day’ in the city, how effective IS that gun ban? Not very, I’d say. In fact, it seems to me that – just as the conservatives usually argue – all that law has done is kept guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens! It was a later comment in the program that, IMHO, spoke more to the heart of the matter. This was from the neighbor of a burglary victim, (again, PP’d)

“We’re not going to go out and shoot anybody, but the criminals had better think twice about coming into our homes and thinking they can do as they please, because some of us will be armed.”
(OK – THAT got a fist-pump from me!)

Now… If you’re a liberal and you can’t see why THIS LIBERAL feels this way, and you need a different perspective on this to better understand my point of view, I see a lot of parallels between gun control and immigration reform.

Fist of all, you’ve got to ask yourself: What is the PURPOSE? If the purpose is to know exactly WHO owns a gun (or WHO is coming into the country) then you need people to voluntarily comply with the registration process (or the immigration process.) If your purpose is to LIMIT gun ownership (or immigration) then complying with the system will NOT give many people what they want. So they simply won’t comply.

If registration and licensing was CHEAP, EASY and generally allowed ANYONE (other than, say, convicts and the mentally ill) to legally own a gun, 99% of the population (far more than do now) would gladly register their guns, comply with the system and you’d know exactly who’s armed and who’s not. And you can now MONITOR THE SITUATION, and police can go in prepared, informed and plan according to the situation they’re facing. Likewise, if our immigration system was quick, easy, cheap and generally let anyone (except, say, terror suspects and drug smugglers) into the country, 99% of the incoming immigrants would be happy to comply, and you could successfully MONITOR THE SITUATION. And in BOTH cases, concerns about security are better served by creating a system that, if people complied with it, GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED: Either a legally owned gun, or legal entrance to this country.

But arguments about security – in both cases – are either woefully misguided, or outright bullshit:

Misguided: You can’t physically stop people from coming into the country. And any thoughts that you CAN are absurd. What’s more – the very idea that we even SHOULD is, as I’ve said, counterproductive. Also, you can’t use the LAW to stop people who are already predisposed from BREAKING IT from obtaining a gun. Again: We’ve tried and yet we still have a “gang killing every other day [in Chicago.]

Outright Bullshit: Let’s face it: “security” is just a more pleasant sounding term substituted for what the respective agendas REALLY ARE. Liberals want FEWER GUNS, period. Conservatives want FEWER MEXICANS, period. And THAT’S why neither group is buying into my argument that you need to GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT in order to get them to comply with the law. Because they DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. In both cases, each group has agenda designed to take something away from the very people that they expect to comply with their laws! The incentives are completely backwards, and yet we are so quick to comdemn those who do EXACTLY AS WE SHOULD EXPECT THEM TO!

And in every case, we need to stop trying to force our personal agendas on everyone else and focus on the tangible, security issue. And the only way to have true security is to KNOW what the hell is going on! And the only way to do that is to have a legal system that 99% of the population is HAPPY TO COMPLY WITH. And the only way you’ll have that is if you only ever say, “No,” to the smallest, most narrowly defined group as possible. Because then, those groups that DON’T COMPLY will stand out as the exception instead on mixing into the crowd...

...Well, maybe not ‘mixing into the crowd’ so much as BEING the crowd.

It’s very rare indeed that I’ll side with the Wing-Nuts, but this is once instance in which I truly believe the Right got it RIGHT.


Oh yeah, and ClassicLiberal? Again we see a 5-4 decision with Sotomayor siding with the dissenting Liberal block. I totally get (and share) your beef with Kagan, by why are you so down on Sotomayor?


  1. Eddie,
    Though I sadly agree that a gun can be necessary for protection in some instances, the problem with this decision is that it states that the right to firearms is "fundamental", ignoring the qualifier that begins the Second Amendment. This will make any laws limiting access to firearms very difficult to craft. As Jeffrey Toobin observed yesterday, can local jurisdictions now outlaw the possession of surface-to-air missiles?
    I'm also thinking about a statistical (this is from many years ago, and I don't know if the situation has changed or not) comparison of murder rates in the US and the rest of the developed world, most of which severely limit access to firearms. When guns were taken out of the equation, murder rates were remarkably consistent, with ours being negligibly higher. Put guns back into the equation, however, and our murder rate more than doubled that of our nearest competitor.
    Now I haven't made a study of this, and it might be due to the 24 hour news cycle and its fascination with gore, but we seem to be a more violent society than formerly. When I was a teenager, if you had to take on a punk, you worried about a possible switchblade. Now it's a fookin Glock. I really don't like the fact that those things are so easy to come by.

  2. I agree with you on both topics. If it was easy to own and register a gun, more people would comply with gun laws and authorities would know who is "packing". It may only be those who intend to do wrong who would not comply.
    As a legal alien myself, I know how hard it is to come to this country legally. And I know, from talking others who have been refused visas for stupid reasons, that if it were not so hard, less people would enter the country illegally.

  3. I always agreed with the little saying that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns...

    I agree with this ruling and I am interested to see if in locations where the ban is lifted if violent crimes will decrease. It was my understanding that they tend to be higher in places with restrictions...

  4. Eh. A little split on it, actually. I agree with you only 100% that crime is caused by poverty, the wealth gap, and monetary differences. It's not exactly a statistic, but I'm willing to bet 99% of crimes have money involved somehow. To me, it's like junkies fighting over drugs, but that's.. not the point of this.

    Well, that may be fighting over money, but that's just how I see people fighting over gun rights. This is just my opinion, but my biggest beef with guns actually comes from the fervor over which they are defended, itself. It's.. nothing short of... creepy.

    Guns are objects. No different than a power drill or a chair. And yet people have given them this... god-like status. I see people willing to kill people and die because they believe their guns are being taken away. I see the NRA as one of the largest, more powerful lobbyist groups in the USA. The NRA! An interest club. It might as well be John Deer Tractor Association. So powerful are they that they will have been the sole exclusion from having to reveal political donations.

    The point is, something about it rubs me the wrong way. I just see people propping up these objects to deity-like status, and I'm, like I said before, creeped out.

    Also, on a different note, the second amendment was written as a way for people to fight an oppressive government. For one, subjectively, everyone has a different opinion of what is an "oppressive government," and I don't trust today's uneducated, propaganda-driven society with that task. For two, the US army is the largest, most money-soaked entity in the world.

    I hate to say it, but when the founding fathers thought that the citizens could keep the government in check with force, they didn't foresee drone strikes and Abrams tanks. That time has come and gone.

    Perhaps, as some would argue, in a good way. I think we should have socially evolved past the point of killing each other to prove we're right. (We SHOULD have. We're still getting there.)

  5. Conchobar,

    I think you're right - we ARE a bit more of a violent society than many, and more than most of us would probably like to admit. That's probably precisely why both sides of the gun issue fight so spiritedly over it.


    As a citizen of the US, I thank you for enduring our unecessarily burdonsome immigration system. You did th eright thing, despite our society's insistance on disincentivizing it!

    Kevin K.,

    I've haven't studied it either, but I rememebr hearing once about two town's in Georgia - one passed a gun ban, and in retaliatrion, the neighboring town REQUIRED all homeowners to buy a gun. Now... personally I think BOTH went too far, but consider this: If you're a drug addicted drifter, looking for some "easy" cash... Which town would YOU stop in? LOL


    I hear you. NRA folks? Yes, pretty creepy. And like most Christain Right Wingers, etc... pretty much the reason I'd WANT to own a gun, assuming I ever did! (Got to keep those smiling, brain-dead, bible-humpers of my land SOMEHOW! LOL) And I also think your right about the 2nd Ammendment, Foundsing Fathers, modern military, etc... They had no idea. And how could they have? It alwasy amazes me that the system they created does as well as it does almost two and ahlf centuries later! But to me? After it's all said and done, the tie breaker comes down to CHOICE. I simply cherish havingthe CHOICE be my own. (But yeah, the exclusion of the NRA from teh new campaign finance laws is BULLSHIT!)

    Now... if this starts leagalizing surface-to-air missiles and the like? Yeah... I'll probably re-thing my position, and I'm willing to bet that so would Scalia & co. :)

    As for our evolution? Shoot. What planet do live on, boy? Human beings NOT killing one another to settle disputes?! Shit, we've been doing that for 10,000 years, and we ain't going to stop anytime soon. And it's THAT VERY REASON, again, that I'd (hypotheiticaly) want to have a gun: Too many 'unevolved' fuckers out there looking to settle disputes!

    Thank you all for your comments.

  6. I also take issue with the argument that the reason for the Second Amendment was fear of an oppressive government. "A well-regulated militia...etc." An official militia is government sponsored.

    As a matter of fact, a number of the colonies, and states under the Articles (I think) had laws REQUIRING all males between youth and senility to keep a musket and given amount of ammunition. This was for mutual defense of the community. They were, of course, in the process of taking land from its previous inhabitants, who were understandably unhappy and prone to get nasty.

  7. I live in New Orleans, home of gumbo, Mardi Gras and the highest murder rate in the country. All criminals have guns. Even the juvenile criminals have guns. People get shot all the time and I have heard gunshots in the middle of the day many times. I dont know how we do it but we need to get the illegal guns off the streets. I think legal gun owners that have their guns stolen through their own negligence, leaving in an unlocked car for instance, should have some consequences. It will take a lot more then talking heads. We need political alliances, neighborhood and community outreach and interfaith dialogue. Guns and dead bodies have become so ordinary that they are accepted and the sisters and mothers and uncles of the gun carriers dont do or say anything...even when loved ones are gunned down. Add on top of that the crappiest, laziest, most derisive and vigilante police force in the country and it is the wild wild west here. I go to Angola twice a month. It is the largest state run pen in the country...more than 5000 inmates, 85% of whom are violent offenders, and 90% of whom will die there. I look around that room at the dozens of men and wonder how many people are dead and how many of these men would be here if an illegal gun had not been at arms length. So many lives wasted. About ten days ago the NOLA cops shot a 17 year old 12 times when he pointed an AK 47 at them. He was shot 12 times...in the back. My point is not that the shooting was righteous or not or that the kid was a gangbanger punk or not. It is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude that a 17 year old boy is dead, effing dead. This is a social ill that should affect us all.

  8. JL,

    I couldn't agree more with everything you've said. And as I said in my post above, personally? I despise guns. BUT: also based on your comment, you've laid out the very reason that IF I lived in New Orleans (or IN Detroit as opposed to just NEAR it) AND didn't have kids, that I might consdier owning a gun: ALL THE BAD PEOPLE (around me) HAVE GUNS. But it absolutly IS one of our biggest social ills. I think you said it perfectly: "I dont know how we do it but we need to get the illegal guns off the streets." Tha's exactly how I feel. My problem with gun control laws is that they only affect people willing to follow them. And part of that (just like with illegal immigration) is that the people writing them want to go beyond merely 'control' and actually reduce the number of GUNS, legal or illegal. I'd be all for stiffer penalties for unliscensed guns, not to mention for losing you gun through negligence (GOOD POINT!) but (just as with immigration) I don't see any way to make progress on the ILLEGAL side of things until things make more sense and have the right incentives on th LEGAL side of things. Because until we do the law will only affect people who are law abiding. And while my one anecdote certainly doesn't trump the reams of crime statistics, just as a counter-example, I have a friend and co-worker who survived an armed robbery - which included having a gun pointed him - by shooting (and unfortunately killing) his assailant (the two accomplices then ran away.) Now... he was LUCKY; and there are no guarentees that anyone else would have come out of it as he did; and who knows...? Maybe the guy wouldn't have shot him anyway. BUT as you say... with life being so cheap for so many, that not really a chance I'D be willing to take, given the circumstances. It's still tragic and the guy was a wreck over it... but he IS thankful to still be alive.

    Very good points though. It's far from a simple issue, that's for sure.

    Thanks for you comment.

  9. I'm very opposed to gun control in pretty much any meaningful form. I don't think I'm breaking with the liberals on this--it really isn't a liberal/conservative issue. It's more of a city/country issue. People in urban areas, who tend to be more liberal, tend to know zilch about firearms, except that they sometimes get them pointed in their face by a mugger, or someone down the street gets shot with them. Those of us in more rural areas, who grow up around them, are less reactionary about the matter (liberal OR conservative). I share the distaste for the loonier gun fetishists--in fact, I think it's likely my distaste for them outpaces that of anyone here--but I totally understand (and share) the visceral reaction against government efforts to limit our access to weaponry. And, of course, the very suggestion that, when some thug kills another with a gun, normal people who own guns are somehow complicit in the crime is offensive in the extreme (and that suggestion underlies every gun control effort, without exception).

    I haven't read the Supreme Court decision yet, but I think incorporation of the 2nd Amendment, in general, is somewhat tricky. One can make arguments either way. Just because I agree with the effect of the ruling doesn't mean it's a ruling with any particularly strong foundation.

    On Sotomayor, I wrote some things at the time of her nomination that outlined my opposition to her. She's a conservative Republican, with a long record of conservative Republican rulings. You make an error, Eddie, when you says there's such a thing as a "Liberal bloc" on the court. There isn't. There's a reactionary bloc and a conservative one that reacts against its excesses. We desperately need a proactive liberal bloc; that's why I'm so viscerally opposed to nominees like Sotomayor and, especially, Kagan. Obama is continuing to move the court to the right by these nominees.

  10. Classic,

    "There's a reactionary bloc and a conservative
    one that reacts against its excesses."

    Yeah, I know. I just use the label so that people have some idea who I'm talking about. You're right, but if I call them the "Conservtaoive Bloc" (which is really what they are, in a more classical sense) most people will assume I mean the Reactionary Bloc. Lazy use of language, I guess, and a victory for both the lazy and the conservtaive media, but whether I like it or not, that IS (unfortuantely) what most people know them as. When I get my own talk show I'll try to change that but for now I'm willing to accept that label, for discussion's sake.

    Point absolutely conceded though.