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Gun Law Facts We Can’t Ignore

in Opinion/Poor Pratt's Almanack
Who Benefits From Disarming Innocent Victims?

The politically motivated hysterical rush to take guns away from citizens and disarm innocent victims deserves an objective examination. Here are some questions that strike me as obvious no-brainers ignored by both the media and those that make political hay and seek more personal power by jumping on the bandwagon of disarming not just criminals but also the rest of us that might threaten their political power ambitions:

1. How can we ignore the fact that gun violence continues to steadily decline?

2. How can we ignore the fact that most mass shootings take place in gun-free zones?

3. How can we ignore the fact that it is impossible to disarm bad actors without resources and manpower required for an oppressive police state that would be a far worse threat to our freedoms than the shooters that the power seekers purportedly want to protect us from?

4. How can we ignore the fact that providing adequate official protection in gun-free zones would require a police state that we cannot afford either financially or politically not to mention the inevitable and far worse threat to our freedoms?

5. How can we ignore the fact that disarming innocent victims will only create more victims?

6. How can we ignore the fact that the only practical means to protect innocent victims are concealed-carry and arming ourselves?

7. How can we ignore the fact that gun laws are not intended to protect us and are merely a smoke screen for self-aggrandizement by power-seeking authorities?

8. How can we ignore the fact that protecting us from ourselves is the standard excuse used by power seekers, dictator wannabees, and all forms of collectivism around the world?

Shame on them for trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Shame on us for being gullible.


Losing the Moral High Ground

in Nick Wolff/Opinion/Politics
losing moral high ground

Heroes and Villains

We all see ourselves as the hero in our story. Simple minds cast others as the villain. The moment you come to believe that you unquestionably occupy the moral high ground is the moment you have lost it.

Dehumanization of your opponent is easy. Understanding them is difficult, but it’s the only way this is going to work. If we care about solving problems, we need to realize that people who contend with our ideas likely have a point. They probably have important information and perspectives to bring to the discussion.

We bring our differing values (or beliefs) into every interaction and situation we enter. We do not prioritize our values the same way–nor should we.

It is my hope that by highlighting the diversity of human values, we can advance human progress in much kinder ways. These fundamental disagreements will be resolved, but they don’ t have to. I want adversaries across debates to become more humanized in the minds of their opponents.

Internal Threat

Our values are visceral. Even when they are grounded intellectually (often they are not) the fact that they under-gird so much of our lives, we will have a deep seated emotional reaction to anything that would move us to reconsider our perspective. We react in fear because having to re-define our assumptions about the world is a tremendously traumatic experience. We react harshly and often aggressively toward anything that would threaten our worldview.

New perspectives which adversely impact our relationships are terribly difficult to adopt. Many of our social groups are defined by certain commonly held beliefs. If we were ever to depart from them, we may face social ostracism from close friends, colleagues, and sometimes family members. For some, that cost is too great. For that reason, challenging ideas are seen as an existential threat.

People are different. I have devoted many hours of my life to understand why people disagree. When I say disagree, I mean deep, durable disagreement. One of my colleagues, once said that poor communication was the source of all conflict. That is patently false. Sure, better communication helps to clear up misperceptions, miscommunications, and build trust. But intractable conflict isn’t about communication problems. It’s about fundamental differences about how we believe the world ought to exist and function. Because of these differences, we all believe we are operating on the moral high ground. That’s when things get dangerous.

Stop Fighting

When it comes to interpersonal conflict, the biggest danger arises from an inability to see the noble, ethical, or valid ideas that form the basis of one’s position. If after discussion, you can see the moral and philosophical basis for that opinion, if nothing else we can “agree to disagree,” shake hands, and move forward–accepting our differing prioritization of values. But when adversaries end the conversation with no clearer understanding of the noble basis for the other’s position, terrible things happen. The “othering” occurs. We’ve lost the moral high ground. We attribute malice, ignorance, or dis-ingenuousness to others. Relationships are destroyed and collaboration is impossible. 

In subsequent articles, I’ll be discussing the six pairs of competing value orientations. In them you will see the basis of every intractable disagreement. Some orientations will resonate with you. Others will not. But my hope is you will come to understand the nature and positive basis for each orientation, even if you strongly disagree with the ramifications of that belief.

We need to stop fighting each other.

Collectivism Exposed: Open Borders

in Opinion

While security and equal treatment are aspects of border control it’s primary purpose is population control. It’s to control not just numbers but also to be certain your country only brings in the best. If you don’t bring anything of value a society does not have to accept you particularly if that society would have to provide for you when you can’t provide for yourself.

Seeing as every society has an obligation to those born into that society they should not have to take on the excess burden of other societies. Forcing a society to accept people is another form of collectivism as long as welfare programs exist. It forces a society to give up its resources to members of poorer societies forcefully. A societie’s only obligation is to its contributing members of it and the helpless born into it.

Open borders forces wealthier societies to surrender their resources to the helpless and low quality of other countries, accept things that they may not want in society, and brings in an influx of people that at an uncontrolled growth rate infrastructure may not be able to keep up with. It’s dangerous for an established society.

Controlled borders are healthy. Just as all people are granted the freedom of association so is a whole society. This includes the right to not associate with some. This does not mean societies can exclude those born into them, but they can if they do something heinous and this is why jail is justified. While yes jail should be dedicated to rehabilitation sometimes elements must be completely removed from it to protect it. This is also why we should keep prisoners who commit crimes in our country even foreigners. Other countries can just as easily exile them as we can. Which with open borders would allow removed elements to sneak back in.

Now that does not mean open borders can’t exist. It just needs to be mutually beneficial for both countries. This can be done with treaties such as the US Constitution. That being said such treaties are only viable when a country can pull out and secede from an open borders community.

Having healthy boundaries is an important part in human psychology. This same psychology applies to states. The secret isn’t in having full open borders because there are now boundaries, it doesn’t allow societies to pull away from what they find detestable. No it is in flexible systems of open borders with degrees of control across all borders. Societies should constantly be shifting and changing alliances to adapt to the development of culture. The rights of sovereign states need to be protected and that means their right to consent to being part of system as well.

Gordon Mills and Libertarians

in Opinion
Gordon Lightnfoot
Image: from photo at

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong …

— From “The Rose”, written by Gordon Mills
© Universal Music Publishing Group
Sung by Bette Midler in the movie of the same title

After decades of indoctrination, far too many Americans believe that the free market “is only for the lucky and the strong”. Libertarians know – or should know – otherwise. It is The State’s interference in the economy – born of bribes, whether direct or in the form of campaign contributions – that favors the already-powerful and grinds everyone else into increasing impoverishment and despair.

But until a plurality of Americans knows this, also, we won’t win many converts, and those of us involved in politics won’t win many elections. We will, instead, be dismissed as callous and as apologists for Big Business. We simply must educate our fellow Americans that politicians are not their friends, bureaucrats are not their hope, The State is not their refuge – that, rather, as Nock made clear, their enemy is The State.

We will not do it by allowing ourselves to be seen as friends of corporations and of corporatism. We will not do it by merely decrying the evils of coercion, although that evil we must ever oppose, nor by merely bemoaning the inefficiency and ineptitude of regulations and social programs in working for their alleged goals. This is because many voters are willing to accept coercion and willing to tolerate inefficiency and ineptitude, believing that the alleged goals are the actual goals of regulations and social programs.

Let us go forth among both voters and those who currently see no purpose in voting – and spread the message that it is The State which has stacked the deck for the purpose of aggrandizing the giant corporations, motivated by the lavish rewards heaped by grateful plutocrats upon the politicians which nominate and confirm the managers of the mis-named welfare state. Let us point out that the regulations and programs that they have been told are for their benefit are in truth for the benefit of “the lucky and the strong”, and inform them that most corporate donations to foundations and think tanks and politicians go to those advocating more, not less, political control of the economy. Let us note that only Libertarians will Unstack The Deck.

Libertarians! Show your fellow Americans how much better off they would be with reduced or eliminated taxes, with a government that does not tilt the economic playing field toward Big Business, with a rolled-back bureaucracy.

Not everyone can be lucky. Not everyone can be strong. But every honest American can benefit from a de-stacked deck.


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