PDA

View Full Version : Dana Parson's LAT opinion piece, part II


blackbox
02-13-2009, 7:21 AM
Interesting - the responses to the LA Times opinion article discussed in this post (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=150795) were apparently worthy of a whole new column:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-parsons13-2009feb13,0,1147412.column


Make no mistake, they came out in force. Dozens of e-mails came in, basically arguing that law-abiding citizens who pass mandatory training courses ought to be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

Gun nuts?

Hardly. At least not the overwhelming majority of e-mailers I heard from. They zeroed in on the nub of the issue, which is to ask why well-intentioned citizens shouldn't be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, just in case it might someday be needed.

In arguing that people should, the letter-writers weren't vitriolic, insulting or patronizing.

I almost wish they had been. It's easier arguing with people if you dismiss them as wackos.

He basically sticks to his anti-CCW position, but manages to paint pro-CCW'ers in a positive light. Strange series of articles.... It's certainly not anti-gun in the way the majority of news outlets seem to be these days, but its still not on our side. And his argument certainly won't convince any readers - "I don't want them to CCW because I'm just not comfortable with it" isn't a very powerful argument. And he does reprint one full pro-CCW argument he got in the mail. If I was a non gun owner, that article, despite its anti-CCW conclusion, might still have got me thinking that CCW is a good idea.

And I said in the other thread:

Please don't send him hate mail, this is the sort of "wobbler" we need to pull over to our side, not alienate.

Looks like people indeed did send polite, convincing letters to him. Keep it up.

nobody_special
02-13-2009, 11:40 AM
Anyone care to comment on this before I send it?

Hi. I have some comments in response to your article in today's LA times.

"Bottom line: I wouldn't feel safer knowing that untold numbers of private citizens that I pass on the street -- yes, even salt-of-the-earth types who have been trained -- are packing guns."

The relevant question isn't whether or not you'd feel safer... it's whether or not you are actually safer. There is a difference; one's feelings may or may not be rational. I believe that your feeling of security is illusory. Once you understand that a significant number of potentially unsavory people are carrying guns anyway, you may realize that your feelings on this matter may require adjustment. I agree that you're not crazy -- I'm not comfortable with the sight of people carrying guns either -- but the truth is that the world is not a completely safe place, and no legislation can make it so. Your discomfort with concealed weapons permits is perhaps not misplaced; however the security you feel absent such permits is misplaced.

Yes, the courts have ruled that carrying concealed weapons is not a protected right. This is due to historical reasons; a couple hundred years ago, people of good moral stature carried weapons openly, and the sight of a person carrying a firearm was nothing out of the ordinary. That has changed, and so there are good reasons why most states now issue concealed weapons permits without discretion to any qualified applicant who passes a background check.

First, California's discretionary licensing is abused; in most urban areas, only those who are politically well-connected can obtain permits. There are several ongoing lawsuits in federal court over such discretionary issue practices.

Second, concealed carry is preferred by many precisely because some people (perhaps including yourself) are disturbed or frightened by the sight of someone peaceably carrying a gun. Once the 2nd amendment is extended (as it will be, via the doctrine of selective incorporation) to restrain the state government, then open carry of loaded firearms in public will be a protected right. So then you face a choice between people openly carrying firearms in public places -- even in urban areas -- or a shall-issue, non-discretionary permit process that ensures that those who can legally carry concealed have no criminal record. But either way, people will be carrying firearms.

Nobody Special
Concord, CA

(I'd prefer that my name not be published.)

TMC
02-13-2009, 11:48 AM
That sounds really good to me, I like your illustration of his "feeling" safer and actual safety.

My point in talking with people out concealed carry is to point out to them that law enforcement is under no legal obligation to come out and protect you when you call. In light of that, how can they deny me the right to defend my family or meself?

CCWFacts
02-13-2009, 12:07 PM
In arguing that people should, the letter-writers weren't vitriolic, insulting or patronizing.

I almost wish they had been. It's easier arguing with people if you dismiss them as wackos.

This is clear, concrete evidence of why it's so absolutely important to remain civil, reasonable and calm at all times when dealing with all people who are on the other side of this issue. Doing so makes it a lot harder for them to argue with us.

We need to teach each other (us in the RKBA community) to keep our cool always when dealing with anti-gun-rights articles and so on. It's so important. She puts it perfectly.

Colt
02-13-2009, 5:18 PM
I'd feel safer if about 40% of the people in Orange County had their drivers licenses revoked...

GrayWolf09
02-13-2009, 5:46 PM
Ironic juxtaposition that the op ed piece is on the same page as a link to a story about Phoenix being the kidnapping capitol of the US.

:hide:

vrand
02-13-2009, 8:10 PM
Anyone care to comment on this before I send it?

Nicely written :thumbsup:

Too bad it will fall on deaf ears at the LA Times. :2guns:

Foulball
02-13-2009, 10:05 PM
I'd feel safer if about 40% of the people in Orange County had their drivers licenses revoked...

haha, no kidding!

gcrtkd
02-14-2009, 12:49 AM
Ironic juxtaposition that the op ed piece is on the same page as a link to a story about Phoenix being the kidnapping capitol of the US.

:hide:

Yuppers... I noticed that, too.

Here's my response... I am more long-winded than others...

To:
dana.parsons@latimes.com

Hello again--

I am one of those courteous gun "nuts" who wrote to you after reading your article "Looking down the barrel of an argument over guns" (see attached), and after reading your most recent article "Armed and courteous foes of fewer gun permits," I can see that you still don't "get it." At the end of my message, I made an offer to you to teach you about the realities of responsibly keeping and bearing arms, but perhaps you have been too busy writing against CCW to take the time to get real world exposure to your topic. Have you ever shot, carried, or protected yourself or another with a gun? I have. You should familiarize yourself with your subject before voicing an obviously uninformed opinion.

To begin with, you say that, "...when the right-to-carry people argue their case on the merits, it disarms [you]." You then, however, go on to use your "feelings" of safety (or lack thereof), to justify your support for the new Sheriff's restrictive CCW policy. You realize that you are admitting right off the bat that your side of the argument is based entirely upon emotions rather than any objectively identifiable merit, right? You're fighting fire with Jello. Have you stopped to think that you're letting your emotions overrule logic and that you might just be plain wrong? Let me put it this way... when I was little, I wanted 6 x 8 to be anything but 48. Mom would quiz me with flash cards and I would say, "6 x 8... ummm, 42? 36? 64? 68?" Nope... never, it was always 48. No matter what I thought it should be, or what it could be, the only thing that mattered was what it was. This is important because it has been critical in my career as a
physicist/engineer to know the correct answer to 6 x 8.

In today's article, you state, "Bottom line: I wouldn't feel safer knowing that untold numbers of private citizens that I pass on the street -- yes, even salt-of-the-earth types who have been trained -- are packing guns." This means one of two things:

either
1) There is some "told number" of private citizens walking the streets legally carrying concealed weapons (as well as any number of criminals doing so illegally) and you /are/ comfortable with this. (This is doubtful since CA CCW permits are good statewide and thus, a permit holder from Yuba, Inyo, or Kern county can legally walk down the street in OC carrying concealed and I doubt that you know the number of folks doing so.)

or

2) You feel unsafe or the same level of safety with some untold number of private citizens carrying. If these are, "salt-of-the-earth types who have been trained," then your fear (I'll dare to call it that) cannot (by definition) be of people and their behavior, but rather must be of an inanimate object... the gun itself. Remember though, a gun is a tool and nothing more. It is a very efficient tool, but it does nothing without the will of the person wielding it.

Perhaps there is a third option - which I will call the Pulp Fiction option. Since your feeling of safety seems to drive your thought process and you /feel/ unsafe with private citizens carrying concealed weapons, maybe you would do best just not to think, write, or seek out actual data about it. I call this the Pulp Fiction option because:

JULES TO VINCENT: If you find my answers frightening, Vincent, you should cease askin' scary questions. (http://www.godamongdirectors.com/scripts/pulp.shtml)

To reiterate from my first message, I live in the real world; one in which my feelings are only taken into consideration by my mother. It matters not whether or not you /feel/ safer with people legally carrying concealed weapons. What matters is whether or not you actually /are/ safer, as supported by cold, hard data. I suggest you take a long look into the inverse relationship between the Brady Campaign's gun control scorecard "grade" v. the violent crime rates on a state-by-state basis. CA is the only state which received a "passing" grade from the Brady organization and also sport one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Bravo gun control!

You also mention the OC Supervisors' reference to the Sheriff's misreading of the culture of OC and you use the 1,000/3M argument to dismiss their statement. Have you looked outside of OC, not just at the rest of CA (with it's horrible discretionary issue law) but at the US as a whole? Would it surprise you to know that 38 (actually, more like 40) out of the 50 states are "shall-issue" CCW/CHL permit states? That is, upon application, the appropriate authority in each of those 38 states /must/ issue a concealed weapons permit to the applicant, unless the authority can prove, based upon objective criterion, why this person should not be allowed to have a permit? That's between 76 and 80% of the states! There are only two states which have no sanctioned CCW (WI & IL)... only 4%. The rest, including CA, are discretionary issue. Looking at these numbers and the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld that the right to keep and bear arms is, "implicit in the
concept of ordered liberty” or “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions” (at least inside the federal enclave of DC for now) (http://www.cato-unbound.org/2008/07/14/robert-a-levy/district-of-columbia-v-heller-whats-next/), the only intellectually honest conclusion is that CA's laws regarding CCW lie squarely outside of the mainstream of American history, culture, and values. Regardless of the intent of CA CCW law, it's effect has been to severely limit one of the ten fundamental enumerated rights of individuals inside her borders. Again, bravo... we can't solve a problem, so we will infringe upon the rights of good people to make it seem like we are fixing it. Right.

Segue...

Please reread this sentence that you had in your article:

"I know the 2nd Amendment gives gun-owning and gun-bearing rights."

You know as well as anyone that words have meaning and power. I hope that this sentence was just a slip of the finger and that you "know" that nothing in the Bill of Rights "gives" anything to anybody. The Bill of Rights /recognizes/ fundamental "god given" (though I don't believe in god) rights of the People. The right to keep and bear the implements of resistance to a tyrannical government and of self defense is a fundamental human right. It is not a privilege granted by the State. If it were so, then the State could just take away the privilege when the People saw fit to avail themselves of it. Don't you think that our Founding Fathers were capable of seeing this logic?

Let me leave you with this... In two weeks, I will be moving to VA to take up a new job. In VA (a proud shall-issue state with statewide preemption of local gun ordinances), any free man may /legally/ walk down a public street carrying a loaded, exposed firearm... without a permit (gasp)! In fact, they may walk into any publicly owned place, including libraries, city parks, or even the state General Assembly Building carrying a loaded, exposed firearm. (Pulp Fiction comes to mind again: JULES to VINCENT: That did it, man -- I'm f****n' goin', that's all there is to it.) This right was just upheld, for all intents and purposes, in a VA court (see: http://hamptonroads.com/2009/02/judge-clears-man-arrested-gun-dispute-waterside.) Ask yourself: What is so different about residents of CA and the residents of VA that justifies severely restricting the fundamental rights of Californians? (Before falling back on the VT slaughter argument, remember, VT prohibited
the good guys/students (even those with training and CCW permits) from possessing the tools which would have been most effective in their defense. Would more than 32 people have died that day if the students had been allowed the tools of self defense? Impossible to tell. But we know what happened without access to those tools.)

I have now spent a great deal of time reading and responding to your articles. I hope that you will reciprocate by taking the time to read LTC Dave Grossman's essay "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" as I suggested in my previous message (I have attached the text of the essay after my signature for your convenience). You are what is considered a sheep. This is not a bad thing; it is just what you are. I am a sheepdog. Do not fear me because I have fangs like the wolf. I will /never/ cash in my fangs, spray paint myself white, and go "Baa."


-yours
-gcrtkd "I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf"

(Copied from: http://www.gleamingedge.com/mirrors/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html)

Tarn_Helm
02-14-2009, 2:15 PM
This is clear, concrete evidence of why it's so absolutely important to remain civil, reasonable and calm at all times when dealing with all people who are on the other side of this issue. Doing so makes it a lot harder for them to argue with us.

We need to teach each other (us in the RKBA community) to keep our cool always when dealing with anti-gun-rights articles and so on. It's so important. She puts it perfectly.
:iagree:
There is a difference between blowing off steam in the "off topic" thread ("Nuke'em all and let God sort'em out!") and seriously articulating one's position on the matter of CCW policy.

I will probably end up writing a civil, detailed, point by point critique of Parsons' latest piece.

He fails to address the strongest arguments for shall issue CCW, and the little reasoning he does present for opposing it is both thin and weak.

This will still take a little work.
:beatdeadhorse5: