Thoughts From the Campus About Gun Control

Who’s squirming harder: The gentleman appearing from 2:24 through 3:03 pronouncing “if guns are outlawed then only outlaws have guns” to be a “weak argument,” but unable to explain his rationale…or me, watching him. Him, I suppose, if I could film my first reaction in the web cam and measure it…I’m probably just slightly wincing. But it seems like I’m doing more. Lots of proxy embarrassment.

They’re not teaching ’em what to think, they’re teaching ’em how to think. That’s what we’re told…well…I have issues with both the what and the how.

This business of rephrasing the question that is sufficiently simple and crystal-clear, at least in my universe, that if the answer isn’t a slam-dunk, the question itself ought to be easily understood. What is that?? I see it at 0:28, and then I see it again at 1:44. I heard it in the recording of that original American Castrati guy (since removed) who “didn’t support the troops.”

Here’s what I think: Too much development of communication skills is taking place in the classroom environment. Now if I’m right about that, it raises another issue that these students are a bit old to still be developing their basic communication skills…but let’s let that go, because I speculate that the problem began before they graduated from high school. I conclude all this from the pattern I’m noticing, in which as the verbiage plays out and the speaker approaches a crucial point, the enunciation becomes more and more muddled and unclear, and riddled with phonetic and rhetorical ambiguities; a reasonable observer would expect the opposite to take place. Questioned about why you think the things you think, as you approach the point that substantiates it all, you should want your phrasing to become precise & concise. Crisper. Clearer.

These muffin-heads are doing the exact opposite. And with a remarkable consistency.

It is as if they are counting on being interrupted before they get to the part where they hang themselves.

I have a bit of a beef with the next generation being taught, en masse, how to talk this way. Especially when it influences how they think about things — which, it certainly does appear to.

Maybe they need to spend a few minutes listening to this guy.

Ya know??

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Right Wing News.

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18 thoughts on “Thoughts From the Campus About Gun Control

  1. Pingback: House of Eratosthenes

      1. mkfreeberg Post author

        Yes, do let us know when you have that done. Taylor Mali is supposedly in favor of gun control, Hitler was supposedly opposed to it?

        Brings to mind something Ronaldus Maximus once said. Wonder if he had you in mind?

  2. Cylar

    Passing more laws on guns, like every other liberal prescription, is a “feel good” response. It’s easy to stand there and call for government to get more involved.

    Channeling Yoda for a second: Not so easy, it is…to explain why that would do any good on solving the problems with gun violence or how the law would deal with the multitudes who find it easy to evade such laws and continue causing mayhem.

    I think I asked a pretty decent question yesterday at lunch, when I inquired as to why the Left thinks that failing a background check is really going to be the end of the matter…meaning the matter of some truly malicious person getting hold of a weapon. It’s a feel-good measure. There – problem solved! Background checks in place! And for good luck, let’s require registration too! Bam! Problem solved.

    Except, as I also pointed out, California is already doing all of that and we aren’t seeing results. I conceded to my cousin on FB the other day that we aren’t seeing any conclusive evidence that such measures are actually counterproductive (if you don’t count the hassle and expense on the law-abiding), but that’s not really an acceptable answer. Reforms are supposed to generate measurable results, aren’t they? What’s the point of implementing something with a neutral impact on the problem? We were supposed to see some kind of measurable drop in gun-related crime that could be easily attributable to these policies, weren’t we? It’s not good enough to wave your hand at it and say “correlation is not causation,” as my arrogant cousin is fond of saying.

    Of course, I think you already understand that. I’m just reiterating it for our more centrist and open minded readers – you know, all those reasonable people the Z insist are reading this blog (and reading HoE) that aren’t dyed-in-the-wool right-wingers like us.

    1. Severian

      “But…but…but…. there was a background check!”

      There are really only 3 possible real-world outcomes here, none of them flattering to liberals.

      1) They honestly believe, cargo cult-style, that the word is the thing. If we simply pass a law that says “there shall be no more gun violence,” then gun violence will actually cease. Back when anthropology was a real thing, this was called “magical thinking” and only the most primitive civilizations did it.

      2) They know it’s a useless feel-good measure but they want it anyway, because it makes them feel good — a nice virtue fix. And it’s one more inconvenience heaped on right-wing gun nuts, and you can’t have too many of those.

      3) They honestly don’t know it’s a useless feel-good measure, and they’re too impervious to reason, evidence, and basic human nature to admit doubt.

      So they’re fools, primitives, or cynics. Or some combination of all three. And these are the people in charge. Whee!

      1. nightfly

        Sev, their intentions are a flawless and impenetrable shield from all fault and criticism, and to say otherwise is to besmirch our superiors. Pointing out that they are wearing the paving stones of the road to perdition, and they will be shocked and offended. No doubt they’ll have the same attitude at the end of that road as well, only to find that it’s the attitude that powered their trip in the first place.

        1. Severian

          Ain’t that the truth. Boy, I sure am glad I’m a bitter clinger and not one of those open-minded, deep-thinking nuance-y types, who are always open to the best argument and follow the evidence wherever it leads. 🙂

  3. Severian

    At least when it comes to college, we can gain some measure of sour satisfaction knowing that the leftist indoctrination standard there is, at bottom, a product of market forces.

    Pretty much everything that needs to be said about Shakespeare, the Civil War, etc. has been said. We know pretty well how to teach foreign languages, too, and you can get most of the basics of psych, soash, etc. within a week. A good intro to philosophy course can be had on the internet for free, for about five hours, and there are lots of books with the same info you can digest in a week.

    How, then, can humanities professors continue to justify their employment? Since they’re not going to discover some new World War II battle or a lost Dickens novel or something, the only way to do further “research” is by “expanding the canon,” as the phrase goes — looking at civilization’s marginalia and grossly inflating its importance. And the only way to do that is politics. That’s why the road to tenure only takes left turns — since we’ve said all that can be said about Shakespeare, we need to pretend that Tupac Shakur is as good as Shakespeare, or better than Shakespeare.

    Thus the fact that otherwise unemployable nonentities can carve out fairly nice livings teaching the poetics of rap lyrics is a triumph of market capitalism.

    Ooooh, how that must burn……

    1. Severian

      Holy Godwin, Batman!

      Hitler was anti-gun control, but pro-vegetarian. I think the answer is clear: Arm the vegetarians, then shoot Hitler.

      At least, that’s what I’m getting from studying history and policy. Because, as everyone knows, there’s only one possible black-and-white answer to any large, complex question. Isn’t that what liberals are always saying?

      1. mkfreeberg Post author

        Ed’s “debunking engine” works at a very high level of detail, which often translates to a rather useless one. In this case he desires to climb on the bandwagon of debunking “Hitler banned the private ownership of guns,” and he’s taking this to mean anytime anyone connects Hitler with gun control, he can blow the whistle on them without researching too carefully into what actually was passed in 1938, and come out lookin’ sweet.

        The sad part of this is that he really does seem to think the facts are on his side here. In truth, Hitler put the state in charge of every aspect of life, just like any other penny-ante leftist tin-pot dictator. That’s just what they do.

        1. severian

          So Hitler didn’t ban private gun ownership?! Why, that’s shocking! I never would’ve suspected that from a state with compulsory military service for all males starting at age 5.

          That said, are there really people running around, in 2013, making the argument that banning gun ownership in the USA is Hitlerian? If so, I really can’t figure out which is dumber — making that argument, or paging through the Third Reich’s statute books to find some kind of “gotcha!” to refute that argument.

          1. mkfreeberg Post author

            The left, in America, doesn’t understand nearly as much about what motivates the right, as the right understands what motivates the left. With gun control, the right’s position is actually identical with what the left claims is its own position on abortion: “If you don’t like them then don’t have one.” In other words, the issue isn’t quite so much the decision, but who makes it, and if they decide in the affirmative then what kind of hoops do they have to jump through in order to get that done. Do the people who don’t like guns/abortions have some right to erect more hoops, just because they don’t like what’s being done. Is tattling allowed/required. Etc.

            Viewed from that perspective, there can be no doubt Hitler was in favor of gun control, just like any leftist dictator. But the anti-gun left won’t view it from that perspective. They’re too busy playing a futile game of “gotcha.” This is the same kind of middle-school-dropout reasoning that led to so many of them speculating that the Boston bomber was some kind of right-wing tax protester.

  4. Severian

    They’re too busy playing a futile game of “gotcha.”

    They do always have to be so very, very right about everything, don’t they?

    Personally, I don’t give a crap what anyone says about Hitler’s preferences. On any subject. Oh, so his favorite color was green and he liked to wear footie pajamas? Big fuckin’ whoop. The claim that he was gun control’s staunchest advocate makes no difference to me; nor does the assertion he was gun control’s biggest foe. Unless someone of political / cultural significance is explicitly saying, in these words, that “the Nazis did such-and-such; that’s a great idea; we should do that!”, I simply don’t care. And I’m certainly not going to run upstairs to my all-inclusive library of Hitler biographies (all us rightwingers have ’em) to check out his pajama preferences.

    That’s a sad level of OCD. I’m thinking Ed and the Z should form a support group or something.

    1. mkfreeberg Post author

      Well, I’ll halfway-defend Ed there. I broke the “Godwin rule” on purpose, when he started to educate me about my unsavory bedfellows, waxing lyrically on all the juicy gossip MotherJones and Salon have been collecting about Wayne La Pierre.

      Then again, I brought up Hitler to make the point you’re making: What makes an idea good or bad is the content of the idea itself, not the character attributes/deficiencies of the idea’s advocates. So I commented, Hitler was for gun control, isn’t this fun. And away we went. Unfortunately, as I noted, Ed’s urban-legend-detector has this “looks kinda sorta like this other thing” algorithm to it, which makes him resemble an Internet robot in a lot of ways; he activated his “debunk the urban legend about Hitler banning private ownership of guns” subroutine, which unfortunately, didn’t fit the situation at hand. That has yet to dissuade him.

      So he’s persisting in this “Gotcha, you should read your history!” in response to my saying Hitler was merely for gun control. Which, to those of us who actually know history, makes him look foolish, especially when he comes out and says the “evidence” is contrary to what I said. Actually, it isn’t. It would contradict what he’s saying, if he had the stones to come out and say “Hitler was opposed to gun control” but, and I’m being charitable here, I suspect he knows enough about history to realize he can’t say that. He’s a history teacher; he ought to know that much.

      1. Severian

        He’s a history teacher; he ought to know that much.

        Oh, I dunno…. I seem to recall him arguing over at your place that Babylon had failed to plan for manmade climate change, and had to be abandoned when their irrigation canals silted in. Which is only true if by “silted in” you mean “were filled with rubble and corpses as a seige tactic when the city was being overrun by Xerxes.” He also strongly implied that the Thera explosion was man-caused.

        But let’s be charitable (if that’s quite the word) — he knows these things, but his politics won’t allow him to admit it.

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