Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, August 28, 2009

Adolescents With Guns

Caption: Megan McArdle spots a liberal national health care advocate.

Let's go back in time and examine the philosophical basis for Megan McArdle's insane desire to see armed men roam political rallies.
So if Heller, as libertarians devoutly hope, legalizes gun ownership in DC, the question immediately arises for those of us who live here: buy one, or not? On the one hand, they are expensive, and shooting ranges far away. On the other hand, I live alone in an apartment that is something less than amply fortified. On the third hand, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't handle a gun when I'm sleepy.

However, I probably will anyway, just because I can.

Scratch a libertarian and you'll find a teenager, who wants to get drunk and have sex and smoke dope and shoot guns, just because he can. Not because it's wise or right or appropriate. No, because she can. Never mind the possible consequences, of course, because in Libertarian Fantasyland they don't exist. Having a gun would be cute and fun and make her look cool in front of the boys.
There is a distressing lack of attention to the female market in gun companies. I want something with accuracy and stopping power, but also, an attractive exterior casing that easily integrates with my other accessories. This doesn't seem unreasonable.

The funny part of all this gun worship is that despite the libertarian mind-set and childish desire to have something that is dangerous and goes boom!, McArdle didn't even really want a gun.
I wasn't going to buy a gun, because, hey, what would I do with it? But the chicken guano rules that DC is imposing make me want to buy a handgun just to annoy the twopenny tyrants who thought them up:

[snipped quote]

May I really carry it inside my home without a license, just as if I were a free citizen in a country that respects individual liberty? I am overcome with gratitude, really overwhelmed with the state's generosity . . . permission to cry, sir?

My goodness, that takes me back, to when I was substituting at a wealthy high school. The cheap, petty sarcasm that exposes the speaker as immature and nasty, vapid and foolish and pinched in spirit. But they were children. McArdle's a middle-aged woman. McArdle became a bit testy when commenters and others pointed out that waving around guns could be dangerous.
Now the gun controllers pour out of the woodwork to claim that you're more likely to kill yourself or a family member with a gun than a criminal.

Some of the people deploying this statistic really ought to know better. Composition fallacy, anyone?

These are not double blind experiments. Guns may be the weapon of choice for all sorts of crimes; that does not mean that they cause the crimes.

Yes, guns don't fire themselves, so adding a gun to a volatile situation will do nothing to change the power dynamic for the worse. Although McArdle said she wanted a gun to even up the power dynamic.
I'm hardly the first person to make this observation, but I don't know why it isn't noted more often: guns are the only weapon that equalizes strength between attacker and attacked. It's the only time when men's greater speed, strength, and longer reach make no difference; if you pull the trigger first, you win.

This is an enormous social advance. I am all for strengthening the social contract (and law enforcement) so that fewer men commit rape, assault, or robbery. But until human nature has improved so radically that grievous bodily harm has passed from living memory, I don't understand why more feminists don't push for widespread gun ownership.

Women need guns because bad men might try to hurt them. It's a solution that creates more problems, but one I can understand. But why do men attending political rallies need guns? It's certainly not for protection, and anyone who takes a gun to a rally dramatically increases the level of fear and panic. Guns, crowds, politics. They do not mix, and pretending they do is utterly moronic. Or just incredibly immature.


Downpuppy said...

At last, it all makes sense. All the thousands of seemingly pointless words over the years were Megan systematically searching. And at last she's found it : The pure epicenter of stupidity.

With any luck, her personal density will collapse it into a black hole & nothing further will emerge.

Nahhh. She'll just go back to taunt & gloat.

clever pseudonym said...

Leave it to Megan to believe it's not unreasonable to expect manufacturers to create a gun that matches with her cute new purse and Gucci loafers.

Susan of Texas said...

Oh god there's more stupid. It never freaking ends.

The only fashion accessory McArdle needs is a brain. It can be pink if she wants.

Euripides said...


As an anarchist, this post sums up why we REALLY don't like Propertarians.

Permission to cry sir?
Don't be so fucking melodramatic you ignoramus. Boo hoo think the state is too repressive? What about the wonderful world of work, where Randroids rule with office oligarchy and factory fascism.

Of course mEgan will not understand, not ever having to work for a living, but for a lot of people it is a state of pure totalitarianism.

'Permission to use the bathroom, Sir?'

'Only during the specified times, and don't forget I keep a spreadsheet and will dock your pay if you exceed the specified number of times I've arbitrarily set.'

'Can I leave early to pick up my daughter to take her to the doctors?'

'NO, what do you think this is? A charity?'

Of course mEgan is totally unconcerned with this balance of power, as it mostly concerns the poor and powerless, so fuck them.

I'm sure people at the office don't want you waving a gun in their faces mEgan, so the only principled thing to do is for you to bring in your gun, after all, what could possibly go wrong?

satch said...

Geez...I hope that's not Megan holding that shotgun, unbraced, with her finger on the trigger. If that thing goes off, the kid standing behind her is going to be in a world of hurt. On the other hand, there's a lesson crying out to be learned...

Susan of Texas said...

Don't worry, satch, he's young, so he doesn't get sick or get into accidents and have to go to the hospital.

bulbul said...

Scratch a libertarian and you'll find a teenage
... with rich parents.
And you don't even have to scratch that much, just wipe.

bulbul said...

guns are the only weapon that equalizes strength between attacker and attacked ... if you pull the trigger first, you win.
/redundant/Jesus, she's full of shit./redundant/ Pulling the trigger is the easiest part. First, you gotta take aim at another human being. And to do that, you have to be sure you're ready to kill and on top of that, you have to be calm, quick and smart. You must be able to handle yourself before you can handle a gun and as the old saying goes, a weapon you can't handle properly is your oponent's weapon.
Having a gun does not make you invincible, it only makes you feel that way. And with the illusion of invincibility comes very real recklessness.

bulbul said...


bullseye, brother/sister. The answer to the question "WTF is wrong with libertarians?!" is a simple one: they unquestioningly believe that some things just can't happen to them - they will never be poor, they will never be sick, they will never be powerless or find themselves on the wrong end of a coercive relationship, because a) things like that just don't happen to people like them and b) because they are deserving.
Observation: they are aware of the fact that there is such thing as coercion, but believe that only the government is capable of it. Now why is that? Is it because that's the only type of coercion they have any experience with, being, as they are, a bunch of priviledged fucks?

arguingwithsignposts said...

"These are not double blind experiments. Guns may be the weapon of choice for all sorts of crimes; that does not mean that they cause the crimes."

So, is McArdle suggesting double-blind experiments involving shooting people?!?!?

To follow her reasoning, any statistic that doesn't come from a double-blind study is suspect. WTF?

Kathy said...

Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of speech have served the cause of American's Rights far better, and more often than our 'right' to own murder-machines.

Has a civilian carrying or using a firearm EVER helped advance Democracy? Civil Discourse?

Its a tool for cowardly bullies.

Downpuppy said...

By double blind, I think Megan means "Close both eyes and blast away"

Has there ever been a number so simple she couldn't screw it up? I mean a goddam 0.1 percent decline in unemployment she managed to turn into "200 basis points".

And this assclown gets stuffy about statistics with actual mathematicians.

Susan of Texas said...

McArdle admits there's no reason to carry a gun at these meetings--she's decided to believe that they are demonstrating for 2nd ammendment rights.

Porlock Junior said...

Satch has it right. I cannot buhLEEVE that broa^H^H^H^H female-type person with the gun in that picture.

What, she wants her Republitarian friends to say in awe, "Gee, you handle a gun like a GIRL" ? Maybe this is right-wing women's liberation? Use a gun, but do it in the most helplessly feminine inept way? Adorable, I'm sure.

Can we get her on a hunting trip with Big Dick Cheney? Pretty Please?