Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

America's Great Gun Game--what to take away

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Danus ex, Sep 7, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Danus ex

    Danus ex Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've had some inquiries about my thread on Earl McDowell's gun control book, America's Great Gun Game: Gun Ownership vs. Americans' Safety. This thread was closed weeks ago, but its legacy apparently lives on.

    Let me emphasize one idea above all: if you viewed that discussion as an attempt to persuade Dr. McDowell, a battle of facts and logic, a way to determine who's "right" on that issue, or as a mere clash of incompatible ideologies, you might be correct, but you're not thinking big enough. The thread itself is ultimately a drop in the bucket.

    Its effects are not. That thread benefitted both Dr. McDowell and THR from the get-go, and I'll tell you why.

    Dr. McDowell got the following out of it:

    1. A chance to interact with firearms enthusiasts. As far as I know, this is one of the few opportunities McDowell has had to face off with firearms enthusiasts. Pro-gun and anti-gun social spheres both exist and regularly bash each other, but said spheres rarely interact genuinely outside of stilted media "debates".

    2. A chance to receive criticism. THR drowned McDowell in criticism and counter-arguments, which he will no doubt use to hone his future arguments.

    3. Raw publicity. My thread unquestionably raised the profile of his book and generated a some sales, but did neither by a whole lot.

    THR gets more out of this:

    1. A chance to interact with a firearms detractor. Aside from unpleasant encounters with mouthy supermarket patrons or fearful family members, many of us on THR rarely cross paths with someone who's as anti-gun as we are pro-gun. Even when we do, the interactions are limited. This thread exposed THR members to the real (well, virtual) deal.

    2. A chance to dole out meaningful criticism. Although some members wrote before thinking, most put real thought into their responses when confronted with a real person holding a real opposing view.

    3. Swayed neutrals. Any neutral visitors monitoring that thread are likely to have been persuaded by THR members' arguments based not only on the quantity of replies, but the readiness to refute McDowell's claims (and not necessarily the successful refutation of his claims).

    4. Doubting "antis". It's conceivable that at least one less-fervent anti-gun visitor began to doubt his or her position after reading that thread. The number of times this occurred is impossible to estimate.

    5. More thought. An effect of sheer quantity, hundreds of THR members and guests thought about gun control and refined their thoughts about gun control more than they would have otherwise. One gun control advocate thought about gun control and refined his thoughts about gun control more than he might have otherwise. Tell me, which group permeates society in multiple levels and locations? THR. Which has a greater chance of affecting any change of mind or policy? THR.

    6. Pride and confidence. Not only did most of THR behave itself, but locking horns with a full professor of rhetoric and established gun control advocate wasn't so scary, was it? Academics, intellectuals, even anti-gunners aren't really different from us, they are us.

    7. New members. All roads seem to lead here. Not only did we have some members join specifically because of that thread, more are undoubtedly well on their way.

    All in all, I'd say it was a success, albeit to an indeterminable degree.

    :evil:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  2. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    4,192
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    The interaction was completely one sided. Mr. McDowell never responded to a single post or argument within with anything more than a half hearted acknowledgement that he'd read them but was too busy to respond. It seemed very much like that he was just gathering an audience for the presentation of his views without regard to ours. Pretty much why the thread was closed.

    What the more erudite members wrote was little more than wasted bandwidth as Mr. McDowell ignored it all - completely.

    The only real benefit accrued by the thread and to which you alluded is that some antis or neutrals may have learned something about RKBA, had a misconception or two dispelled or maybe were even swayed to our side.
     
  3. camslam

    camslam Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    Chilling Out in the Valley of The Sun
    No offense Danus, but I would have to take issue with your assertion:

    I would hardly call the interaction we had with Dr. McDowell as anything close to meaningful. I actually received one of his private messages and in my response to the good doctor, I have never heard anything more from him.

    Also in looking at his limited posts, he never answered any of the logic, rebuttals, or counter arguments to his ideas in any kind of meaningful way.

    I think the bottom line for most THR members was, "This is all you've got?" I hope he continues to represent the anti-gun crowd, because as usual, logic, facts, and truth usually win out over emotional thoughts.

    I only speak for myself, but it seems all Dr. McDowell can offer is the same tired re-hashed arguments we have all heard before. Hardly meaningful.
     
  4. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,269
    Location:
    mn
    I have to admit, I'm still waiting for replies to any of the questions posed to him. And I am sort of disappointed I didn't hear anything from him regarding my offer to meet face-to-face.

    Frankly, and I don't mean to be rude here, but it all seems to me like we were interested in the debate and Dr. McDowell had no real interest. He pretty much just kept repeating his position without answering our questions, while we did refute his.

    Also, it seems that the issue of his primary intent is still under question. The thread was locked "pending review." So apparently the issue concerning the true motive has not been resolved.
     
  5. exar

    exar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Indiana
    The above post's pretty much sum up the extent of this "debate".
     
  6. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    3,197
    Location:
    Stalingrad, USA
    After reading the posts on that thread, I doubt the Doctor could substantiate any feasible rebuttal's to the swarm of logical and rational contradictions to his loosely assembled case.
     
  7. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    3,517
    Location:
    Houston
    The thread was a good learning opportunity for me. Dr. McDowell was a hugh disappointment. I was hoping to learn from him as well and got absolutely NOTHING.

    Win some, lose some...
     
  8. Danus ex

    Danus ex Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Gentlemen, you're thinking too small. You didn't actually believe THR could sway a hardened gun control advocate, did you? Those posts were far from wasted bandwidth, they provided the content that may have persuaded more visiting readers to support RKBA.

    Ok I'll buy that and readjust my sentence: the thread was more meaningful than no discussion at all.
     
  9. camslam

    camslam Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    741
    Location:
    Chilling Out in the Valley of The Sun
    Agreed. However, the arguments and facts put forth by the THR members were extremely valuable to anyone that cares about 2nd amendment rights. Great job by the members.
     
  10. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    What we need to take away from Earl the Pearl is that the anti arguments hold up like wet rice paper. He had nothing.

    Hold your heads up and feel your strength and smile.:D
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    That's been the leftist extremist way for decades.
     
  12. tydephan

    tydephan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Danus,

    Since you brought the topic up again, and for the most part summed up the results of the discussion nicely, perhaps you can shed some light on what the purpose was originally for the thread?

    Was it simply another venue to promote his book?

    Was he conducting research on his opposition?

    As noted by just about every member in this thread, it does not appear as though he was interested in scholarly debate, based on his lack of responses.

    I just wonder what makes the zookeeper wonder into the lion's den...

    No ill intent intended by this line of questioning, just honest curiosity.
     
  13. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,229
    Location:
    Westminster, MD
    I firmly belive that honest debate, with verifiable facts, and putting ones own position in a public forum to both substantiate your ideals while refuting the opposing position will quickly show the strength of your principles. Questioning ones own beliefs with the intelligence to be open minded and possibly even explore an alternate viewpoint are healthy and wise responses to debate.

    I belive the many questions posted by Earl in OPs only, without any defense of his position, or factual rebuttal of ours proves to me the strength of our position on the RKBA. The fact that one of the most notable of the scholars and authors positioned against gun rights could not defend his position in the face of overwhelming logical rebuttal by people from all walks of life speaks volumes of THR and it's members.

    I would like to think that Earl, as both a scholar and intelect would question his own beliefs and position, using both his inability to defend his position, and our eagernesss to both defend and promote ours with solid statistics and logic to form a new stronger opinion.

    The measure of ones logic is not in a static post, inviting people to oppose you while ignoring their responses, it is in active rebuttal of their points.

    I am both dissapointed and proud that one who has gained sucess with presenting his position, could not begin to refute ours, I was actually hoping for a worthy challenge.
     
  14. Danus ex

    Danus ex Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    A fair question. The whole thing was my idea. Dr. McDowell emailed me when his book hit the presses and I asked him if I could introduce him and his book to THR. I told him how I thought things would shake out and outlined some potential benefits of the discussion. He okayed my plan and I proceeded.

    I guess it was clear to me how the discussion might benefit both parties before I got things rolling. I'm not saying I'm omniscient or anything, but things unfolded similarly to what I expected after Dr. McDowell joined THR. It became a way for people to present their best arguments and hopefully attract more interested people.

    And no, this wasn't concocted as some kind of data gathering technique, although what resulted could easily form data. A number of people also accused me of being McDowell's minion, but for the record I graduated from his department a while ago. We do unrelated work and McDowell wasn't even on my committee, although I did take two classes with him as an undergraduate.
     
  15. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,233
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    I just read a few reviews of his book. Here's part of one:

    "Author Earl E. McDowell urges the silent majority to become the vocal majority as he tackles the controversial topics of gun control and concealed carry laws."

    Let's see, 230,000,000 guns and only 4 million NRA members and he's calling his side the silent majority?

    Give me a break. That spin won't play.

    John
    NRA Patron Member
    Member www.vcdl.org
     
  16. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Georgia
    After going back and reading all 16 pages I came away extremely frustrated with the whole exercise.

    Your "Dr. Earl" reminds me of "Kelli" on the former brady blogs (whose comments have now been turned off due to the hammering they took from the pro-gun community). Whenever a serious question was posed, she dodged, juked, jinked, slithered, & wiggled. Her responses were "Brady Bunch sound bytes" and "emotional" and she would NEVER respond to any direct question posed to her.

    I think the good Dr. is trying to drum up sales for his book and forward his anti-agenda - and I don't appreciate his refusal to engage in a debate. He just wasted everybody's time in a childish attempt to line his pockets and push his tired and debunked agenda.

    If the good Dr. wants to come back and play in "our house" he's going to have to take the time and respond directly to the questions we've posed...that is a debate. It's very clear from the level of sophistication and knowledge here that he won't be able to debate THR members in a logical and straightforward manner about the gun control issue.

    By the way Dr. Earl, since you're capturing and analyzing our comments, know this:


    Whatever laws you try to pass to infringe on my rights to keep and bear arms will not be successful and you will NEVER get my firearms. Never. We have a little saying at The High Road...Molon Labe!
     
  17. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    832
    Location:
    Texas
    I will say this much. I give Dr. McDowell credit for actually having the sand in his craw to actually register, and try to in at least a very limited way defend his position.

    I do not believe that he ever managed a substantive defense, but to be fair his stance is indefensible.

    And if the show was on the other foot, would I have had as much patience trying to deal with a forum full of Brady zombies?

    But at the very least, he could have responded substantially to at least one member. I understand he doesn't have time to address every point made in 16 pages.
     
  18. Azidiot

    Azidiot member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    25
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Danus ex originally request a 'debate'?
    From what I could tell, there was NO debate. Just the good doktor repeating his nonsense while refusing to engage reasoned, intelligent, referenced arguments. That in and of itself makes one suspect "troll". JMHO.

    Azidiot
     
  19. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    3,959
    I get the feeling that most of us posting here are relatively experienced with debating gun control proponents. The vast majority of those proponents are at least willing to engage in debate for some time. Also don't forget that many posters here are academics, intellectuals, or from a wide variety of other fields that require a little bit of debate skill. You make it sound like everyone is a turnip farmer scared of talking to "book learned" people. I think for there to be any horn locking McDowell would have needed to take on some of the criticsm of his work.

    I don't know what your relationship with him is but if you know him personally I would feel like he deserves some shame. You gave him a little publicity on his book and the opportunity to defend his work and sway people to his side. All I saw was him hawking his book and taunting the membership without doing them the courtesy of responding to their critism. He deserves a scolding from you like you would a friend you take to a party who acts inappropriately.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  20. BridgeWalker

    BridgeWalker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    Pretty much all I got from it was that most antis assume they are smarter, wiser, and better educated than us redneck, backwoods freaks. We didn't change his opinion because our arguments are so simple.

    A simple argument works better at demonstrating truth. A complex argument involved statistics and oh, yeah, excessive rhetoric, works better at demonstrating the brilliance of the arguer, at least to himself.

    Iow, it doesn't matter than our arguments were better. His arguments were more complex. To some academics (apologies to the academics present, heck, some of my best friends are profs. :p), complexity demonstrates intelligence. Truth matters less than sophistication.

    Note, for example, that the guy's few posts focused on how very busy he is with his very important work and he can't possibly waste too much time or energy doing much other that working on his very important work and buying coffee with our dimes. It's just different languages. We speak reality, he speak sophistry.

    (Oh, and ftr, I'm not a lawyer yet, just an ex-teacher and a second-year law student :))
     
  21. JKimball

    JKimball Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    Orem, UT
    I thought it was one of the best threads I've seen in the short time I've been on THR. I'll always be glad that I can refer to it as a resource and even refer others to it.
     
  22. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,831
    Being brought up to "keep your mind open to everything and closed to nothing" I was really hoping to learn something from Dr. McDowell's book and/or "Pearls" of wisdom in the thread.

    Granted, at Earl's request via pm, I looked into Homer Cummings, so I can say I did learn something. (Thank You Earl) I don't know how much of that information will be useful, but I did keep a somewhat open mind. (for the record, I'm against packing the courts either way, preferring balance)

    I failed to be swayed by the language and tests in the book... so perhaps my mind is not as open as it should or could be in that regards. The reasoning contained therein gave little, if any, historical background on why crime and public dissent skyrocketed in the 20's and 60's other than political assassinations, both actual and attempted, even tho' I think I know the answers. Though I am at the beginning of going through the bibliography to see what seeds I can gather, my fear or caution of another Bellisiles appears to be unfounded.

    As someone who will read just about anything on Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Franklin, Adams (John and Sam) and the action and ideas that allowed those very few men to successfully found, form, and create an idealogoy that is so... right, so correct or enlightened, based on law, equality and liberty, men who literally threw away the concept of "Safety" by their very actions... well, darnit anyway, I guess when it comes to personal liberty, my own self preservation and well being, I choose to follow their path and have no intention of laying down my weapons because a few thousand citizens each year choose to not comply with the law, equality and liberty. Those that choose suicide by firearm... I'm sorry. Life does suck sometimes.

    Nor will I implicitly and blindly trust the word of most government employees, such as college professors or fatcat elected oligarchs (loaded words, eh?) who know what is best for me and preach empty dogma. Instead I will continue to challenge them to open discourse, to teach me why their way is the best way. As long as they too are willing to listen and learn.

    I can be taught when I am in error. I can be swayed by better thinking when clearly defined and defended as opposed to ad misericordiam or ad populum rhetoric.

    So Danus ex, thank you for that thread and that introduction. I'm still waiting to learn that I was blind but now can see. Why are we this way and the rest of the world that way (condition yellow vs condition white)?
     
  23. Poper

    Poper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    Approximately N33°18' / W111°48'
    Danus ex, I want to emphasize how appropriate the above quote really is. If I were you, I believe I would be embarrassed.

    You came here and asked if this board would engage in a civil debate. We welcomed "Earl the Pearl" readily. However, real debate was ignored, and as I said early on in response to your original query, it was unlikely High Roaders would welcome a lecture. It is plainly evident the majority of THR's responding members did not appreciate his condescending lecture. Please! Count me among them!

    Poper
     
  24. Ieyasu

    Ieyasu Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    597
    Danus ex originally posts:
    Ieyasu responds:
    Ieyasu shows Danus ex errors, not differences of opinion in McDowell's writings. Danus ex never responds to that, but posts this:
    To which Ieyasu responds:
    In other words Danus ex, it's not how someone "can think that way," it's how somebody gets the facts wrong and refuses to even discuss it!

    Danus ex also originally posted:
    Ieyasu responded:
    Also Danus ex was asked several times whether he had read the book. I never got an answer.

    Conclusion: Danus ex and the professor have a lot in common.:barf:
     
  25. Ieyasu

    Ieyasu Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    597
    alucard0822 writes:
    alucard0822, please, please, tell us where you contracted the notion that the professor who posted here is "one of the most notable of the scholars and authors positioned against gun rights."
    *SIGH*
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page