Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

I am officially banned from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Facebook page. It took just one comment (that supposedly did not meet the Facebook Community Standards). Let me provide some context:

I was up late last night when I ran across this page:

http://www.facebook.com/notes/coalition-to-stop-gun-violence/virginia-mom-continues-to-receive-misognynistic-threats-from-pro-gun-activists/324516814238387

For those non-Facebook users, I’ll try to provide screen shots:

Here are the comments (the CSGV called them threats, though I don’t see where anyone was threatened) provided with the story:

The post was framed to characterize all gun owners as the “lunatic fringe”. It was basically an anecdotal hit piece designed to appeal to readers’ emotions and convince hoplophobes that all gun owners are crazy. The comments from followers included the typical ad hominem attack on firearms enthusiasts (in addition to many other comments characterizing gun owners as crazy lunatics):

As a gun owner, I find such comments to be offensive, but well within Facebook Community Standards. I decided to comment on the post (although I should have noticed that there wasn’t a single gun rights activist in any of the comments). Here is what I wrote, verbatim:

I woke up this morning to find out that The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence reported my comment to Facebook, deleted the comment, and blocked me from commenting again:

I guess the CSGV simply does not like reasonable discussion, or even disagreement. I have reviewed the Facebook Community Standards and confirmed that my comment was not in violation. I attempted to reasonably discuss the issue and I was censored. I did not call them anti-rights cultists, though that description is arguably accurate. I did not attack anyone, nor characterize anyone by a stereotype (as they did to gun owners).

As a gun-rights activist, I base my arguments on reason, statistics, logic, and Constitutional protection. The CSGV bases its arguments on fear, sensationalism, intolerance, and emotion- as witnessed by this censorship of any differing opinion. I encourage the CSGV and any followers to comment on my website and/or Facebook page at any time. Censorship isn’t helping the CSGV cause- if your argument is right, why would you need to silence opposition?

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7 Responses to Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

  1. Joel says:

    I’m very sorry that you were banned from the page as well. As a proponent of reasonable gun control laws and the rights of citizens to gun ownership, I believe that while I have absolutely no use for the NRA and its “unlimited gun ownership for all” stand, I can have a reasoned discussion with a gun enthusiast.

    My question to you, and to all of those who frequent your site and others like it, is, where in the Constitution does it give anyone the right to carry guns wherever they go, and for simply defending themselves against real or imagined threats from the general public? I’m not a Constitutional expert, and I don’t play one on TV, but “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” does not claim that every citizen should be packing 24/7.

    This decree that substitutes as the Bible to the NRA, is nothing more than the recognition that muskets are available to the King’s Army, so they should also be available to a regulated (trained) militia, so that we can fight them off if they ever come after us again. As a nation we did not even form a standing Army until over a century later. This was because this “militia” mentioned in the sacred 2nd Amendment, was to be well trained and ready to save us from any concentrated attack foreign or domestic.

    I may be wrong, please correct me if I am, but I’m guessing that most who agree with you and the NRA, also faint at the thought of our current administration allowing for the HUGE cuts in military spending that will take place, if no tax bill compromise is reached before the end of the year. Do you realize that these two opinions or “stands” put you at odds with yourself? The Amendment that you hold so dear, is in place to help us defend against an Army that you also want to remain stronger than will ever be needed. Perhaps, considering the current technological state of our Military, you believe that the founding fathers (were they writing the constitution today) would expect every citizen to have a nuclear weapon at their disposal, a rocket launcher or two in their garage, and an an ICBM launch pad in the back yard?

    Of course this is hyperbole, but the logic in your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment (your suspected support of the militarization of our nation notwithstanding) necessitates just that.

    Thank you for reading this. I welcome your response.

    • savethegun says:

      Hey Joel thanks for the comment! There’s a lot of content here, so allow me to go through this in segments.
      First, I don’t think I mentioned the NRA anywhere in this post, besides where I quoted someone else posting on the CSGV page. The NRA does not speak for me and I do not speak for them (although I am a member, as I have disclosed multiple times).
      Second, I would not agree with your interpretation of the Second Amendment. You see, I interpret “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” to mean something vastly different than you do. To quote George Mason- “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials (1788).”
      Let me use your words- “As a nation we did not even form a standing Army until over a century later. This was because this “militia” mentioned in the sacred 2nd Amendment, was to be well trained and ready to save us from any concentrated attack foreign or domestic.”
      If we did not form “a standing Army until over a century later”, as you mentioned, then clearly the term militia does not imply a standing army. Hopefully we agree on this. Unfortunately, “the well trained and ready to save us from any concentrated attack foreign or domestic” militia you describe, largely did not exist either. If it had, we wouldn’t have been under British rule in the first place.
      You see, America’s individualism rises from a history that treasures individual liberty and resistance to tyranny. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting to me. And it isn’t about making sure our military spending is at record highs, either. My interpretation of the “NRA’s Bible” is simple, and not even the NRA will come out and say it: The 2nd Amendment was created to protect citizens from their own government.
      On a personal level, I’m not the statist you describe. I don’t subscribe to any political party and I would most closely describe myself as a (small “L”) libertarian. Yes, we need to make cuts in our military, as well as everywhere else in the budget.
      Lastly, you said, “Do you realize that these two opinions or “stands” put you at odds with yourself?” Well, I disagree. Let’s take a look at Switzerland. They have an incredibly high rate of gun ownership including keeping military service rifles after service is completed. They have mandatory military service. The citizens there truly are the “militia” our founders described. What’s more, they have such low levels of gun violence they don’t even keep records. The citizens protect themselves from the government through the private ownership of guns. The government is in turn protected by the armed citizens. Their foreign policy keeps them out of trouble.
      It’s easy to lump all gun owners into the unlimited international military presence, increased funding for the military industrial complex variety. I would not fit that mold. But as far as my interpretation of the 2nd Amendment goes, history and the courts back my “opinion”. The original intention was for citizens to have weapons to keep the government in check.
      Listen to Penn & Teller explain their interpretation:

      Thanks for reading and I hope you respond!

      • Joel says:

        I appreciate your reply, and the tone. However, I don’t believe that you addressed my two central points. I also disagree that we interpret the Amendment differently. You are exactly right, in my opinion, the 2nd Amendment was put in place to protect the citizens of the county from tyranny in government. I’m not sure where we differ there.

        Now back to my two points. How in the world is any group large or small supposed to protect us from our over inflated military? Especially when you consider the roundly held opinion that soldiers are merely carrying out orders when they fire their weapons. Where do these orders come from? Our government. Do we expect the Military (or a sufficient number of its service members) to revolt? And exactly how many well trained militia are there out there? Other than the government-controlled Reserve and Guard, I don’t expect there’s really much resistance to be had.

        The military we currently have would have very little trouble enforcing Marshall Law here if they so chose. Furthermore, if this tyranny that we still fear two centuries later, were to rear it’s head, that military has the capability to wipe out the countryside also if they so choose. I don’t see how 50,000, 100,000, or even 4.3 million (approximate NRA membership) armed citizens could stop the United States Military if a truly evil President were to somehow get into the White House. The comparison to the times also is helpful I think. At the end of the 18th century, it was quite reasonable to expect a militia to defend us against a foreign (or domestic) force, since this same militia had just defeated the largest fighting force in the world. Certainly we can agree that militia members are no longer on level ground with respect to weaponry, with the United States Military. In other words, believing that this militia could rise up against tyranny in the form of the full force of our military is pie-in-the-sky at best. Suicidal at worst.

        Now for a couple of examples of what might be contrived as tyranny in the eyes of you, others like you, or the NRA establishment, and which served as opportunities for the well-intentioned, 2nd Amendment follower to act. Waco and Ruby Ridge. Now whether you happen to believe in the causes of either David Koresh or Randy Weaver, these were two prime examples of perceived government tyranny. The Ruby Ridge standoff lasted nearly two weeks, the Branch Davidians held out for nearly two months. Yet no citizen army came to their aid. Where were all of the 2nd Amendment militia men? This was their chance wasn’t it? This just goes to my point, there really isn’t any effective militia, this was just the ATF and U.S. Marshall service, NOT the U.S. Military. Do you seriously think the response would be any different today?

        The second point, I’ll make much quicker. The 2nd Amendment is NOT about every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Jane packing heat in order to protect themselves from the real or imagined threats that every other Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally and Jane might represent. That was my second point, and you appear to agree.

        So where are we different? Other than that you love guns, and that I have no use for them. We both seem to have the same Constitutional understanding; I just think that the idea of a militia is rather quaint when considering the size and strength of our military.

        • savethegun says:

          Thanks for responding. Again I’ll try to go slow so I can arrange my thoughts.
          First, glad to hear we’re on the same page about interpretation of the Second Amendment. I think I was reading too far into your comment. But to be clear, I don’t believe a “militia” by definition has to be organized. Any/all American(s) is/are a miltia for the purposes of the Second Amendment. Regular everyday citizens rising to combat government tyranny was what this great country was founded on. We outnumber them.
          I agree that Waco and Ruby Ridge are great examples of perceived government tyranny. And you are correct, in those instances, an organized and hostile militia force did not combat this tyranny of government. Although, I think the Battle of Athens is worth mentioning, as it is the most commonly cited example of the Second Amendment being used as intended in modern times (it happened in 1946 in Tennessee). In that instance, some veterans armed themselves to combat a corrupt local government. They succeeded collectively in what could be described as an impromptu organized militia. It is rare, but it has happened.
          I absolutely, positively, 100% agree with your statement that an organized militia would be wiped out against our full military force. Beyond suicidal. But I don’t see that as a relevant scenario in what we are talking about. The Second Amendment didn’t stipulate that we can only have guns if we collectively have a chance at winning against the aggregate US Military force. They just wanted individuals to have an unalienable form of self-defense and resistance to tyranny.
          The patriots that died fighting for this country would have been slaughtered if they fought the Brits in traditional 18th century combat (two opposing sides, facing each other). They were outnumbered, disorganized, and had less resources than their opponent. You see, Americans were the original insurgents.
          Guns, along with knives, bombs, bats, cars, ladders, sharp objects, low overhangs, wet floors, and hands, CAN be very dangerous. If used improperly, you can be killed by almost anything at anytime. That concept is very hard for some people to accept. I think that’s why humans sometimes react with misguided laws- an attempt to outlaw danger and remedy emotions.
          This “gun control” push to legislate away danger is just a thinly-veiled, self righteous attempt at paternalism, at best. At worst it is an attempt to turn citizens into subjects.
          Ultimately, a gun is just an inanimate object. With human manipulation of various parts, guns can make small metal objects move very quickly. Those objects can (negligently) go bad places.
          Finally, I do think the Second Amendment allows, “every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Jane packing heat in order to protect themselves from the real or imagined threats that every other Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally and Jane might represent”. I can be killed on the street by anything. Statistically speaking, it is far more rational to fear every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Jane driving a 6,000 pound Suburban in order to protect themselves from real or imagined threats that every other Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Jane might represent. Fear hearts. Heart disease kills millions of Americans every year!
          In summary, I think the idea of a militia will never be an antiquated concept. The people comprise the militia, and the militia consists of the people. I also believe the Second Amendment provides for the keeping AND bearing of arms. Judicial precedent agrees with that interpretation. I agree with you that an organized militia would be wiped out by US forces.
          On a personal level, and please don’t take offense to this- your tone sounds a little defeatist. Yes, revolution in modern America may be an unattainable (and undesirable) goal. But, hypothetically assuming there were no other alternatives but violent revolution, aren’t you glad our Founders gave us the means to at least attempt resistance? Millions and millions of people have been murdered by their own government (democide). Tyrants have used civil disarmament as a tool throughout history.
          Also, for full-disclosure sake, I must notify you that I do not carry a gun on a daily or regular basis. I wasn’t sure if you assumed that or not. Even if I wanted to, only the powerful elites can get licensed to carry in my state (and they hypocritically champion gun control!). For all intents and purposes, a gun to me is simply a paperweight. Or a collectible. Unless I am at a shooting range turning money into noise, a gun has no use to me but to take up space. It might as well be a baseball card.
          Sorry for the ramble. Thanks for responding! I enjoy the discussion and hope you do as well.

  2. I wouldn’t use the term ‘idiot’. Those of us who are open, honorable and ready to explore truth generally gravitate to ‘talking it over’, ‘talking it out’ or ‘rational discourse’. Usually, we presume all others feel the same. They don’t; perhaps we are ‘naive’ at times. Innocent of guile?

    Those who refuse rational discourse are typically not interested in truth; only their agenda.

  3. CSGV blocked you from their site? You must be distraught! Or not.

    I’m sure you went there to present a rational argument and discourse on the subject of firearms ownership and the concept of individual self-defense. The Left who wish to remove firearms from the citizenry in the U. S. has no use or desire to hear rational argument and discourse. Good try anyway, sir. (I presume you’re a ‘sir’.)

    Changing the subject slightly, the postings shown from the YouTube thread look strangely like agents provocateur of the Left, attempting to pass as ‘gun owners’. Note too many words are incorrectly spelled, invectives are freely dispensed and the grammar is studiedly wrong. I doubt many of them are actually responsible gun owners. They surely do not sound like either you or me.

    • savethegun says:

      Maybe I’m the idiot for thinking that rational discourse on the subject of firearms is even possible with shills for the Joyce Foundation. I didn’t expect to be banned though. And yes, I’m a sir. Thanks for reading, Mr. Montgomery.

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