I Learned A New Word Today

Effluvia, Language

On one of the gun nut websites they referred to anyone with the temerity to suggest that someone needed to buy more than one gun a month as a "hoplophobe."  It's defined as variously "fear of firearms" or "fear of armed citizens." I think they should really push the first definition. I may have a healthy dose of the first, but I have an irrational case of the latter.

As I have become more involved in this movement, I can honestly say that the people scare me far more than the guns.

I do wonder if you could call a fear of firearms a true phobia, or just good common sense though.

Last 5 posts by Ezra

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Ken  •  Apr 15, 2010 @10:50 am

    The -phobe suffix indicates dislike or aversion as well as fear, which makes it more broadly applicable.

    I assume your first sentence means that they are applying that term to people who have the temerity to suggest people should not buy more than one gun per month.

  2. Madrocketscientist  •  Apr 15, 2010 @10:57 am

    So, Ezra, do you fear Police Officers, Federal Law Enforcement Agents, Soldiers, etc.? Or is just armed private citizens?

  3. tim  •  Apr 15, 2010 @11:00 am

    Is there a term to describe a fear of people who have an irrational fear of guns?

  4. the pistolero  •  Apr 15, 2010 @11:07 am

    As I have become more involved in this movement, I can honestly say that the people scare me far more than the guns.

    I'm sorry you fear your fellow human beings so. It must suck to live like that. But I fail to understand how an irrational fear of inanimate objects (come to think of it, that's a tautology if ever there was one) constitutes "good common sense."

  5. Ken  •  Apr 15, 2010 @11:13 am

    Personally I am in favor of guns, Christianity, and free speech, but am frequently made uncomfortable or even afraid by how others use them.

  6. Ezra  •  Apr 15, 2010 @11:20 am

    Actually, to be clear "hoplophobe" is a totally made up word by one of the gun nuts to describe the fear he thinks I live in. In reality, I live in Alameda. It's much nicer (other than that dang bird that chirps way too loud every morning between 5 & 6 AM..) They are trying to define my entirely rational belief that guns should be regulated as fear.

    And Ken, Christians don't have a monopoly on gun nuttery: http://www.jpfo.org/

  7. Patrick  •  Apr 15, 2010 @11:21 am

    Ezra if you ever go Richard Warman and start trolling the "atomic weapons are necessary to a free militia" websites, we'll have a problem.

    I think the root word is the Greek "hoplon," from which "hoplite" derives. The tragedy of the Greeks is that hoplites couldn't match up to legionaries, who had a very similar ethos about citizens and weapons.

  8. Brian  •  Apr 15, 2010 @12:11 pm

    Ezra, given your proclivity towards the phrase "Gun Nut" I have to ask, do you apply that term to any legal owner of firearms?

    Your bias clearly shows when you use that term to denote gun owners/enthusiasts and your credibility is lessened as a result.

    But then, any long time reader knows your bias in this matter already.

  9. ZK  •  Apr 15, 2010 @1:18 pm

    I agree that guns in the wrong hands are dangerous, but don't see how multiple guns in safe hands are any more dangerous than a single gun in safe hands. This is likely why "Gun Nuts" see such policies as irrational.

  10. Patrick  •  Apr 15, 2010 @2:05 pm

    Obviously you've never seen a John Woo movie.

    Chow Yun Fat with two guns is a god of destruction.

  11. Ezra  •  Apr 15, 2010 @2:54 pm

    Nope, gun nuts are a very specific sub species. There are many gun owners (both for recreation and defense) that are not gun nuts, and would likely never use the word hoplophobe, or recommend the armed over throw of the government. There are also an alarming number of people who would do that. Those are gun nuts.

    Oh, and I never hide my bias.

  12. Chris  •  Apr 15, 2010 @3:18 pm

    How is it that Hard Boiled isn't out on blu-ray? That's a shame.

  13. Brian  •  Apr 15, 2010 @6:05 pm

    Ezra, thanks for the clarification.

  14. jb  •  Apr 16, 2010 @8:14 am

    "Hoplon" in fact meant, back in the day, "Shield."

    Using "hoplophobe" to refer to anti-gun folks is a reasonable evolution of the phrase, but as a member of the SCA I think it is better applied to people who think my martial hobbies are weird.

  15. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 16, 2010 @8:40 am

    "I do wonder if you could call a fear of firearms a true phobia, or just good common sense though."

    It is known as "paranoia". The fear of firearms is an irrational fear.

    "They are trying to define my entirely rational belief that guns should be regulated as fear."

    That is fear. It is irrational fear. You are paranoid.

    Guns can not be regulated other than various means such as a gas regulator or other mechanical components of the guns. What you desire is people control. Unless your views are on the fringe (or beyond) of "gun regulation" advocates, you are not desiring to control criminals who pose a threat to us all, but everyone. Those who desire to control responsible adult citizens because they the would be control freaks are wards of the state incapable of living their own lives are a menace to society.

    "And Ken, Christians don’t have a monopoly on gun nuttery: http://www.jpfo.org/"

    Those are some mighty fine people who you slur with "gun nuttery". So lets see, you want to "regulate" the guns belonging to Jews, black males, gay people, and everyone else? Is that correct? If a black male without a permit or license walks down your street with a loaded handgun, should the local police:

    A) Arrest him so that he may be tried and imprisoned

    or

    B) Nod their head and say "Good morning sir"

    or

    C) _________ (fill in the blank).

    I'd guess you favor A. Am I wrong, or do you favor persecuting racial minorities for owning property and the means of defending their rights?

    "There are many gun owners (both for recreation and defense) that are not gun nuts, and would likely never use the word hoplophobe, or recommend the armed over throw of the government. There are also an alarming number of people who would do that. Those are gun nuts."

    So describing people with an irrational fear or phobia of guns and or armed citizens is a sign of being a "gun nut"? Looks to me like more evidence of paranoia, like a schizophrenic who claims anyone pointing out their schizophrenia is a CIA agent spying on them.

    Also, advocating the armed overthrow of a government is a sign of being a "gun nut"? I am not a Jew but I stand with JPFO (and will join soon enough) – if when governments start massacring the people, we are not to use arms to overthrow that government or to defend those people, what should we do?

    A hoplophobe is one who believes the government should use arms to overthrow the people. People who advocate an armed insurrection in our current situation are uncommon and almost always filled with hot air – excited hyperbole is often a long ways off from actual action. However, hoplophobes are much more common, and their beliefs are not merely bandied about by various half wit blow hards, but they are codified into legislation and enforced by the government. As of yet only a very small handful of people have attempted or planned to attempt overthrowing the government by force, but there are countless thousands (mostly black males and other minorities) in jails and prisons and far more walking around with years of their life lost and with an incredible amount of pain and suffering because the hoplophobes were unable to either be responsible adult citizens or to allow others to do so.

  16. Ezra  •  Apr 16, 2010 @10:35 am

    I think we might need to create a substrata of Godwin for people who use the term Patriot.

    Guns can (and should) be regulated. Do you think Tobacco or Wall Street can't be regulated? Oh wait, you probably do. I think you mean shouldn't be regulated, not can't.

    Heh, how is it I only want to regulate guns from minorities? I thought I wanted to take everyone's guns away? If I see anyone openly carrying a firearm, I will certainly call the police (or jackbooted thugs as you no doubt know them better..) and let them ascertain if the person is legally UOC (the only way to openly carry in California.) I don't care what color their skin is, nobody needs to wander around openly with a gun.

    It's humorous to me that I am the paranoid living in fear, when gun nuts rave about how they need weapons to keep the forces of chaos at bay. I don't worry as I walk down the street that I need a weapon. I don't live like a victim. I don't even lock my front door.

    Yeah, when the US Government starts massacring people (who aren't Iraqi or Afghani, since I bet those are massacres you can get behind) I think we'll all question that. However, until that (exceedingly unlikely) day comes, I think it's prudent to regulate firearms. Just because one day down the road you fear the government might start killing people is no reason for you to carry a gun around. You could just as well start your little club of Wolverines to fight off the fierce Soviet hordes with guns you kept at home.

    How exactly does gun regulation coincide with our ridiculous imprisonment rate? I think you mean the war on drugs. You also started that sentence talking about overthrowing the government and segued to prisons. What was that all about?

  17. Jdog  •  Apr 16, 2010 @12:25 pm

    While "hoplophobe" is a relatively new term — older than, say, "homophobe," albeit only by a few years — the concept isn't new. (Alas, the quote often attributed to Freud to the effect that a morbid fear of weaponry was a sign of sexual and emotional immaturity turns out to be nonexistent.) Where the line is between reasonable caution and concern and unreasonable fear is, of course, a matter of opinion. As a matter of fact, though, it's hard (although perhaps not impossible) to find incidents of people involved in the gun rights/self-defense movement doing bad things with guns — something that isn't true of the organized anti-gun crowd, e.e. the Million Mom March organizer who tried to avenge her son's murder (shooting and crippling the wrong guy in the process) — although it's very easy to find some saying stupid stuff on the Internet, a failure that seems not uncommon among other groups, as well.

    Whether or not I'm a gun nut is, I guess, a matter of opinion; as a matter of fact, I do own guns, use the term "hoplophobe" as I think appropriate, and do not, at present, recommend the violent overthrow of the government, and think I'm vanishingly unlikely to, well, ever.

  18. Jdog  •  Apr 16, 2010 @12:44 pm

    If I see anyone openly carrying a firearm, I will certainly call the police (or jackbooted thugs as you no doubt know them better..)

    Most Americans, when venturing out in public, frequently see people openly carrying firearms. Even in California — although, granted, most of them also have badges and relatively snazzy uniforms.

    Guns can (and should) be regulated.

    And they are. In the US, the public discourse isn't over whether or not the possession of guns should be regulated. Aside from a very few libertarians, pretty much everybody favors some regulation — forbidding, say, young children and incarcerated criminals from possessing such.

  19. Ezra  •  Apr 16, 2010 @1:59 pm

    I don't think you would reach the lofty pinnacle of gun nut Joel. Precisely because you know how specious the idea of "watering the tree of liberty" is. However, one can find all sorts of that tripe at gun websites (even the more "upscale" ones). People who believe that the 2nd amendment should not be regulated at all.

    A favorite current discussion is a thread where they discuss whether they would want grenades if they were legal. I really wanted to ask what the possible self defense/hunting applications of grenades were.

    I also disagree with you that most people are accustomed to seeing openly carried firearms. Admittedly I live in the Bay Area, where it would be really unlikely, but I grew up in Texas, lived in New Orleans and Vermont and have spent way too much time in Kansas City. I have never seen a civilian openly carrying a handgun. Ever. And I bet that would be true for most people.

    If handguns were so common, there would not be the surge of calls to the police when the UOC crowd decided to make a stand in California (a stand that will end with UOC being banned by the legislature.)

  20. Rich Rostrom  •  Apr 16, 2010 @4:33 pm

    Aichmophobia is an irrational fear of knives or other sharp-edged or sharp-pointed objects. It is a recongnized clinical condition.

    Some people do have an exaggerated fear of firearms. The very presence of a gun upsets them. "Hoplophobia" is a legitimate shorthand for this attitude. I would say it's less invidious than referring to "GFWs" ("gun fearing wussies").

  21. Ezra  •  Apr 16, 2010 @4:43 pm

    And I would disagree with you Rich.

    Do a quick google search on Aichmophobia and then Hoplophobia. The second will lead you almost entirely to derogatory rants. I would argue that the made up word Hoplophobia is worse than GFW.

    I am impressed that Aichmophobia is in the DSM. Hoplophobia not so much.

  22. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 16, 2010 @8:24 pm

    "I think we might need to create a substrata of Godwin for people who use the term Patriot."

    "Guns can (and should) be regulated. Do you think Tobacco or Wall Street can't be regulated? Oh wait, you probably do. I think you mean shouldn't be regulated, not can't."

    Only the actions of people may be regulated. That is, they may be made regular. I think "control" is more accurate than "regulate" when you use it. No, I don't think tobacco should be controlled by the government. It should be controlled by the tobacco farmers, tobacco companies, sales outlets, and customers. Wall Street should indeed be regulated – there is a substantial body of criminal laws including those against fraud which would be an excellent starting point.

    "Heh, how is it I only want to regulate guns from minorities? I thought I wanted to take everyone's guns away?"

    I didn't say that you only want to control minorities. The fact that you are willing to expand racist minority control measures to all races does not reflect positively upon you or your human control measures.

    " If I see anyone openly carrying a firearm, I will certainly call the police (or jackbooted thugs as you no doubt know them better..)"

    So people with guns are dangerous, so if you see a person with a gun, you are going to call a person with a gun to deal with them? Brilliant!

    " and let them ascertain if the person is legally UOC (the only way to openly carry in California.)"

    Unless they mismeasured the distance from the nearest school or made another mistake complying with the insane rules, anyone with a gun openly displayed is going to be legally carrying.

    " I don't care what color their skin is, nobody needs to wander around openly with a gun."

    Really? Is that why you support the police who wander around openly with guns?

    What is your advice to women who will be raped in the future? "Don't carry a gun, instead defecate yourself"? or other sage advice?

    "It's humorous to me that I am the paranoid living in fear, when gun nuts rave about how they need weapons to keep the forces of chaos at bay."

    There is a tremendous amount of evidence that at any time and at any place a murderer, a rapist, a terrorist, etc can appear. Firearms are the only effective means of defense from bad guys. It is rational to prepare for the threat these very real bad guys present, just as it is rational to have fire extinguishers in your home work and car. If you were to apply your "gun regulation" logic to fires, you would favor prohibiting matches and lighters (except for the firemen of course, you can trust them). That would be irrational.

    " I don't worry as I walk down the street that I need a weapon. I don't live like a victim. I don't even lock my front door."

    You are living like a victim to be. May your luck hold.

    " (who aren't Iraqi or Afghani, since I bet those are massacres you can get behind)"

    I am a rare bird, an individual with consistent principles and morals. As a former Marine, I say "Support the troops, but F— the war".

    "I think we'll all question that."

    Many will live in denial. You might question it, but what will you do? Whatever you are told to.

    " However, until that (exceedingly unlikely) day comes,"

    You reap what you sow. I most sincerely hope that our many decades of spreading war, death, dictators, etc across the globe doesn't home to roost – but considering the always growing domestic police state, it seems unlikely.

    " I think it's prudent to regulate firearms."

    Nice way to phrase it. Try saying it bluntly "I think it's prudent to cage people who dare to own property that I don't wish to own". or "I think it's prudent to send MY armed men to disarm others who aren't on my payroll".

    " Just because one day down the road you fear the government might start killing people is no reason for you to carry a gun around."

    It's one reason. Saving the hide of those unable to defend themselves is another.

    "How exactly does gun regulation coincide with our ridiculous imprisonment rate? I think you mean the war on drugs."

    You've never seen COPS where they bust the young black male with a gun (usually with drugs)??????? Or other race or gender? Many people favor caging black men for pot or crack, many favor throwing them to the ground and treating them like a criminal before caging them for guns, quite a few are happy to support either excuse. Many are also willing to spread the joy to other groups. Hurray for equality!

    " You also started that sentence talking about overthrowing the government and segued to prisons. What was that all about?"

    I think I mangled two sentences. My apologies.

  23. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 16, 2010 @8:36 pm

    "A favorite current discussion is a thread where they discuss whether they would want grenades if they were legal. I really wanted to ask what the possible self defense/hunting applications of grenades were."

    Grenades should not be used for hunting – it wouldn't be possible to ensure a humane kill. In addition, the range sucks. The self defense application would be when facing multiple armed home invaders, which does happen. Sometimes the invaders plan to not only rob, but also rape and or murder all the occupants. There might be a possible application. The real reason why citizens need grenades is to fulfill their role as the militia (ooh, that must seem like a no-no to you.)

    "I have never seen a civilian openly carrying a handgun. Ever. And I bet that would be true for most people."

    That is going to change.

    "If handguns were so common, there would not be the surge of calls to the police when the UOC crowd decided to make a stand in California"

    Most UOC individuals are not harassed by the cops most of the time they open carry. It seems there aren't as many small minded intolerant paranoid hypocrites who call a man with a gun when they see a man with a gun (while believing there is no need for men with guns).

    " (a stand that will end with UOC being banned by the legislature.)"

    That's real smart – take away the last effective means for women, black men, handicapped individuals, and others to defend themselves from rapists and murderers.

    I'll be moving in the next few months. As soon as I get to NH, I'm going to be open carrying. As soon as I can make an appointment with the police chief, I'll be open or concealed carrying.

    "I would argue that the made up word Hoplophobia is worse than GFW."

    It is also inaccurate, as very few hoblophobes display the signs of real phobia. The type of fear is inherently different. Real phobias are a part of the individual. Hoblophobia is the result of mind control, which is a part of the collective.

  24. MadRocketScientist  •  Apr 17, 2010 @4:59 pm

    The fastest way to take the wind out of the sails of the UOC folks is to make the state a "Shall Issue" state.

    Once people feel they have a legal carry option that is not dependant on the whims of a Sheriff, they'll not be so interested in making a statement.

  25. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 19, 2010 @8:01 am

    "The fastest way to take the wind out of the sails of the UOC folks is to make the state a “Shall Issue” state."

    Won't happen. The politicians need to have the large populated areas unarmed except for their bodyguards, themselves, and their troops.

  26. Jdog  •  Apr 19, 2010 @10:16 am

    I have never seen a civilian openly carrying a handgun. Ever. And I bet that would be true for most people.

    I think you'd lose. Forgetting, for a moment, the question of whether or not cops are "civilians" — I'll argue either way — I'm sure that most people have, at some time in their life, been around an armored car making a delivery or pickup, and those folks definitely do openly carry handguns, and (in that role, although some of them may, say, be National Guardsfolks) are civilians, although if you say so, I'll certainly take your word that you've never seen such a thing.

  27. Ezra  •  Apr 19, 2010 @1:22 pm

    Ah, my bad. I should say I have never seen just a random person (ie not in some uniform) carrying a gun. A casual user vs. someone issued one for their job. That's what I meant. I still say most folks haven't either.

  28. Patrick  •  Apr 19, 2010 @1:37 pm

    That dog won't hunt, Ezra.

  29. Jdog  •  Apr 19, 2010 @2:17 pm

    I'm missing something, Ezra. You seem to think — and I could be wrong; please correct me if I am — that there's something unexceptional and unexceptionable about somebody carrying a gun to potentially use as a law enforcement officer or to protect somebody else's money, but paranoid about about carrying one for self-defense, a function that many people might think is more important than, say, preventing a bag o' money from ad hoc private taxation.

  30. Little Raven  •  Apr 19, 2010 @2:23 pm

    Um…maybe it's just that I live in Texas, but I see 'random' people carrying guns all the time. I wouldn't say it's a daily occurrence but it's far from unusual. And I personally know at least 3 people who have concealed carry licenses, and who are packing most of the time.

  31. Ezra  •  Apr 19, 2010 @2:41 pm

    You know Joel, I had never thought about it that way, but that's a good point. I think I do believe that in general. I have to admit that I am pretty dubious of self defense as a rationale for needing a gun (especially outside of one's home), but (as my pal Henry is quick to point out) that's probably just my victim mentality.

  32. Jdog  •  Apr 19, 2010 @2:50 pm

    Oh, I think it's clear that most people in the US will never be in a situation where a handgun would be useful in self-defense. (I think of that as, generally, a feature rather than a bug). But it seems that in some — rare — circumstances, there really isn't a close second choice. (I've been in that situation; as is typical for such, thankfully, no shots were fired.)

    That said, I doubt that I'll ever have a fire in my bedroom, but I do keep a fire extinguisher close at hand. And buckle my seat belt whenever I'm in a car, even though I strongly expect that I'll never need it to save my life.

  33. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 20, 2010 @4:52 am

    "Ah, my bad. I should say I have never seen just a random person (ie not in some uniform) carrying a gun. A casual user vs. someone issued one for their job. That’s what I meant. I still say most folks haven’t either."

    Most people prefer to carry concealed. Many do so illegally and don't get caught. A great many others carry knives with the capacity and intent of killing people. A determined nut with a little bit of knowledge and a pocket knife could kill many innocent people if there weren't any armed citizens or very well trained and incredibly individuals around.

    You may not have seen people open carrying firearms, but you've most likely seen people legally and illegally carrying concealed firearms and knives amongst other weapons.

    It's a shame not to see more people open carrying. If I am without a firearm and I see a police officer I feel afraid, knowing that man or one from another gang could shoot, torture, beat, cage, or rob me. I once freaked out, quietly so, in a In and Out here in California. I saw two guys inside with open carry handguns – and this was before I learned about the unloaded open carry rule for citizens. Then I saw the badges around their necks. Then I was really afraid.

  34. Madrocketscientist  •  Apr 20, 2010 @8:15 am

    I have never seen a civilian openly carrying a handgun. Ever. And I bet that would be true for most people.

    It wasn't common in WI (except during hunting season, and then it was rifles), and certainly not IL, but I saw it a lot in AZ, TX, and a lot here in WA, especially once you leave the urban centers.

    In urban centers, I think most people conceal carry to avoid calls of "A man with a gun".

    That said, I doubt that I’ll ever have a fire in my bedroom, but I do keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.

    The fire wasn't in the bedroom, but the extinguisher was handy to have nearby.

    And buckle my seat belt whenever I’m in a car, even though I strongly expect that I’ll never need it to save my life.

    Twice now my seatbelt has saved my life, and once my helmet did the job. Not a one of those three accidents was my fault (people have got to stop crossing the center line and hitting me).

    Sometimes, the odds suck.

  35. Chris  •  Apr 20, 2010 @9:16 am

    "A determined nut with a little bit of knowledge and a pocket knife could kill many innocent people if there weren’t any armed citizens or very well trained and incredibly individuals around. "
    No. Not really. Some sort of imaginary Jet Li might be able to, but a pocket knife just isn't that dangerous in the hands of people with "a little bit of knowledge". An average pocket knife gives you basically no reach advantage, and isn't long enough or heavy enough to be a particularly lethal weapon. If someone did pull out a pocket knife and start trying to stab people, I wouldn't be particularly concerned about trying to stop them without a firearm. I probably wouldn't even bother pulling out one of my pocket knives.

  36. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 20, 2010 @9:24 am

    "I have to admit that I am pretty dubious of self defense as a rationale for needing a gun (especially outside of one’s home), but (as my pal Henry is quick to point out) that’s probably just my victim mentality."

    Indeed it is.

    Jeff Cooper, Marine Lieutenant Colonel and the father of "the Modern Technique" of hand gun shooting developed the following classification system for mental states:

    * White – Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."
    * Yellow – Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to SHOOT today." You don't have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six." (In aviation 12 o'clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft's nose. Six o'clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, "I might have to shoot."
    * Orange – Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has gotten your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot HIM today," focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that goblin does 'x', I will need to stop him." Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.
    * Red – Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. If "X" happens I will shoot that person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper

    You are in condition White, despite a variety of threats to your life. You actively support the official government crime and ignore the very real criminal threat that the official government crime helps breed.

    Not only are you in condition White, you are in Condition Clear – you are not only unaware and unprepared, you are also unaware that other people RIGHT NOW need to be prepared, and you are unable to conceive of not only any need for yourself to prepare, but that of anyone else. You don't believe in preparing for the worst day of your life. The worst day of your life is when you get raped or murdered. In the time it takes me to write this, and the time it takes you to read it, and most certainly many times between those two times – somewhere on this planet a poor man, woman, or youth will be raped, killed, tortured, abused in the most horrible of ways, left defenseless and unable to defend themselves by a few evil folks and their legions of foolish supporters.

  37. Patriot Henry  •  Apr 20, 2010 @10:57 am

    "No. Not really. Some sort of imaginary Jet Li might be able to, but a pocket knife just isn’t that dangerous in the hands of people with “a little bit of knowledge”. An average pocket knife gives you basically no reach advantage, and isn’t long enough or heavy enough to be a particularly lethal weapon. If someone did pull out a pocket knife and start trying to stab people, I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about trying to stop them without a firearm. I probably wouldn’t even bother pulling out one of my pocket knives."

    That little bit of knowledge turns a knife, even a very small one, into a lethal weapon. It is not the length or weight of the weapon that matters, it is the ability of it and it's user to damage or destroy vital life sustaining systems. It can be very difficult to incapacitate or kill a person using only your own body – there is no magic "move" which allows you to have an overwhelming advantage over the opponent. A knife combined with one or two simple techniques is such a "move". Knives are far from being equalizers, but they are force multipliers.

  38. MadRocketScientist  •  Apr 28, 2010 @7:52 am

    Just a bit more for Ezra:
    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/04/state_numbers_show_majority_of.html

    This is not the first, nor will it be the last, Sheriff to express this sentiment.

    You are focused on the wrong people. Those who want to get a permit to carry are NOT the problem. Penalizing them with onerous laws is not the mark of a free society.