May 17, 2009

Gun bloggers

The Christian Science Monitor just noticed gun bloggers:

The Internet presence of gun rights advocates actually began in the early 1990s, making them early adopters of the Web as a social and information tool. They took the lead on issues like concealed carry laws which have now spread to nearly 40 states, says Mr. Patrick, the University of Toledo professor.

“If you’d asked a policy expert in 1987, ‘Twenty-five years from now, are we going to have liberation of concealed carry laws or more control?’ they would have said that we’d have more restrictions — and they’d be wrong,” says Patrick. “The question is: How did they succeed? How do you succeed in the face of conventional wisdom, common sense and elite opinion?”

"Common sense"? What an arrogant prick. Who says that it's "common sense" that more gun control is better?

Besides which, he's being redundant. His "conventional wisdom" and "elite opinion" are the same thing, because it's clear he thinks "conventional wisdom" comes from the elite. It was never "conventional wisdom" among the masses that more gun control was a thing to be desired. (How could it be in a nation where at least half the voters own a firearm?)

How did gun rights advocates win? By being right, for one thing, but also by bucking elite opinion and making clear to the other plebes out there that it was all right to ignore "elite opinion" and to rely on the plebe's own common sense.

We don't have to do what our betters tell us to.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 02:30 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
Post contains 259 words, total size 2 kb.

1 The "elites" all seem to live in protected bubbles. Their neighborhoods have a higher proportion of police patrols than the middle class and the poor do. They hire the majority of the armed PPOs (Personal Protection Officers in my state). With the current economic crisis though, some of the elites aren't anymore. They've had to move into the "neighborhood watch" areas. In Dallas, TX. The CHL classes are booked a month in advance. The DPS has a mandated 60 days to approve or disapprove a CHl. The wait can be as much as 120 days now.

Posted by: toadold at May 17, 2009 03:09 PM (wG77R)

2 Twenty years ago I stumbled on (for me) an eye opening book: "The Experts Speak", a compilation of expert opinion through history (all dead wrong), and thus began my general attitude of skepticism of "experts" (and began my enjoyment of observations such as I find on this site and USS Clueless). Sometimes it seems those who think they are the elite, and those with actual understanding, are disjoint sets.

Posted by: Chipotle at May 17, 2009 03:26 PM (Dmikg)

3 More than the gun rights advocates being right, they're more than willing to make their arguments directly to the people; explain themselves and their position and let the people decide for themselves. The elites are, if anything, the polar opposite. Not only do they not make their case directly to the people, but they feel their position is so right that it's beyond argument. (The "common sense" highlights this just as much as "the science is settled" does with the AGW groups.) It's not the least bit surprising that the elite classes look favorably upon authoritarian regimes.

Posted by: Keith Burby at May 17, 2009 03:54 PM (K27M0)

4 The difference is that, in 1987, a "gun policy expert" would be a lawyer from NYC, LA, or DC who had never fired a gun, but who had worked on gun control law in one of the above cities. (Maybe Chicago, but that doesn't have the "media elite" feel to it.) Maybe he had worked on the original assault weapons ban, snort.

Most pro-gun supporters aren't "policy experts", because to be blunt, we don't feel there ought to be much policy. Aside from a couple of rough principles (it's okay to regulate fully-automatic weapons, explosives, military vehicles, and the like), there ain't much left. Much like it takes a "campaign finance expert" to square McCain-Feingold with the First Amendment, it takes a "gun policy expert" to square a possession ban with the 2nd.

The web helped and is still helping. Part of that is organizational, but a lot of it is related to the dissemination of information; it's easy to find high-quality legal opinions in favor of gun ownership (indeed, to the point where Volokh bloggers were cited in Heller!) Media gatekeepers may decide which side of an argument they want to present, but no longer can they prevent the other side from being heard too. That can be quite valuable when it comes to galvanizing support - now it's not just "well, this is what me and the boys think, but the news tells me it's not so."

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at May 17, 2009 03:55 PM (vGfoR)


I think one of the biggest effects of the web has been the dissolution of anti-gun peer pressure. When you can get online and find hundreds or thousands of other people who, like you, feel guns should not be banned and who, unlike you, are vocal about it and unashamed, it becomes easier to become vocal yourself and to stop being ashamed of what you think.

There has been a lot of attempted bandwagoning by lefties to try to pretend that "everyone who is anyone agrees on leftist positions". The web has shattered that, in this area as in many others.

Especially in this area. One way you can tell that the publicity war is being won by gun rights advocates is when you see people on fora where left-wing views predominate (e.g. Metafilter) proudly proclaim that they own guns, without becoming the target of social ostracism.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 17, 2009 04:02 PM (+rSRq)

6 Kind of like Anime blogs...

Posted by: Keith Burby at May 17, 2009 04:10 PM (K27M0)

7 When it comes to obscure hobbies (e.g. collecting toy ducks) the web has been a major enabler permitting hobbyists to find each other.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 17, 2009 06:17 PM (+rSRq)

8 Oddly enough, I never was to a gun blog that kept my attention for more than one article. I only visit them when referred. Anime blogs, sure, I have more than 160 in the feedlist.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at May 17, 2009 07:18 PM (/ppBw)

9 Hey!  I resemble that remark!

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 17, 2009 07:40 PM (hlGBx)


Now if only you can find blogs being written by people who have both an interest in anime with conservative or libertarian interests (Or just anything that is not far left.) on other subjects...

(Not on the same thing, naturally, but it would be nice if the same people who talk about anime on one hand did not descend into reciting Democratic Underground talking points on other subjects, like 'Iraq war = evil!'.)


Posted by: cxt217 at May 18, 2009 12:29 PM (HawTW)

11 There's me, and Ubu, and the Duck.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 18, 2009 12:38 PM (+rSRq)


The few are greatly appreciated by me.  It can be depressing wondering if I am the only non-leftie anime fan in anime forums or at cons...


Posted by: cxt217 at May 18, 2009 01:04 PM (HawTW)

13 Hey, don't leave me out! ;p

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at May 18, 2009 01:09 PM (pWQz4)

14 I think the bias painting through is usually small and only shows in parts, so it's not worth explicitly hunting anime bloggers according to public policy preferences. If Evirus pans Shangri-la for being "offensively horrible", you know you don't need conservatives. Sure, when MS 08th Team reminds Hidoshi of Vietnam, it's cringe-inducing, but generally, who cares?

Still, there are a few more than Steven mentioned above. Andy James, the permanently semi-dead Astro, Brickmuppet just off the top of my head.

Posted by: Author at May 18, 2009 01:24 PM (/ppBw)


I am one of those that try to keep my American political opinions away from when I am watching anime (Though my American political opinions often sighs at the expressions of the Japanese - See the 2nd Patlabor movie for a classic example - though I do understand that anime is made first to cater to Japanese audiences.), and most of the time when I participate in anime interests, it would be hard to figure out what side of the political spectrum the participants belong to.  I think most people do, and would also approve of NR's call for a politics-free zone when it comes to being entertained.

It is when such things are obviously intruding (The 'Voices for Peace' naivete from a while back, which involved a number of American VAs and was directed towards the US anime fandom - and which Pixy Misa so nicely took down the founder of the group in one shot after my mention of it.) that it can be annoying (At the intrusion, especially the ones that make it hard to ignore.) and depressing (At the number of people in the fandom that populate one side of the spectrum versus the other.).  Few and far between, perhaps, but which often compensate for their rare appearance in other, less pleasant ways.

But I do agree you do not need to know or agree with someone's opinion on politics or whatever to agree that Evangalion is utter dreck. : )


Posted by: cxt217 at May 18, 2009 02:22 PM (HawTW)

16 I try to keep governmental politics as far away from The Pond as possible, though F1 politics are a different story.  I don't think I'm as conservative as, say, Steven is, but I'm in the ballpark.

I actually started writing at The Pond to stay out of the political arena.  There are better writers with more insightful things to say in that field than I could ever hope to come up with... and the first to say "that doesn't stop you for writing about anime, Wonderduck" gets a punch in the beak.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 18, 2009 06:45 PM (hlGBx)

17 Chizumatic was a refuge for me, a place to flee from the earnest readers of USS Clueless, so I mostly leave it out of here, too. I think the only review I've written where I touched on such things was Gasaraki, but that was egregious (and utterly sucky).

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 18, 2009 06:53 PM (+rSRq)

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