Confessions Of An Anti: Part II

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ForeignDude, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. ForeignDude

    ForeignDude Member

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    The College Years

    My years at UCLA were associated with a substantial broadening of my knowledge base on gun control. During this period, I learned more about gun control laws (primarily in CA), developed a knowledge base on the rationale and ethics of gun control, and learned (finally) about the Second Amendment to the Constitution. I will discuss each of these factors below, but before doing so, let me sidetrack for a moment to discuss two key aspects of college life that will bear relevance later.

    First, and perhaps not surprisingly, colleges tend to be characterized by a politically liberal climate. UCLA was an excellent example of a campus lying at the far side of the spectrum: the campus was highly charged politically, with student groups representing a hodge-podge of leftist political causes (e.g., ethnic activism, Marxist social policies). Second, while colleges may be located physically within otherwise conservative communities, the campus can often be radically opposed to the trends that dominate those communities. UCLA was slightly different in this respect, since it was an academic institution with a politically liberal climate embedded within a city generally characterized as a politically liberal one. (Keep in mind, these are generalizations and reflect the overall climate, not the views of each resident of the campus or Los Angeles.) The result was the development of an intellectual echo chamber: (1) in which students learned the politico-cultural foundations of the university early, via freshman workshops and membership in student groups; (2) where a mass of popular opinion was formed that reinforced the liberal views of the faculty; and (3) where students utilized the authority of the professoriate to validate the liberal worldview they had been taught.

    This, then, is the world that I entered in the early 1990’s. The UCLA campus then was nothing short of revolutionary: hunger strikes and mass protests by Chicano activists, anti-war vigils (against Desert Storm), radical feminist and Marxist indoctrination in the humanities and social science departments, etc. In this maelstrom of political correctness, gun control was taken as an axiom of civilized society. It is here that I was exposed for the first time to the stereotype of the racist, hillbilly, White, male gun owner. It is also here that I first learned of a meme making the rounds within the ethnic activist movement: the notion that the “White Man” (broadly defined) was purposely flooding the streets of poor neighborhoods with guns so that minorities would kill each other, to further a type of low-intensity genocidal project. (This meme is a recurrent one, and not always applied solely to firearms.)

    From the standpoint of the campus culture, advocating for gun or hunting rights was the equivalent of race betrayal, of submission to the patriarchal social structure, or of identification with the oppressor class. As I noted above, it was taken as a given that gun manufacturers flooded poor communities as a means of controlling them, as low-intensity genocide against non-White populations. The feminist argument centered more on the gun as a phallic symbol of patriarchal power and oppression, utilized to sustain the patriarchy and to inflict violence upon women (via their use in domestic violence and rape).

    Critically, my developing views on firearms were never challenged. There was no Internet, where divergent points of view might be voiced and balanced. Truth, as such, was an amalgam captured from the campus orthodoxy, the mainstream media, and the political culture of California. The situation was akin to the story of the cave in Plato’s The Republic: when trapped within a limited world, one presumes that the reality of the broader world is as one perceives it within that limited world. When exposed to the world “beyond the cave”, one can integrate new knowledge and adjust accordingly, or rebel and deny that which is inconsistent with what is held to be “Truth”.

    In much the same way, the university campus was like being chained in a cave, where one is fed morsels of knowledge that possess internal consistency and logic, but no external validity. To illustrate, let me propose the following argument: (1) government is good, its primary function being to take care of its citizens; (2) laws are the means by which government fulfills its functions; (3) therefore, gun control laws exist for our own good. If you accept the initial premise, then what follows is a logical consequence of that premise. It is this basic chain of logic that animates discussions regarding the “right” of government to “protect our children and communities from gun violence”. This logic is exceedingly powerful in its own right; when left unchallenged, it is well-nigh unassailable.

    So, these things I believed. Shut inside the campus echo culture, I understood gun control to be a struggle not against physical objects but against structural defects in the wider society. Ours was a “sick” culture, thoroughly infected with racism, sexism, and inequality, a veritable sewer of anachronisms and oppression. Chief among these anachronisms was the Second Amendment, a legal truncheon devised by slave-owning, rich, White men to maintain their hold on power. In this worldview, liberal and left-of-center politicians were the heroes: they passed laws to reform “the system”, for the benefit of the masses, to protect the innocent from the scourge of gun violence. The NRA, by contrast, was evil: the satanic incarnation of the racist, sexist, wife-beating White man. By getting rid of guns, the symbols of everything defective in America, we could begin a process towards the remediation of past injustices.

    In the entirety of my college years, I never held a firearm of any type. I never discussed gun rights or gun control with a gun owner. I never read an NRA pamphlet, or any gun rights publication. I did not personally know anyone, nor did I know of anyone, nor did I read of anyone, who utilized a firearm successfully in defense of self or family.


    Part III will narrate my views on gun control through graduate school.
     
  2. MakAttak

    MakAttak Member

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    This is excellent.

    It also illustrates the danger of the orthodoxy on our college campuses and their supression of true academic freedom.

    "We don't like yer kind around here".

    These "bastions of academic freedom" have become the biased, hateful, bigoted carictature they created of the "backwards gun owners".
     
  3. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

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    I read part one and am glad to be able to read this. It definitely defines the "bastion of freedom" properly.
     
  4. dewage83

    dewage83 Member

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    whens part 3 coming??? great work you should look into writting alot mroe seriously
     
  5. Conqueror

    Conqueror Member

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    Very well written, I look forward to the next installment.
     
  6. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Our nanny-goat society has generated a nanny-goat education system. And it's resulting graduates have all the words of persuasion...but none of the content of character (all sizzle, no steak) to give weight to their positions. I thank ForeignDude for his well-articulated perspective, I trust his future narratives will reflect a growning recognition as to the historical nature of tyranny & the individual's responsibility of self-determination & self-protection.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill...(because I don't have the direct quotation in front of me), "If you are not liberally-minded as a young man, you have no heart. If you are not conservatively-minded as an old man, you have no brain."
     
  7. Poper

    Poper Member

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    Most excellent!

    I too, have read Part I as well. This is a very cogent and articulate narrative, as well written a piece as I have read here on THR.

    I am anxiously looking forward to the rest of ForeignDude's story.

    Poper

    PS: What is your discipline, ForeignDude?
     
  8. Winchester 73

    Winchester 73 member

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    A fine essay which makes us realize how the anti-gun viewpoint is formulated in a very controlled environment among a very young population.
    The reams of editorials from college newspapers around the country against campus firearms carry should come as no surprise after reading this excellent post.
    I too, look forward to the next installment.
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Well, heck. I thought we were just knuckle-draggers.
     
  10. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    We are. He just thoughtfully neglected to mention the knuckle-draggin' part. Now...back to the cave!
     
  11. springmom

    springmom Member

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    These are really very good. Keep it coming.

    Springmom
     
  12. Cmdr. Gravez0r

    Cmdr. Gravez0r Member

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    Hence the ridiculous "compensation" remarks one encounters on the intertubes. I always tell 'em...I got a big gun to compensate for my small hands.
     
  13. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO Member

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    OK. So we now know that "It's not my fault", "the environment made me do it" and "it's not my fault".

    That's fine and it is appreciated that you take the time to clearly explain the environment you have been in. However, that environment has been in place for decades. We all know that. We also know that any advanced degree requires that you, as the candidate, MUST fit in, or you will not be able to get many of the advanced degrees available from (insert name of institution you are concerned about). We know that.

    Why has it taken so long to get to the point of your dissertation, and what do you expect from us? :confused:
     
  14. JCMAG

    JCMAG Member

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    This is excellent, excellent stuff. It is a mark of passion that a gentleman would write eloquently on an internet forum.

    He is telling us a story. The story has a moral. People are the products of their environment, it is naive to believe that people suddenly wake up one day and realize that everything they have ever been told was wrong. Such epiphanies come from God, not the NRA.

    He is chronically the development and institutional reinforcement of a baseless prejudice and I, for one, can't wait to read the rest.

    As a college student I can attest to much of that. I've taken studies of the U.S. government and how it functions... the Bill of Rights was never mentioned...

    But I can tell you this, in Shakespeare's words, the realization that people have of their quaint little world when reality bites them in the keister with a little violence:

    These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.
     
  15. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

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    Bravo! Incredibly well-thought out and written. Not a mis-placed idea or word in the bunch.

    I have not read Part I, but I will look for it as soon as I post this. If Part I and Part III are as good as this, I would encourage you to submit this to some magazines for publication. The gun mags are of course one possibility, but you will be "preaching to the choir". That's not a bad thing, as the choir enjoys a good sermon as much as anybody. But reaching a wider audience with this would be even better. Maybe something like Esquire? Vanity Fair? Playboy?

    Check their publishing requirements for word counts and format, etc - then edit to fit. I am very serious about this and I would be willing to bet anybody else here who has read it would agree.

    Get it out there! Don't take the first shoe-box full of rejection slips to heart. Keep sending it out until somebody accepts it for publication. And let us know what the response is.

    Again...Bravo, sir!
     
  16. MakAttak

    MakAttak Member

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    "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

    Geez, if you don't have the patience to read a well-written, well-reasoned piece, please refrain from doing so and click some other thread.

    How shall a man believe except that he hear? How shall he hear without one to tell him...

    Maybe you can get off your high horse and realize there are many who are ignorant: they have never been faced by any other viewpoint. It is therefore our responsibility to present another viewpoint.

    Or do you expect people to be genetically coded to support the second amendment?
     
  17. tntwatt

    tntwatt Member

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    100% agree with rainbowbob!!!

    This needs to be more widely read!
     
  18. serrano

    serrano Member

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    I've got to agree with you Pat, I grew up in Southern California and went to a very liberal University of California campus - I didn't drink the kool aid - and unless things changed much from the early '90s to the early '00s there were many outlets and events for opposing views... however, 9/11 occurred just before I entered college, that may have changed the political climate...
     
  19. MakAttak

    MakAttak Member

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    Ah... self-righteousness.

    So refreshing.
     
  20. M110

    M110 Member

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    Excellent!




    Continue....
     
  21. JCMAG

    JCMAG Member

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    If someone is already inclined to drink what others are willing to pour down their throats, it is no small wonder that they would have a drink.

    Nobody can reasonably blame him for believing something that he was raised to believe within an agreeing dominant culture.

    The ideas of self and liberty preservation have, unfortunately, become counter cultural. It is not something that people can come up with on their own. That requires education. I don't know where this story is headed, but I can't wait to hear what ForeignDude's education was. I do hope, for his sake, that his education was not of the shock variety.
     
  22. Winchester 73

    Winchester 73 member

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    The Tempest(1611).
    Thank you,JCMAG!
    No one can compare with the Bard.
     
  23. buck00

    buck00 Member

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    This is very well written and illustrates a pretty scary scenario:

    :barf:


    This explains a lot about some hard-core liberals too:


    It almost sounds like at UCLA, you could be the "revolutionary" by advocating right-wing views, considering everyone on campus was conforming by celebrating the same hippie-Marxist rhetoric. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
  24. kamagong

    kamagong Member

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    I went to college at UCLA in the late 90's. ForeignDude's description of campus life there was pretty spot-on. Obviously not everyone there was as liberal as he describes as most college students tend to be self-absorbed during this time of their lives. Most of the students that I saw were usually focused on their studies, personal discovery, or student-student relations. But there was definitely a liberal political climate at the school and student government was clearly dominated by those who leaned towards the left. I witnessed firsthand the myopic reinforcement these leftist-political groups had on each others ideas. It's like they were feeding each other's sense of victimhood. At the time I never really paid attention as I was a typical young man--not really caring for politics and interested primarily in more immediate concerns (i.e., girls and grad school, in that order). But now that I think about it ForeignDude's narrative is pretty darned accurate.

    Good article and an excellent, human insight into the intellectual development of a liberal anti.
     
  25. romma

    romma Member

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    You've created a monster ForeignDude! Start Clackity-Clacking!
     
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