If you value your rights, say something to those who discredit us


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stiletto raggio
July 31, 2010, 01:26 AM
I originally posted this as a response in another thread, but I think it really belongs here. BLUF: Watch your left and your right and if someone says something crazy, call them out. If you don't, it hurts all of us.



I'm an active duty Army officer, and an MP at that. I deal with people--in fact, am daily surrounded by people--who are trained to use weapons much deadlier than an AR-15. Not everyone in the military is a good person and sometimes they do use violence inappropriately. Training helps to either weeds out or change the bad apples, but plenty get through, and while you may train with someone in your unit and believe they are relaible, it pretty much comes down to trust when dealing with everyone else in uniform. Even with that level of trust, the MPs wear vests and carry guns. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Remove the uniforms, the common training, the indoctrination and the background checks altogether and that is what you have when you go to a public range. They all--quite apparently--have the ability to do you great harm. You assume that they won't, but they can. Everyone ought to be conscientious of that fact and stick to the rules exactly for this reason. Whether through negligence or hostile intent, other people with guns can be a threat to you.

Now, remove the range, the rules, the supervision and keen awareness of everyone else's weapons. You are on the street, lawfully carrying concealed, and you don't know who else may or may not be carrying, lawfully or not, with ill intent or not. You hope that the people carrying are all good guys, but you know that somewhere is a goblin that is just looking for his next victim. You hope they stay away from you and yours, but you have to be aware just in case.

My point to all of this is that regardless of your surroundings, you cannot know the intentions of those around you. You have to be aware of threats, potential and manifest, and take the necessary steps to avoid, prevent or mitigate violence. The lunatic fringe of the "armed citizens" movement with which we are all loosely affiliated poses a great threat to us. Some are misguided and ignorant. Some are self-important and self-styled revolutionaries. Some are downright unstable and are a divorce or a job loss away from declaring war on the oppressive forces they see closing in around them. The nature of the threat is not our responsibility, but preventing sociopaths from infiltrating and influencing others is.

There is a lot of big talk going around on the internet, at TEA Party meetings and other forums where people know their audience is generally accepting. The audience allows people to say--with confidence that they will not be rejected--a great many things they neither believe nor are capable of following through on. I've even seen it on this forum, which is relatively even-keeled. Most of the time when someone runs their mouth or their keyboard, the audience just nods and assents, even if half of them think the speaker is a nut. Don't. When someone in a group speaks, the assumption is that he speaks for the group. Unless they are opposed, others in the group may even think so. they will then either radicalize, moving the group to the fringe, or leave, moving the "average" among the group toward the extreme.

If you value reasonable and rational discourse, don't let people get away with saying something destructive and not opposing it. Don't let your gun club, your TEA Party group or your favorite messageboard become a breeding and recruiting ground for the lunatic fringe which so undermines the legitimate exercise of our rights and our legitimate policy concerns. All it takes is one skinhead to shift public perception against your gathering of law-abiding citizens because if nobody speaks against him, the assumption is that he speaks for everyone. Being prepared and being aware includes being aware of your "comrades" and being willing to speak up when someone goes too far.

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IllHunter
July 31, 2010, 12:04 PM
Sounds like "the responsibility of power", thanks for your thought provoking post and your service.

gun guy
August 10, 2010, 12:44 AM
that sounds good in theory, the problem is reality, who decides, who should be the moral police, as long as someone's actions don't violate the law, the "skin head" is protected, and entitled to, the same rights, and laws as the muslim, the atheist or any other group you personally find offensive. well, he is a skin head, we dont want him in our group, or the goblin, surely we can restrict his freedom of speach, i don't like goblins, you dont like goblins, goblins are a minority, we can take away their rights, its our,,duty..yea,,that guy could be a gang banger, put him on the train too. the free thinker, yep,,off to the camp with him for sure....do you see the problem when you start to label people..there is no draft anymore. why are you in the miliary? try on labels like: baby killer, hate monger, murderer, that was my title when i thought i was doing my duty. now recently, ex military are terrorists. becarefull of putting up pedistals. they can rapidly become gallows

Caliper_RWVA
August 18, 2010, 01:50 AM
that sounds good in theory, the problem is reality, who decides, who should be the moral police, as long as someone's actions don't violate the law, the "skin head" is protected, and entitled to, the same rights, and laws...

I don't think that Stiletto Raggio above is advocating doing anything to stop these peoples right to speech. Just saying don't let their rant go without a rebuttal.

Most of the time when someone runs their mouth or their keyboard, the audience just nods and assents, even if half of them think the speaker is a nut. Don't. When someone in a group speaks, the assumption is that he speaks for the group. Unless they are opposed, others in the group may even think so. they will then either radicalize, moving the group to the fringe, or leave, moving the "average" among the group toward the extreme.

Basically, don't be a Sheeple. Speak up and say that you disagree with what they are saying. Nobodies rights have to be trampled to do this. In fact, you are simply using the same right that they are.

hso
August 18, 2010, 09:12 AM
BlueEyes and IllHunter have the sense of it. Don't let extremists and misanthropes be the only "voice" for the millions of gun owners that people get to hear.

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