Talk:Main Page/archive43

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"Self-defense" with deactivated guns

Just out of curiosity, do you think any of the deactivated guns were still used as self-defense by citizens in England? I suppose you could wield one as a sort of bluff... but I'm not quite sure if that's what the Breaking News article is getting at? Feebasfactor 19:47, 12 January 2008 (EST)

Yup, was wondering the same thing, unless Conservapedia encourages people to activate the guns making them illegal? HeikkiL 09:35, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Both of you still don't get it why leftists push gun control, even for deactivated guns. Or maybe you do get it but hope others don't. It's forcing voters to rely more on government. Yes, taking away their deactivated guns has that effect, times 120,000.--Aschlafly 09:44, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Absolutely right Andy. What we need is for every single living, breathing American to carry a gun. There'd be no crime then. Columbine, forget about it. Virginia Tech, that guy would not have been able to even get one round off. Our problem is not enough guns. The Second Amendment guarantees our right. Let's affirm them by going out, buying a new gun, strapping it on, and waiting for some Liberal to just even think about taking it away.
oO' Why do you sound familiar? Anmeris 16:36, 18 January 2008 (EST)

I've reverted Andy's reversion of my edit to the front page, and although the edit comment tries to explain why, I'll explain it more here.

As it read (and read again after Andy's reversion), it seems as though guns that have been deactivated (made non-functional) have been used to shoot people. This is, of course, impossible, and when I first read it, it simply didn't make sense (until I read the linked news item).

By changing it to "supposedly deactivated" guns, all I'm changing it to say is that the guns were supposed to be deactivated, but that a few weren't (or were reactivated). It's implicit that the rest (the vast majority) that were supposed to be deactivated, really were deactivated, and it should therefore be clear that they want to control all the "supposedly-deactivated" guns, i.e. both the really-deactivated and the not-really-deactivated.

There may be an alternative wording, but simply putting it back so that it reads as though deactivated guns were used to shoot people is to introduce a physical impossibility.

It's all a matter of clear writing and grammar, not an ideological point.

Philip J. Rayment 09:56, 13 January 2008 (EST)

The leftists want all of the deactivated guns. And they are all, or virtually all, deactivated. So the headline is accurate as originally written. To introduce the adjective "supposedly" before deactivated is to suggest that many are not deactivated. There is no support for that.
Of course a deactivated gun is capable of being reactivated, and a handful out of 120,000 have been. If a totalitarian government seized power, then 120,000 of those guns would be reactivated to defend against it, and those guns partly serve as a deterrent against totalitarianism. By seizing them, the leftists are increasing the dependence of voters on government, emotionally and physically. This isn't fooling anyone who is informed on either side of the issue.--Aschlafly 10:12, 13 January 2008 (EST)
"The leftists want all of the deactivated guns.": Yes, but my edit did not say nor imply otherwise.
"And they are all ... deactivated.": Impossible! If they were, they couldn't be used to shoot someone! This is the point that I've been making. "virtually all" may be correct; I'm not disputing that, but as it reads, it is saying that deactivated guns have been used to shoot people! This is clearly nonsense.
Now, because you've made an ideological point in reply to my grammatical one, I'll make an ideological reply. If a totalitarian government seized power in Britain, the crown, the courts, the military, and the police wouldn't stand for it, and it would soon be thrown out—without a shot being fired. This is essentially what happened in the Philippines (if my memory is accurate), when the government turned the army on the people, and the army refused to obey the government, citing the constitution. The point being, the citizens of a strong democracy don't need guns to use against the government, because they have a vote instead, and that's a whole lot better than a shootout. But that's responding to your comment above, not to the front page item, which, as I've said, was purely a matter of the sentence making sense, which it again doesn't.
Philip J. Rayment 10:33, 13 January 2008 (EST)
I agree with PJR on that one. UK government (and I believe Australian government too) is sufficiently weak to almost guarantee us from being over-run by a totalitarian state. Of course, it could happen, but it's extremely unlikely. (As an aside, the few laws that have been introduced in recent years in response to 9/11 removing some of our ancient rights in the name of security makes many of us very nervous. The phrase "the cost of security is liberty" is absolutely true).
Now many of us look to the American system of government of the people for the people by the people to be a good system of security against totalitarianism. However, if one of the major pro-gun arguments is that armed citizenry helps protect against totalitarianism in the US, what does that say about the safeguards of the American system?
Many Americans scoff at the antiquated nature of the British monarchy (and by extension that of Australia, New Zealand and Canada) and many even claim that these countries are somehow less democratic than the US. That may be so (although I would disagree). However, having the monarch as the head of state and armed forces at least offers us some protection against totalitarianism by the government. Ajkgordon 10:46, 13 January 2008 (EST)
First, I made a change to address Philip's concern, and I hope that is satisfactory. Second, and more importantly, both Philip and Ajkgordon neglect the effect of emasculation of self-defense.
Totalitarian takeovers do occur, and with all respect to the Queen, Britain is not immune from that. But that is not even the biggest concern.
The biggest concern is an emasculated citizenry with respect to issues short of a totalitarian takeover, such as capitulation to fear and overreliance on government. Already in Britain people are too afraid of Islamic extremists to speak out about the Crusades or even the Holocaust! We had a news item about that a few months ago.--Aschlafly 10:56, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Thanks for the changes. It's a pity though that it took so much discussion to get it to happen.
There's a whole lot of issues to do with gun control that I "neglected" to mention, simply because I was responding to the point you made rather than bring up separate issues.
Being "afraid" to teach about the Crusades or the holocaust would be more to do with political correctness and (in the case of the Crusades) an anti-Christian ideology.
Philip J. Rayment 17:53, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Well, there maybe some people in the UK who are afraid to talk about the Crusades or the Holocaust but there are people who are afraid of the dark. Really, I don't know what the news article was but it sounds like typical media scaremongering. While you wouldn't want to walk down a street in Bradford with a sign round your neck saying "The Crusades were just the start" (reminiscent of that scene in, what was it, one of the Die Hard films?), to say that people generally are afraid of talking about these subjects is sheer nonsense.
(On the UK's immunity from totalitarianism, this is what I said: "Of course, it could happen, but it's extremely unlikely." With respect, your replying comment of "Totalitarian takeovers do occur, and with all respect to the Queen, Britain is not immune from that." was simply superfluous and makes it look like you didn't read my post properly.)
And really, claiming that the UK citizenry is emasculated because they don't have guns is simply not true. Tell that to Margaret Thatcher after the poll tax riots.
Truly, I do understand and have some sympathy with the arguments for armed citizenry. And it may be a very valid one in the US. But I will suggest, for the umpteenth time, that comparing gun control politics in the UK (and most other western countries) with those in the US is invalid. The circumstances are different, the histories are different, and it simply makes no sense to try to draw conclusions about various election shifts after gun laws were introduced when almost nobody owned a gun in the first place. Ajkgordon 13:33, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Ajkgordon, your love of England shines through, and I don't have a problem with that. But people are afraid there, and they are more afraid the less guns they have. Many teachers are afraid to offend Muslims by teaching the Crusades and even the Holocaust in schools. You're just out of touch with 2008 if you deny that, which was widely reported and not a joke. It's not just Rushdie who's afraid, you can be sure of that. At the current rate we can expect England to be like France in a decade or two. Emasculating the citizenry has a lot to do with that.
Your cite to the poll tax riots shows that you're living in the past ... when the citizenry had not yet been emasculated in England.
As to saying that totalitarianism can't happen in England, it came very close to happening in 1941 and, yes, it could easily happen again. What would the citizens have today to deter a takeover, their umbrellas?--Aschlafly 14:17, 13 January 2008 (EST)
We're talking about the UK, not England. I wish Americans would try to get this right. It may seem that England is the same as the UK but try telling a Scot that. But no matter. I automatically read "UK" whenever I see "England" on non-British websites :)
My love for the UK (as opposed to England - I'm not English) is irrelevant. However, my knowledge of it isn't.
I keep trying to get you to understand this but seem to fail every time. Let me make it simple. You must try to accept that civilian gun ownership in the UK is simply a non-issue. Most people have never even seen a gun let alone fired one or owned one. There is no general gun culture like there is in the US. Please accept that it simply isn't the same here. Emasculation of the citizenry here is completely meaningless in regard to guns.
I'm sure there are some teachers who are afraid to teach the history of the Crusades. Just like there are some teachers who are afraid to teach evolution in US schools. But they are very specific circumstances in a small number of difficult social settings and there is absolutely no move whatsoever to censor the teaching of the national curriculum because there are a few religious crazies in our midst. If you're suggesting that there is even a large majority of teachers who are afraid of teaching about the Crusades or, even more bizarrely the Holocaust then you are exceptionally wide of the mark.
I don't know what you mean by England becoming like France. They both have their social problems but by and large both countries have good race, ethnic and religious relations. I live in both countries and that is certainly my experience. And to repeat, "emasculating the citizenry" has nothing to do with it.
While the poll tax riots might be an old example, there are plenty of more recent ones. I used the poll tax riots because I imagined they would be more recognisable by an American audience. Try the Brixton riots or the Oldham riots or the Bradford riots for more recent examples.
As for totalitarianism... you didn't read what I said, did you? Again. For the third time, I know that the UK is not immune from totalitarianism.
I'll probably leave it there because what I'm saying is falling on deaf ears. You are determined to find a link in the UK history of gun control that proves your points about gun control in the US. My view is that it does nothing but weaken your arguments because the situations, histories and culture of guns are completely different in the two countries. You may well be right about gun control issues in the US. But drawing parallels with experiences in the UK is unlikely to give you what you want. An argument incidentally I use when people argue for gun control in the US based on experiences elsewhere such as in the UK. Ajkgordon 17:44, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Well, umbrellas have been used to kill people! My point being that people can be resourceful and find alternatives when there is a real need to. Philip J. Rayment 17:53, 13 January 2008 (EST)
At bottom, Philip and Ajkgordon may be just fine with how much your respective countries have moved to the left politically, and (in the case of the U.K.) been intimidated by Islamic extremism. I don't sense any hints of concern. But there's no doubt that depriving a person, and a culture, of meaningful self-defense does have a profound effect in outlook. If one is in denial about that too, then obviously there isn't much point in debating this further at this time.--Aschlafly 21:05, 13 January 2008 (EST)
No, I'm not fine with how Oz has moved to the left, but don't see that gun control had much if anything to do with that and you've not demonstrated that it has. And I've never denied that depriving a person of self defence that they had and made use of would affect their outlook, but I don't recall you acknowledging the point made many times that in Britain and Oz people generally didn't have guns even before gun control, so they weren't really deprived of anything that they made use of anyway. You seem to be in denial on that point. Philip J. Rayment 00:12, 14 January 2008 (EST)
Philip, you seem to ignore that are degrees of gun control. Yes, some gun control existed before 1995 in Australia and Britain, and then gun control was imposed to an even greater degree, and your country has been completely overtaken by liberals in its wake. If you are going to deny that gun control emasculates a culture and makes them more dependent on government, and if you are going to deny a possible cause-and-effect between gun control and political outlook, and if you are going to deny that gun control makes a culture more easily intimidated by terrorism, and if other conservative-leaning Australians deny all this also, then unfortunately there will be liberal control in Australia for a long time to come. Here in the United States, we recognize that certain issues have certain political effects and we take a stand to defend against deceitful liberal programs. And the results show: as Australia has moved significantly leftward since enacting gun control around 1995, we've moved to the right during that same period as we defeated gun control here.--Aschlafly 17:59, 14 January 2008 (EST)
I'm not ignoring that there are degrees of gun control. And seeing that hadn't been discussed, I don't know why you are raising it now, except possible to explain why people haven't been affected too much by gun control. But you still seem to be maintaining that they have been.
And I'm not denying a possible cause and effect. But you seem to be ignoring the degree to which this is(n't) an issue in Australian (and British) politics, and drawing inconsistent conclusions. That is, according to your cause-and-effect logic, Britain moved to the left as soon as it introduced gun control, but Australia moved a little to the right immediately after gun control and only moved to the left (nationally) eleven years later. Now I don't know whether the possible left-moving effect of gun control would happen slowly or quickly, but I would expect consistency. As best I can recall, you haven't explained this inconsistency. Neither have you eliminated other possible/probable causes of countries moving to the left or right.
Philip J. Rayment 18:17, 14 January 2008 (EST)
The point is self-evident: an emasculated culture is going to be more dependent on government, and more support of a leftist regime. But you have free will to reject that, and I'm not going to spend all evening trying to persuade you of it. It is obviously irrelevant whether conservatives in Australia fight against gun control or not; the effect of imposing gun control will exist whether recognized or not. Yes, it is a long-term effect as the effects of emasculation may not be seen in the very next election. Yes, it will get worse as even more gun control is imposed in Britain (deactivated guns) and, I would expect, by clever leftists in Australia -- particularly if conservatives there deny its political effect.--Aschlafly 18:25, 14 January 2008 (EST)
So if it's a long-term effect, we can't put Britain's swing to the left at the very next election down to gun control then. Philip J. Rayment 19:51, 14 January 2008 (EST)
Four out of the five major pieces of gun control legislation in the 20th century were enacted by Conservative governments. It is not, as I keep repeating, a left-right issue in the UK. However much you keep trying to link the two won't make it so. Accept that there is simply a completely different historical, political and cultural background to gun control in the UK and it makes for a poor source of pro-gun comfort. Ajkgordon 08:12, 14 January 2008 (EST)

Oh, ok! Defense against a totalitarian government in that the deactivated guns could be reactivated in such a situation - I see what you are getting at now. Feebasfactor 12:20, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Just to pick up a point about the item itself. The text claims that leftists push gun control (which may well be true) but the story in question described by The Times talks about the introduction of these controls by the current Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. She is not known as a leftist. Her voting record is mixed and she is a cabinet member of the British government, again not known for being particularly left-wing. Indeed, the story then goes on to describe how the opposition Conservative party are criticising this decision not because gun control is seen as "a bad thing" by them, but because they think it's irrelevant and are criticising the government for not doing enough about all the other non-deactivated guns! Ajkgordon 17:01, 13 January 2008 (EST)

Ajkgordon, what you describe is elementary politics. It's like Hillary Clinton saying she's not a liberal and Bill Clinton getting photographed walking out church while holding Hillary's hand. Of course both sides put the best face on their positions. Businesses do the same thing. But that doesn't change the motivations or the driving forces behind the best faces.--Aschlafly 17:05, 13 January 2008 (EST)
*scratches head* No kidding :| But the point remains, the British Home Secretary is not generally considered a leftist even by the right wing press such as the Daily Telegraph or the Times. This is not a left-right issue as demonstrated by the government's marginally more right-wing opposition claiming that she hasn't done enough on gun control! Ajkgordon 17:48, 13 January 2008 (EST)
Ajkgordon, no one disputes that leftist push gun control and conservatives oppose it. For you to claim this is not a "left-right" issue is as baseless as claiming that abortion or school prayer is not a "left-right" issue. They are, regardless of how the left or the right put their best foot or face forward.--Aschlafly 17:59, 14 January 2008 (EST)
Andy, I deny that conservatives oppose gun control, and I gather that Ajkgordon does too. That is, we deny that conservatives in Australia and Britain oppose it (as a general rule, there's always going to be someone who opposes it). We're not denying that what you say is true for the United States, but we are denying that it's true in Oz and Britain. And living in those respective countries, we would be in a better position to know than you would. Philip J. Rayment 18:20, 14 January 2008 (EST)
Having lived in both the UK and Australia, I deny it too. What's more, when the debate in the UK was taking place in the late 90s, the minority arguing against even stricter controls WERE NOT approaching the argument from the "we need guns to protect ourselves" angle that is common in the US. Rather, they were arguing for the right of "sporting shooters" (eg gun club members who shoot at ranges) to continue their hobby legally. Ie, what little debate there is has nothing to do with a perceived right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defence. -- Ferret Nice old chat 05:34, 15 January 2008 (EST)
The same thing happened in Australia. It was the sporting shooters who objected; I don't recall the self-defence argument being used at all. Philip J. Rayment 08:09, 15 January 2008 (EST)
There is nothing "perceived" at all about a right to defend ourselves with guns; it is a RIGHT...and Britain found that fact out the hard way back in 1775 when King George number 3 decided it was well and good to have a little bit of tyranny over the American colonies. What you are implying, Ferret, is that government has the "right" to take those weapons away from the citizens, and thereby removing their only and best means of self-defence from not only criminals, but a tyrannical government. But then again, that's in perfect line with liberalism, isn't it? Karajou 05:45, 15 January 2008 (EST)
If the RIGHT is not just perceived, who granted that "right"? God didn't. (The right to self-defence, I'll agree. The right to do it with guns in not mentioned.) The governments in Oz and Britain don't explicitly do so. So who does grant that right? Philip J. Rayment 08:09, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Look at it this way: there are now in excess of 2,000 Al Qaeda personnel and recruits sitting in Britain right now [1]; just how is the average Britain supposed to defend him or herself from these people, when a major means of the right of self defense has been taken away from them by their own government? Are they going to line up for the sale on pea-shooters? Will they grab darts from the neighborhood pub? Or didn't the London subway bombing teach anything? Karajou 06:27, 15 January 2008 (EST)
So I'm in the subway sitting next to a guy holding a rucksack, then it explodes. How is a gun going to help me? The problem is rucksacks, sportsbags, suitcases etc. Terrorrists can get their hands on them much too easily. SimonJones 10:15, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Perhaps you've got a point there. People need to defend themselves against terrorists, instead of relying on the various security forces to do it. But how much use is a rifle? Everyone should have a machine gun, a ground-to-air missile (to bring down the plane being flown into Buckingham Palace), anti-tank guns (Al Qaeda won't keep repeating the same tactics, so the fact that they haven't used tanks before is no reason to not be prepared for that), etc. Agreed? If not, why are you drawing the line at guns and not some of these weapons? What's the reason for drawing the line where you're drawing it? Philip J. Rayment 08:16, 15 January 2008 (EST)
A similar has already been made with this result. SimonJones 10:26, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, that's right. Pretty much everyone in the UK would dispute that gun control is a left-right issue in the UK. I think that some people find it difficult to accept that political and social issues are viewed differently in other countries outside their own. And that even left, right, conservative, liberal can also mean slightly different things. If Ashlafly stood up in front of a bunch of Conservative party members in the UK and claimed that they are not conservatives if they support gun control, he would be met by blank stares or derision. Ajkgordon 06:49, 15 January 2008 (EST)
In answer to Karajou's points, you are now arguing for gun liberation in the UK. Good luck! Seriously, it is only a major issue in the area of sports shooting. The British Olympic shooting team has to go abroad to practice! That's a corollary of rushed knee-jerk reactionary law-making - understandable given the shocking nature of the Dunblane massacre that precipitated it.
But this is a deviation from the main issue in this conversation. The point is that using UK gun politics to support a stance on gun control in the US is, in my view, completely spurious. Further, claiming that "leftists" are pushing for more gun control when the Home Secretary is not known as a leftist and when the opposition right is criticising her for not going further demonstrates that it is simply a non-argument. Ajkgordon 06:49, 15 January 2008 (EST)
What is spurious in this instance is when the common citizen was authorized to use as his means of self-defense a literal and quite stupid joke (the "deactivated" gun), and even that is to be taken away. The problem is not people like Ashlafly stating Britains aren't conservative enough because they're not allowed guns; the problem is the liberal establishment and their idiotic ideas which are pushed down people's throats. The end result of that idiocy is stated above: Al Qaeda sleeper cells who have every intention of making Britain an Islamic state, and a public prevented from doing anything about it. Karajou 06:58, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Having a heavily armed population didn't help the US protect itself against the 9/11 attacks. You're quite right about Al Qaeda having sleeper cells in the UK and their wish to turn Britain into an Islamic state. Just like the Soviets had sleeper cells in the UK during the Cold War and wished to turn Britain into a communist state. But radical Islam will be defeated, just as Soviet communism was, by vigilance, determination, dialogue, reason and the ultimate success of the current British way of life. Not, I don't believe, by having a massive armed civilian vigilante force. But again, we are moving away from the original discussion which is about how using UK gun control politics in an American context is quite simply irrelevant. Ajkgordon 07:08, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Thought experiment: The Labour Party is suddenly taken over by the Seckrit Army of Lizzardz and becomes totalitarian. They impose whatever horrible laws that you can think of. People are forced into gay marriages, Christians are executed in Hyde Park, cats live with dogs.. it is truly a nightmare. But thankfully, thanks to the readers of Conservapedia, we have arranged things so that most people in the UK have secret handguns and we can rebel. What happens next:

1) The combined might of some untrained civilians with small arms is able to fight the army and airforce to overthrow the government
2) The well trained, well equipped and well armed army and airforce would be able to take out the pockets of resistance with very little trouble, considering they are now tyrannical and have no problems using the tactics of tyrants.
3) The army and police would refuse to enforce the dictats of the tyrants and they would simply refuse to fire on civilians, wether the civilians were armed or not. In fact, they would be rather less likely to fire on unarmed civilians.--JimmyB 08:20, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Ron Paul censored video by Fox News

Thiudareiks 11:39, 13 January 2008 (EST)

It's an interesting video. Thanks.--Aschlafly 12:38, 13 January 2008 (EST)
He seems weak onstage, and makes no viable points. He rambles on about things that avoid his position on his electability. Sounded like a dodge, and I am glad they rang the bell when they did. CodyH 0029 16 January 2008 (BST)

Liberal action in Italy

The Pope was set to visit the most important University in Italy, La Sapienza in Rome, but intolerant Liberal teachers and students occupied the rectorare as a sign of protest, to "keep religion away from science". A bunch of articles in Google News. --Leopeo 07:58, 15 January 2008 (EST)

I read the article linked to from the main page. I must have missed the part where the protestors were shown to be atheists. Perhaps someone can point it out? --JimmyB 08:28, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Oh, that's too funny. Perhaps you think they are devout Catholics???--Aschlafly 08:34, 15 January 2008 (EST)
The article says NOTHING about their religious beliefs. Does anyone have any evidence that they are atheists?--JimmyB 08:53, 15 January 2008 (EST)
To be fair to the OP, the academics' protest letter talks about "the secular nature of science". More specifically, they are protesting against the Pope's statements on condoning the Church's persecution of Galileo made when he was the chief of Church doctrine. Ajkgordon 08:47, 15 January 2008 (EST)
What makes anyone think we are limited to what atheists and the liberal press admit? Hillary Clinton denies she's a liberal, but we're not going to limit our discussion of her to what she misleadingly admits. We are going to draw reasonable inferences and expose what atheists believe and do, regardless of whether they always admit to it or not.--Aschlafly 09:14, 15 January 2008 (EST)
If you are exposing what atheists do, them you should really have some evidence that they are atheists. I havnt seen you provide ANY.--JimmyB 09:21, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Eh? Was that directed at me? I was agreeing that the use of the term secular probably implies atheist in this context. In other words, I'm agreeing with you! It's alright, you can pick yourself off the floor now :) Ajkgordon 09:17, 15 January 2008 (EST)
No. "Secular" does NOT imply atheism. It is a different word with its own definition. --JimmyB 09:21, 15 January 2008 (EST)
No, "secular" is used by the press as a synonym for atheistic particularly, as Ajkgordon points out, in this context. Moreover, one's actions can be better evidence of what he believes than what he admits to. We are certainly not limited here to what someone admits, as my example about Hillary Clinton illustrates.--Aschlafly 09:27, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Fair enough, you dont seem to be that eager to provide any evidence that the protestors were atheists. I will leave the topic alone since it wont go any further. Godspeed.--JimmyB 09:29, 15 January 2008 (EST)
I think you might be seeing deceit where none exists, Aschlafly. The academics in question are protesting against the Pope's visit because of his views on Galilieo's persecution and because they feel that science should be non-religious or not influenced by religion. I don't think anyone's covering anything up, are they? Ajkgordon 09:30, 15 January 2008 (EST)
They probably are. They're probably covering up that they are anti-Christian, pretending instead to simply being "neutral" or "secular". Their excuses are (a) an event that took place over 350 years ago, and (b) the false claim that science is "secular". What they don't tell you (perhaps, admittedly, in some cases because they don't realise themselves), is that science is based on the Christian worldview. Philip J. Rayment 09:51, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Here in Italy no one mentioned the Galileo motive. It's just as simple as "keep religion out of science". The majority of university teachers in Italy are former members or sympathizers of the Communist Party. The catholic students, such as the Comunione & Liberazione organization, were the only ones to disagree with this protest and to welcome the Pope. --Leopeo 09:57, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Actually Philip, a) the "event" is not the Galileo persecution itself, more the relatively recent event of Cardinal Ratzinger condoning the persecution, and b) that type of view has no place in a scientific context. I'm sure they all know the immensely positive legacy that Christian theology left to science. But science has moved on and the secular nature of it doesn't require religious patronage. I'm not saying I agree with the protesters by the way, I'm just not sure it's a good example of liberal atheist conspiracy :) Ajkgordon 10:21, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Okay, I'll stand corrected on a). b) is still relevant though, for the same reasons that it was relevant in the beginning. Atheism proposes the universe to be one giant cosmic accident, so why should there be any order to investigate? Philip J. Rayment 10:29, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Philip, point (a) is obviously pretextual. The "relatively recent event" that Ajkgordon claims was ... in 1990, nearly 20 nears ago! As Leopeo points out from Italy, this is plainly an attempt to "keep religion out of science" and the former communist professors probably don't care about an obscure statement made by Cardinal Ratzinger nearly 20 years ago.--Aschlafly 10:36, 15 January 2008 (EST)
I'd go along with the idea that their main objection is b). Philip J. Rayment 20:30, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Very decent of you, old chap. (Just playing up to that Pom stereotype :) Mind you, cosmology does indeed investigate the "giant cosmic accident". Read up on Brane Cosmology - speculative but fascinating stuff. There are a few popular science books by the likes of Roger Penrose and Brian Greene that touch on it. Ajkgordon 10:45, 15 January 2008 (EST)
I'm not denying that cosmology investigates the "giant cosmic accident". What I'm saying is that their belief that it can be investigated is consistent with the Christian belief that creation can be investigated, but inconsistent with the ramifications of the atheistic view, those ramifications being that an accident would not produce order and consistency. Philip J. Rayment 20:30, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Philip, Science is based on a Christian world view? you must be joking. science was present before Christianity (look at all the ancient civilizations including Indian and Egyptian civilizations) and will be present long after Christianity.--JBuscombe 14:39, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Did you even bother to look at the link I included in my comment? Because it shows you to be wrong, and you have not addressed anything that link said. Philip J. Rayment 20:30, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Agree With Conservapedia!

Wow, I can't believe I actually agree with a conservative statement, but here it is:

You're absolutely right, partisan is NOT a dirty word. If you vehemently disagree with the opposition, and believe your own stance is right, there's no reason to compromise for the sake of compromising. Conservatives want to make government small enough to drown it in a bathtub (credit Grover Norquist), seek to kill or convert anyone that disagrees with their views, are for life in the womb--but the person's on their own after they're born, eager for perpetual war and fascism, and really prefer the OT God of wrath and vengefulness as opposed to the liberal's preference for the NT Jesus Christ of love thy neighbors.

As a liberal, I absolutely oppose 99% of the conservative agenda, and see no reason to compromise with views that I think are wrong. About the only thing I find worse than the conservative movement is the Unity08 crap. At least the conservatives are honest about what they want and are willing to state their goals, so I respect you for that---even though I hope to crush them come election time :--) --Jdellaro 09:55, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Here, here! If there's one thing Conservapedia (and by which I guess I mean specifically Andy, because he controls everything that goes down here) has going for it, it's its solid conviction in its views, which is certainly praiseworthy. No matter how psychotic those views may be. JKaplanek 11:16, 15 January 2008 (EST)

British gun laws

"Since leftists in Britain outlawed guns, and now seek to ban even the deactivated-kind, the emasculated British people are helpless"

I take the greatest possible offense to this. The strict gun control laws in my country are, for the most part, supported by both left and right. I, as a conservative who believes in law and order, have no desire to see machine guns and hand guns being sold on the street and I MOST CERTAINLY do not feel emasculated because we take a sensible approach to this issue. The availability of hand guns would have done nothing to stop the attacks on the tube on 07/07/05. So please keep your pathetic insults to yourself. Mrs Thatcher rules! KeithJoseph 11:51, 15 January 2008 (EST)

I've seen better imitations of conservatives, and am amused at how many liberals try to present themselves as conservatives. Perhaps you could serve as your fellow-"conservative" Hillary Clinton's liaison to Britain?  ???--Aschlafly 13:03, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Ergo all conservatives think alike? There's no difference in opinions amongst conservatives, and you stand as the arbiter of who and who is not conservative, Aschlafly? --Jdellaro 13:09, 15 January 2008 (EST)
What makes you think I decide? It's logic and faith, and every conservative open-minded about both comes to virtually the same opinions independently. I used to be pro-gun control just like you, until logic won out in my view.--Aschlafly 13:14, 15 January 2008 (EST)
I'm an open-minded liberal and I believe in the right of the people to self-defense, so I can conceive of a conservative agreeing with the pro-gun control rationale...logic is no more reliable than emotion, though, honestly. How can you be sure you see things any more clearly than someone else? Of necessity, all people are biased in favor of their own reasoning. (All right, that was somewhat of a tangent, but I wanted to put in my two cents.) Godspeed. Anmeris 12:19, 18 January 2008 (EST)
I agree, anyone who comes to a different conclusion has neither logic or faith and is closed-minded. That's certainly true of Philip J. Rayment. SimonJones 13:45, 15 January 2008 (EST)
What on earth are you talking about, Aschlafly? How dare you? It was the Conservative Government that created the Cullen Inquiry into the massacre at Dunblane in 1996. The party then fully supported the subsequent demands that gun laws be further tightened. Even those who disagree with Britain's gun legislation must accept that is a total lie to suggest those laws were brought in by leftists. I deeply resent the suggestion that such reasonable measures emasculate me or my colleagues. I regard a firm stance on law and order as a vital part of conservatism and keeping guns off the streets fits comfortably with that philosophy. KeithJoseph 13:51, 15 January 2008 (EST)
We seem to have an influx of British leftists today pretending to be conservatives. Are people ashamed of admitting they are leftists? Of course, the truth is that the leftist media and politicians hounded the Major Government into enacting gun control in the wake of a statistically insignificant massacre in 1996 that became an hysteria. Gun control is central to the leftist agenda and no conservative is fooled by that in America. I doubt any conservatives are fooled by it in Britain either.--Aschlafly 13:28, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Ahhh, so your logic and faith have led you to the correct (re: conservative) opinion on each topic? So then instead of suggesting the above comments were not from a conservative, it's just as possible that they ARE a conservative who have not evaluated the gun-control topic with "logic" and/or "faith"? Or, even worse, they ARE conservative and have used their own "faith" and "logic" and came to a different opinion. Are each of the following politicians "conservatives": McCain, Giuliani, Huckabee, Thompson, and Romney?
And to the follow-up comment, it may have been the Conservative Government that created and supported the laws, but according to Aschlafly's logic, then they are either not Conservative, or have not used "logic and faith" to evaluate the gun-control debate.--Jdellaro 13:24, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Jdellaro, you're wasting your time and mine by pretending that leftists didn't push gun control in Britain, and still do. Say, by the way, why don't you insist on abandoning logic for math also? After all, who says we have to agree with the teacher's "view" that "2+2=4"? We can form our own independent opinions about that to suit ourselves!!!--Aschlafly 13:28, 15 January 2008 (EST)
You misunderstand my argument to suggest that I am trying to detach liberals from the gun-control movement. Rather, I am suggesting that a person may be conservative and yet argue for gun control. If you define anyone that disagrees with all conservative principles as, "leftists today pretending to be conservatives", then the liberal party will include about 98% of the American population. I'm not suggesting 98% of the American population is liberal, but rather using your perceived definition that anyone who states they are conservative and disagree with a single conservative principal is a liberal masquerading as a conservative. --Jdellaro 14:16, 15 January 2008 (EST)
The british "Conservative" party is not as conservative as american conservatives. You cannot take anything that they do and automatically label it conservative just because or the party's name. That said, I think that Andy sometimes defines conservative as "whatever Andy believes". Personally I can see how a conservative might be pro-gun control, especially in britain where as far as i know, gun rights are not protected in the constitution. However, I do think that gun control is an inherently liberal idea, because it takes away personal freedom in exchange for government control. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk 13:35, 15 January 2008 (EST)
You are totally missing the point, Aachlafly. Yes "leftists" may have supported the tightening of the guns laws, but Conservatives (and centrists and most everybody else) ALSO supported that legislation. This is something on which there is a consensus in Britain across both parties. But, whatever leftists may have thought, it was the Conservative Party that set the process in motion. Oh and we do not have a written constitution here. KeithJoseph 13:37, 15 January 2008 (EST)
the problem here is that you are talking about 2 different ideas. Andy is talking about "conservative" as a set of political views, and KiethJoseph is talking about the british "conservative party" if your don't agree to talk about the same thing, the debate will go nowhere. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk 13:41, 15 January 2008 (EST)
"in the wake of a statistically insignificant massacre in 1996" This is how Andy describes the murder of 16 innocent toddlers. You really are a piece of work, mate. And to Tim: The Conservative Party is -- and always has been -- both conservative in name and deeds. There is no discrepancy. KeithJoseph 13:48, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Andy, why do you believe that British people have to think exactly as conservative Americans do? Everything that my British colleagues have posted here is correct. Britain is not America; people here have a different way of looking at things. One can be conservative without subscribing to every article of the Schlafly canon. Have you ever been to Britain? You should try it, and meet British people to get a broader outlook on the world. Secondly, in what way would a fully armed population be able to guard against suicide bomb attacks? These people don't go around with 'I am a Jihadi Suicide Bomber' on their sweaters. And once the bomb has been detonated, guns are a bit redundant, don't you think? Bradlaugh 15:07, 15 January 2008 (EST)

I'm flattered if you think I invented the "canon" that includes the right of a meaningful self-defense which was, I might add, recognized and protected for hundreds of years in English common law. But, no, I didn't invent it, and I used to fall for the simple-minded arguments for gun control as others do. Eventually, logic takes over when one has an open mind, however.
Yes, I have been to England, where, by the way, Salman Rushdie hid in fear for years. Did he fear a suicide bomber? No, I don't think so. Today gun controlled Britain is an even more fearful and emasculated society, as British teachers are afraid to teach the Crusades and Holocaust, and they'd be less fearful if there were a meaningful right of self-defense there.--Aschlafly 15:47, 15 January 2008 (EST)

As an American who lives in the UK, I regret to say that most of the American posting this do not understand that British culture is quite different to that in the US. Generally, British conservatives are more anti-gun their their 'left wing' counterparts. Generally, The British do not understand what they see as 'American gun-lust'. For several years I have tried to explain American gun culture (as a rural mid-westerner guns were a part of everyday life for me). Generally I get a puzzled look (from Brits of all political hues). Most I speak to see the gun issue in an opposite way. They see guns as a danger to freedom, because of the danger that those with the most guns will have the most power rather government by consent of the masses.

British conservatives (and I am not limiting this to members of the party with that name) have long been at odds with American conservatism over several issues (the divine right of the monarch to be head of state rather than forming a republic is a good example). This does not mean that they are any less conservative.

Reading over the posts above, I don't understand why the natural reaction to assume that someone is a leftist pretending to be a conservative when they bring a different view to the table. No I am not a conservative (I am that fabled 'swing voter' that the politicians love when we agree and hate when we don't). I believe that KeithJoseph is probably a conservative (since he has adopted the name of one of Thatcherism great intellectual minds).

Again, I see that this site dedicating itself more and more to conservative deceit.

Spinnydizzy 20:45, 15 January 2008 (GMT)

"It's logic and faith, and every conservative open-minded about both comes to virtually the same opinions independently."
"...statistically insignificant massacre..."
Words fail me. Absolutely fail me. I have tried, sincerely tried, to get Aschlafly to understand that these issues are simply different in the UK and in other countries and shouldn't be used to support pro-gun arguments in the US. But I have failed miserably. Maybe he should repeat these scandalous words to the relatives, many of whom are no doubt Christian conservatives, of these people - the list of those murdered at Dunblane. No doubt you will then ban me. So be it.

  • Victoria Clydesdale
  • Emma Crozier
  • Melissa Currie
  • Charlotte Dunn
  • Kevin Hasell
  • Ross Irvine
  • David Kerr
  • Mhairi MacBeath
  • Brett McKinnon
  • Abigail McLennan
  • Gwen Mayor
  • Emily Morton
  • Sophie North
  • John Petrie
  • Joanna Ross
  • Hannah Scott
  • Megan Turner

May your God bless you and keep you. Ajkgordon 16:01, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Quite right AJK. Andy's glib dismissal was truly appalling. Now...

“Yes, I have been to England, where, by the way, Salman Rushdie hid in fear for years.” Yes and he was (quite properly) protected by armed special branch men. What, on earth, does this have to do with the issue at hand?

“they'd be less fearful if there were a meaningful right of self-defense there.”

I’m sorry, but this is totally absurd. Political Correctness has, I regret, dissuaded teachers from saying as much about the Empire and Britain’s military history as they should. But I really don’t think brining guns into the schoolroom is going to alter the curriculum.

“If you object to what I teach, I’ll kill you with my big gun.” It doesn’t sound very likely.

KeithJoseph 16:11, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Andy, in banning Spinnydizzy you are banning him for ideological reasons, and dressing it up in 90/10 claptrap is pure deceit: you know why you are banning him. And if you ban me (as you will) it will also be for ideological reasons - there is no way you can pin a 90/10 on me. Learn to tolerate debate and different opinions, and CP will become a much better place. Bradlaugh 17:41, 15 January 2008 (EST)

While we are on the subject, your description of the British - not English, try and learn, there is a difference - people is highly offensive; though given your history of anti-British bigotry and support for Irish Republican Army terrorist murders, I am not surprised by this. Bradlaugh 17:53, 15 January 2008 (EST)

By the way, anyone with a user name linked to Sir Keith Joseph has to be a Tory! Well - at least it's not Norman Tebbit! Darkmind1970 19:11, 15 January 2008 (EST)
"These issues are simply different in the UK and in other countries and shouldn't be used to support pro-gun arguments in the US." This is, indeed, exactly my argument. You will notice that at no stage have I tried to suggest that Americans should adopt the same attitude to guns as we do. That would, frankly, be none of my business. Andy is a patriotic fellow (nothing wrong with that), so I wonder how he would feel if I said that Americans were all "emasculated". I suspect he would be pretty darn angry and rightly so. I am a proud Englishman, whose grandfather fought in the last war, and I find the rude generalisations very offensive. KeithJoseph 19:32, 15 January 2008 (EST)

I can understand someone referring to a massacre as "statistically insignificant" if it really is. Andy's not saying that the lives lost don't matter. But if a massacre results in the deaths of 16 people and gun laws result in the deaths of 1000 people because they can no longer defend themselves, then it would be accurate (even if appearing a bit callous) to describe the 16 deaths as "statistically insignificant". However, the problem, as I see it, is that it has not been shown that the massacre is statistically insignificant. Perhaps the comparison has been made to some category of deaths in America (which would obviously not be the right comparison to make).

I also disagree with Andy saying "It's logic and faith, and every conservative open-minded about both comes to virtually the same opinions independently.". By so doing, he's declaring me to be either not a conservative or not open-minded (I don't think there's room in the word "virtually" for me). I don't think anyone would really doubt that I'm conservative. And I'd argue that it should be clear that I'm open-minded on this issue, because prior to first discussing this issue here on Conservapedia, I had never studied the issue and had no firm convictions either way.

So I'd ask Andy to do two things:

  • Explain how the massacre is "statistically insignificant", because it's not self-evident.
  • Put forth his logic in a formal manner, listing the premises and conclusions based on those premises. If he does this, then in principle we would have to agree with him. Alternatively, the reasons for disagreeing will become clearer.

Philip J. Rayment 20:56, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Guys, how can I win our ongoing contest here if I spend all my time on the talk pages?! I don't get any points for this talk!  :-)
In response to Philip's thoughtful posting, it is obvious demagoguery to list 16 tragic victims of homicidal maniac and demand gun control based on that alone. Liberals didn't even dare do likewise when the number was twice as high in last year's Virginia Tech massacre, because that illogical rhetoric doesn't fly in America anymore, for good reason. There were over 8 times as many tragic victims of car accidents in the very same day and yet no one claims that as a reason to ban cars. 16 tragic deaths probably isn't 1% of the annual murders in the U.K., let alone the number of attempted murders that were thwarted by guns.
Moreover, it is not even logical to blame guns for the massacre, because greater gun ownership at the school would have prevented it from occurring. It is just as logical to say that the solution is more gun ownership, not less, for that isolated incident. Also, note how leftists don't pin the blame on how authorities ignored prior charges against the killer that he had been engaging in unlawful homosexuality with children, and instead allowed the killer to roam freely in the community. No, guns must be the scapegoat for leftists. Sorry, guys, there is nothing logical about the argument for gun control here.
As to the second point, every single across-the-board conservative (and quite a few liberals) reject gun control. I didn't invent the opposition to it. The Founding Fathers rejected it over 200 years ago; English common law rejected it for centuries before that; and Jesus Himself called on Christians to carry swords, and Peter did. Self-defense is central to natural law and arises in many contexts in addition to guns, such as the right to self-help in seizing your own property. Those who embrace gun control are going to be non-conservative on some other issues as well.--Aschlafly 21:44, 15 January 2008 (EST)
"…Jesus Himself called on Christians to carry swords, and Peter did." What are you talking about? That is one of the most singularly wrong statements I have ever had the distinct misfortune to see. Jesus said that people could carry one sword, and only for self defense. Peter, I believe, wanted to carry two, and Jesus forbade that, apparently because it was too aggressive. I would draw a parallel between two swords and anything but the weakest gun, but that's just me. Please keep your blinding bias from corrupting the message of the Bible, sir. --MakeTomorrow 23:14, 15 January 2008 (EST)
In the interest of accuracy, I searched for some crime statistics from the UK. This report (PDF format), from a UK government site, places the number of homicides (which includes murder, manslaughter, and infanticide) in England and Wales in 2006/2007 at 755. -CSGuy 23:17, 15 January 2008 (EST)
I think that Andy's explanation of "statistically insignificant" is reasonable, although not bulletproof (sorry for the pun). When you (Andy) say that that liberals didn't dare to try and ban guns following the Virginia Tech massacre, you must be talking about U.S. liberals. One problem with that is that it's comparing two different countries with different views on this. In America, the liberals would know that they wouldn't have a hope of achieving it, so are less likely to call for it. Secondly, despite the "twice-as-high" number in the Virginia Tech massacre, it was even less "statistically insignificant", given the U.S. population and the number of murders in the U.S. So that's an invalid comparison.
As far as car accidents go, where did the "over 8 times" figure come from? I doubt that's a British figure, and if it's an American figure, then again it's not a fair comparison. I'd guess (and that's all it is) that the British massacre was eight times the British road toll for that day. If that's the case, the "statistical significance" is greater than you indicate. Also, comparing gun deaths to road tolls is not a straightforward comparison, given other factors such as the relative amount of use that guns have compared to cars.
I'd be a bit surprised if 16 deaths is less than 1% of the annual murder rate in the U.K., but I'll leave that to others to speak to. But given the gun control that exists, the number of attempted murders thwarted by guns by citizens (as opposed to police and the like) is probably close to zero.
Greater gun ownership at the school may have prevented the massacre from being as bad, but you have just switched arguments. We are not talking about gun ownership, but gun control. If Britain did not have gun control, chances are few if any would have had guns anyway, so it would likely have made no difference. This distinction (that Britain and Australia are different to America in that few had guns before gun control) has been pointed out numerous times, but you fail to take it into account.
As to the second point, you did not do as asked in putting forward your logic in a formal manner. Not that you were obliged to, of course, but it doesn't help simply repeating the argument in a non-formal-logic manner.
Your claim that "every single across-the-board conservative ... reject[s] gun control" is a vague and therefore fairly meaningless statement. That is, what does "across-the-board" mean in this context? If it means one that agrees with every point of conservatism, including gun control, then it is nothing more than a tautology. If it means someone who is otherwise conservative, then surely I prove that wrong.
I assume the reference to Jesus is to this:

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

IVP's New Testament commentary says of this
Jesus' final words make it clear that circumstances are changing. Opposition to the disciples is rising. Where before Jesus had sent them out empty-handed yet they were provided for (9:1-6; 10:3-4), now they will have to take provisions and protection for their travel. They will have to procure a sword. Scripture such as Isaiah 53:12 is finding its fulfillment in Jesus. Jesus is rejected; he is numbered with the transgressors.

The disciples take Jesus' remarks literally and incorrectly. They note that they have two swords, but Jesus cuts off the discussion. Something is not right, but it is too late to discuss it. As the arrest will show, they have misunderstood. They draw swords then, but Jesus stops their defense in its tracks. He is not telling them to buy swords to wield in physical battle. They will have to provide for themselves and fend for themselves, but not through the shedding of blood. They are being drawn into a great cosmic struggle, and they must fight with spiritual swords and resources. The purchase of swords serves only to picture this coming battle. This fight requires special weapons (Eph 6:10-18).[2]
Ephesians 6 of course says to "Take the ... sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.".
And following this, one of Jesus' disciples did make use of his sword, only to have Jesus rebuke him:

With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." Matthew 26:51-52

Even apart from all that, there's no hint that Jesus was talking about routine carrying of a sword for self-defence from criminals.
Finally, self defence may be a natural right, but it doesn't follow that guns for self defence are a natural right.
Philip J. Rayment 23:25, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Can I also point out that there are places in the US where guns are required due to bears, coyotes etc. Guns in the UK have historically been at a relatively low level because we don't have any dangerous wild creatures, so we don't really need them. Darkmind1970 07:09, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Historically, every Tom, Dick and Harry had a gun in England. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 07:26, 16 January 2008 (EST)


Yes, Aschlafly is absolutely right. The list of victims I posted was indeed demagoguery and was made in the heat of the moment. For that I apologise and of course it doesn't prove or support any of my opinions or arguments in this case.

It was born out of frustration in reaction to Aschlafly's description of a "statistically irrelevant massacre" when in fact it represented a significant proportion of homicides in the UK in 1996 and his insistence of using the UK's experience of gun politics to argue a case against gun control in the US.

And, although I wasn't using the list of victims as an argument for gun control in the US (I am agnostic on the subject), my post was intemperate and unjustified. Ajkgordon 07:35, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Ajkgordon, there is no need to apologize, but I am very impressed by your heartfelt comments. You can certainly argue with passion! And you are most certainly welcome to do so.
On the substantive point, if I'm reading other posts here correctly, there were 755 homicides in the year of the Dunblane massacre, which killed 17 (not including the attacker). If my math is correct, that is about 2% for that year and 0.2% for the decade, a more meaningful comparison because the massacre was a once-in-a-decade or even once-in-a-century tragedy. So I do think the statistical significance of that massacre is suspect, and was grossly exaggerated not by Ajkgordon, but by leftists who exploited it to push for gun control.
Also, Fox's point above and the link he provides rebuts the argument that Britain did not once have widespread gun ownership. It did, and the link describes how that gun ownership thwarted an anarchist attack that could have been more deadly than the Dunblane massacre.--Aschlafly 08:32, 16 January 2008 (EST)
That article certainly was interesting. But I'd still be cautious about drawing a strong connection between crime and gun ownership. Since evolution has eliminated God, and thus His standards, and we have made our own standards, standards have declined considerably, whether that be in taking drugs, sexual deviance, crime, or etc. So I'd put any rise in crime down mainly to declining moral standards due to declining Christianity, rather than a drop in gun ownership rates. And more guns in the hands of such people concerns me. Philip J. Rayment 08:59, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Emasculating a culture contributes to that decline rather than halting it. Philip, for consistency purposes do you favor disarmament on a national level also as leftists do?--Aschlafly 10:01, 16 January 2008 (EST)
It may contribute, but if so the question is whether the contribution was nearer 99% or nearer 1%. I'd think the latter was closer, although just how close I couldn't say. If you mean disarmament of the military, no, I don't (and I haven't noticed too many leftists proposing that either). But this is not inconsistent, given that arming the military means giving guns to properly-trained people under strict and controlled conditions, something that doesn't apply for the general populace. If you think that arming the military and arming the populace is equivalent, would you also issue tanks, anti-aircraft weapons, destroyers, and so on to the general populace? Or do you also concede that we are talking about quite different situations? Philip J. Rayment 10:52, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Philip, "disarmament on a national level" means multiple nations dismantling their arms (such as nuclear weapons) and promising to remain disarmed. Yes, leftists do promote that, big time. The opposition to the Strategic Defense Initiative was an example of leftists] positions on national defense, consistent with their position on gun control.
One other statement by you baffled me. Above you said that "there's no hint that Jesus was talking about routine carrying of a sword for self-defence from criminals." What do you think He was talking about??? Using swords to commit crimes??? Like a gun, a sword only has two purposes: defensive and offensive. I see no distinction between the two, and Jesus clearly endorsed the version available in His time.--Aschlafly 11:10, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I'm wondering why you're suggesting that Jesus approved of weapons. Any opinions stated are highly speculative, and it's almost blasphemous, IMHO, to put words into Jesus' mouth like you appear to be doing. --MakeTomorrow 14:58, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Okay, now I understand, and yes, I agree that some people (probably leftists), do promote disarmament of things such as nuclear weapons (but generally not total disarmament of all weapons). But again, this is a different situation. With gun control, you are talking about disarming citizens when there is a police force to protect citizens, and with international disarmament, you are talking about disarming countries when there is nothing equivalent to a police force protecting countries.
What I think Jesus was actually talking about was spiritual armament, as in the quote from Ephesians that I mentioned: "Take the ... sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.". But you are implying that there's only one possible thing that he could be talking about, whereas there is at least one other possibility that I can think of, that being that he was talking about arming oneself for the coming Roman invasion of Jerusalem, i.e. to fight against an invading army, not criminals. If this is what Jesus meant (and I don't think he did, as mentioned above) then it was not routine carrying of swords (it was for a particular purpose) and it wasn't to defend against criminals (but against the invading Roman army).
In reply to MakeTomorrow, I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that Jesus disapproved of weapons being used in any circumstances. There are legitimate uses for them, and Jesus agreed with that.
Philip J. Rayment 19:55, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Some fewer murders (rather than the looser definition of homicide) and even fewer murders by firearm. 17 Dunblane victims is still not insignificant as a proportion of the total number of gun murders in the UK in 1996. But, be that as it may, the murderer was armed legally and the massacre was not insignificant in any context in the UK.
Moreover, the "leftist" campaign you claim, which "bullied" the then Conservative Prime Minister John Major into introducing stricter gun control legislation wasn't even leftist. While there were leftists who were involved in the campaign (as there were conservatives), it was largely non-partisan and led chiefly by the families of the victims - the Snowdrop campaign raising around three quarters of a million signatures in four weeks.
While gun control may well be a point of conservative ideology in the US, I must maintain that it isn't in the UK. Ajkgordon 10:48, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Aschlafly - I believe the question about the sword passage is not whether Jesus advocated carrying swords for offense or defense, but whether he was talking about literal, physical swords. It wouldn't be that surprising if it was a metaphor. -CSGuy 15:59, 16 January 2008 (EST)

What I find intriguing about this debate is how the "British" pro-gun control participants haven't commented on the link I posted above, pointing out that they were talking tosh, and that until very recently, our gun culture was deeply ingrained. (And how it WAS in fact the left-wing Labour Party who started all the draconian controls.) It is one of the things which irk paleo's like myself no end: that the liberal mindset refuses to accept that Britain has a rich history predating their current lifespans, and that the cradle of civilization WASN'T the London School of Economics circa 1970 AD. As Peter Hitchens observed a few days ago: "the great development of modern times, very much reflected in much of what nowadays passes for news, is that we have for the most part lost any key to the past. We don't know what happened before, or we simply refuse to believe it when we are told, and we have very few ways of finding out. So we don't have anything with which to compare our current plight and so come to sensible conclusions about how much we have lost." 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 08:11, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Quite simple really. First of all, I'm not pro-gun control in the US - I don't have a view. My argument is that using UK gun politics to demonstrate anything that should or should not happen in the US is spurious. Secondly, some of my points on here have been dismissed because they happened some twenty years ago, such as my comments on the poll tax riots, so by that logic, the gun situation in the UK a century ago doesn't have any bearing. Thirdly, while the UK does indeed have a rich history of guns and arms generally, nobody claims that the UK has a gun culture that is comparable to the US today. So what it was like a hundred years ago is largely irrelevant.
Except, of course, in your comment about what Peter Hitchens said. I absolutely agree with his observation that we don't know what we've got until we've lost it. Which is what makes me shudder when I hear politicos claim that we must all pay a price for security by giving up some of our freedom. Ajkgordon 08:23, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Superb points by Fox above. And thanks for Ajkgordon's explanation, though I certainly disagree that "the gun situation in the UK a century ago doesn't have any bearing." Why, pray tell, not? At that time people were generally smarter than they are today, if you've ever read what they wrote. Charles Dickens' classics, for example, are beyond the reach of many today, but I think they were read by the masses at the time. Let's respect the views of our smarter ancestors.
Similarly, the claims that there is no support at all among conservatives for gun rights in Britain is almost certainly false, in my humble opinion. Self-defense, including rights to a meaningful self-defense, is recognized and valued by open-minded people in virtually every culture.--Aschlafly 08:31, 17 January 2008 (EST)
LOL, only because you have dismissed my points before because they happened 20 years ago! But seriously, I don't think that the gun situation in the early 20th century is relevant today in regard to gun control because the situation and culture is very different. I absolutely agree that it can demonstrate how our liberties and culture have changed since then and it might demonstrate who or what was responsible for those changes. But not, IMHO, to demonstrate what gun politics is like in the UK today.
Were people smarter then than they are today? Do you mean by IQ or education? I've never heard that view before. Care to elaborate?
I know lots of UK conservatives. In fact most people I know in the UK are conservatives including almost all the people closest to me and my family. And not one of them would want to see untrained civilians carrying guns on the street. Not one. Seriously. Now, that doesn't prove anything and I know I'm simply making an assertion, but it's true, I tell you, true :) Ajkgordon 08:43, 17 January 2008 (EST)
I would disagree, as I know plenty of Brits who would welcome the return of our pre-War gun legislation. Like attracts like, however, and perhaps I socialize, consciously or subconsciously, with people who share similar interests and views, and with you the same aplies. As you said, "it's true, I tell you, true" :) In the present social climate in Britain, the vast majority of the populace are more concerned with debt, long-hours culture, consumerism, fear of the New Labour-instigated Thought Police etc (just as the government likes it) to make anything other than token demands for the return of their liberties. It must be a truism that more political debate and "setting the country to rights" talk occurs over a pint (but no ciggie!!) in the pub than in our so-called parliament. I've lost count of the times that I've ended those kinds of conversations with the sad utterance: "The sad thing is, we have all just agreed what should be done, but when we walk out of here tonight it will all be forgotten and we'll all be back on the treadmill to keep the bailiffs at bay." We've become so apathetic, we don't even care about voting anymore. And as someone once said to me, "what is the point when the only difference between the parties today is the colour of the rosettes?"
The Telegraph article linked also points out that the society then was facing similar if not worse upheavals than we are today, when most of our perceived threats are manufactured by the media and the government, as another reason to put the boot down on us harder. Purely hypothetical: would the tragic events of Dunblane have occurred in a society where eight out of ten genteel hotel guests could be relied on to be "packing heat"? 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 09:01, 17 January 2008 (EST) Edit to add: Likewise, how far down the road in Hungerford would Michael Ryan have got before being slotted, had the town's inhabitants not been subject to the gun control instituted a generation earlier?
Agreed, Fox. Gun control is largely a non-issue here - another major difference with the US where it's been a top issue forever. I don't know what "conservative circles" you mix with - mine are generally military officers, hunting, shooting, fishing set - family background I'm afraid. None of them could bear to see the "soldier class" armed to the teeth! And I think that maybe another major difference with the US. Traditional conservatism in the UK is largely class based and this I'm sure has a major influence in their thinking.
Having recently experienced the French presidential election, I was struck by how greater the participation among the voters was than in the UK (and I think in the US). The level of debate was much higher and more sophisticated and there is still a huge amount of passion. I understand that it is a legal requirement to vote in a general election in Australia. Perhaps we should consider that option here.
I don't know how many genteel hotel guests there would have been at the Dunblane primary school, TBH! Ajkgordon 09:13, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, as a general rule, voting in Australia is compulsory, and not just for federal elections. Philip J. Rayment 20:05, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Interesting, that's pretty well how I'd describe my social circle :D We may have bumped into one another on a shoot or at a point-to-point and not realized. Perhaps you didn't notice that the (humour alert!) "provisional wing" of the huntin/shootin/fishin set, the Countryside Alliance, is a champion of gun ownership, and has said, ""Policy makers have targeted the legitimate sporting and farming communities with ever-tighter laws but the research clearly demonstrates that it is illegal guns which are the real threat to public safety." And "existing laws are targeting legitimate users of firearms rather than criminals," and "Existing gun laws do not lead to crime reduction and a safer place." They also commissioned the Centre for Defence Studies at Kings College, London, to carry out research into the subject, which demonstrated that the use of handguns in crime in Britain rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned. It also found there was no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession: of the 20 police areas with the lowest number of legally held firearms, 10 had an above average level of gun crime, and of the 20 police areas with the highest levels of legally held guns only two had armed crime levels above the average.
My point about the hotel guests was about the mores of the society, not the specific location :) Wouldn’t you feel safer with a gun? is another good read. "Charlotte Brontë recalled that her curate father fastened his watch and pocketed his pistol every morning when he got dressed", I'm sure that the teachers in such a society would have been equally well-armed. As for comparing US and UK society, well, what about the "International Crime Victims Survey (published by the Home Office in 2003), indicating that we now suffer three times the level of violent crime committed in the United States"? "Gun controls disarm only the law-abiding, and leave predators with a freer hand. Nearly two and a half million people now fall victim to crimes of violence in Britain every year, more than four every minute." 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 09:57, 17 January 2008 (EST)
LOL, I doubt it! My brother used to do quite a lot of that when he was at Sandhurst but the rest of my family are mostly RA, Royal Engineers or REME. With a few naval officers. Although my sister's current squeeze is a RTR CO and I used to mix with quite a lot of the 16/5th years ago, I never got into the hunting scene. I only fished! There's much more hunting with guns where I live now in SW France, although the restrictions are still very strict.
Actually, I kind of agree with you on gun control laws only targeting the law abiding. I'm afraid that's been a trend of the New Labour government - to legislate rather than attack the root cause of the problem. "Tough on crime and the causes of crime"? My arse! But lifting gun control in the UK, flooding the country with cheap weapons? Camberley town centre with armed chavs? No thanks! \o/ Ajkgordon 10:27, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Bridge Collapse

LBJ didn't design the bridge. Ultimately it was the engineers' mistake. You're making a strange, almost non sequitur connection between LBJ's spending and the desing flaw in the bridge. Sure, the liberal press may have jumped to conclusion about that instance but you might as well blame Reagan's military build up against the USSR on the Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster. It sad that both liberals and conservative have to make this diaster into a political issue and you're being no better than a liberal by posting this. In addition a bridge was probably not the worse use of money in the Great Society program. Do even have to bring up Vietnam and Iraq spending? Midnus

I thought Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, pushed for the Interstate Highway System. The premise was that it would make it easier to evacuate large cities in case the Soviets attacked us. The bridge was designed by Sverdrup and Parcel in the early 1960s based on AASHO specifications from 1961 and 1962. I'm not sure what the premise is. Would a more conservative administration have not built the bridge at all? Was 35W a waste of government money? --Elkman 18:42, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Partisan is NOT a Dirty Word

Minor nitpicking: Shouldn't the quote be in quotation marks, with a [sic] and an (emphasis added) at the end, given that the grammatical mistakes were not the fault of whoever linked it, but the emphasis was not in the source material? Barikada 19:39, 15 January 2008 (EST)


If the case is as presented, whoever is being quoted does not in fact represent the majority view of atheists and is also in the bloody wrong here, speaking as an atheist. That said, the quote should have a name on it, so it doesn't appear that atheists as a collective have formed some sort of hivemind and began speaking as one. Barikada 19:43, 15 January 2008 (EST)

Second point. "Isn't it remarkable that atheists, who did virtually nothing to oppose slavery, condemn Christians, who are the ones who abolished it?" Not especially. Does one good deed make Christians immune from criticism forever? Barikada 20:33, 15 January 2008 (EST)
When they say "condemn Christians" they mean "condemn Christians for using slavery" - the article's first paragraph talks of Sam Harris' hate for Christians in part because they used slavery (it then goes on to say, correctly, that slavery predated Christianity)--IDuan 23:22, 15 January 2008 (EST)
Oh. It should be a bit clearer on that, shouldn't it...? Barikada 00:24, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Also, on another point... You guys seem to get a lot of "atheists are evil" stories on the front page... and you seem to believe we are a united front, working towards the same goals. Barikada 00:24, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Coed Marines

Someone like that would be a danger to any woman, not just one he met through shared membership of the USMC. MrsBesant 09:38, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Think coed cities are a good idea? In 2006, the most recent year for which stats are available, there were 92,455 forcible rapes. Perhaps it's time to end mixing of the sexes in both the Marines and in everyday life! --Jdellaro 09:50, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Could the term coed be replaced by "mixed gender" or something like that? As a non-native speaker, I had to go look up what coed means, and was confused because it seems refer to education (I'd consider the marines to be a profession). The term might confuse other (non-native) readers. Regards, HermanH 09:55, 16 January 2008 (EST)

In reply to the above two comments, they really miss the point. This is not about preventing rape, which was a questionable and unproven allegation in this case. This is about the image and purpose of the Marines.--Aschlafly 10:01, 16 January 2008 (EST)
If it's not about preventing rape, why do you highlight that case immediately after asking, "Think a coed Marines is a good idea?" You are the one who links the two by posting it as such. We are just working off the example you provided. --Jdellaro 11:05, 16 January 2008 (EST)
I highlight the unproven allegation, and you apparently miss the point.--Aschlafly 11:10, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Obviously I am not following your point. Are you suggesting that the image of the Marines is tarnished because of allegations of rape? And that it's better solved through the elimination of women in the Marines? --Jdellaro 11:20, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Is this also in reply to my comment? If it is, I was not expressing any particular opinion, just asking whether an (in my opinion) confusing term could be replaced by something more easily understandable (again, IMO). Regards, HermanH 10:55, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Something in that, I suppose, though the old Corps just wouldn't be the same without men. Still, Colonel Gadaffi has an all-female special forces regiment as his personal guard, and don't those girls ROCK! MrsBesant 10:09, 16 January 2008 (EST)
Of course they rock. Who wouldn't want a personal armed bodyguard unit called the "Amazonian Guard" made up entirely of beautiful female ninjas? PostoStudanto ✉Tλlk 14:54, 16 January 2008 (EST)


For the last 20 years, the U.S. rate of inflation has been around 4% a year. Last month's figures are only a spike, and cannot be considered the beginning of new trend.

Alarmist phrases like "highest in 17 years" are meaningless. For example, El Nino caused a temperature spike in 1999, but this had no longterm effect on climate.

Let's not be fooled by liberal deceit - or even the poor math skills of the average journalist. --Ed Poor Talk 14:11, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Technically, you can't suggest it was "only a spike" any more than the journalist can suggest it was the beginning of a new trend. We have to wait until this month's numbers are available to place it in a more relevant context. --Jdellaro 14:12, 16 January 2008 (EST)
(The article was talking about inflation for all of 2007, not just a single month...)--RossC 18:53, 16 January 2008 (EST)

Murtha's pork

This should be a home page headline: The Pork King Keeps His Crown [3]

The new earmark disclosure rules put into effect by Congress confirm the pre-eminence of Representative John Murtha at procuring eye-popping chunks of pork for contractors he helped put in business in Johnstown, Pa. The Pennsylvania Democrat, a power player on defense appropriations, exudes pride, not embarrassment, for delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in largesse to district beneficiaries. They, in turn, requite with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.

Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162 million in district favors, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. In all, eager members in both houses enacted 11,144 earmarks, worth $15 billion. Taxpayers may be inured to $113,000 for rodent control in Alaska or a million for Idaho’s weed management. Mr. Murtha’s universe is a far more complicated and costly creation of interlocking contractors who continue to feed at the public trough despite reviews questioning their performance.

Jinxmchue 14:17, 16 January 2008 (EST)

BBC report

What exactly is wrong with the BBC news report about the Oxford Union debate? Jalapeno 14:25, 16 January 2008 (EST)

It didn't point out that these were free-speech advocates and then proceed to snicker at the irony. Of course, I would assume CP is a free-speech advocate (perhaps incorrectly) which would lead to the irony that they are condemning a university for having Kevorkian come speak. I'd also be interested to see CP's response if David Irving were invited to speak here. Of course, this is all on the presumption that CP is a free-speech advocate. Aschafly--free-speech advocate?
Also, the breaking news writeup is a little off in their description. The description states that "their way to defend free speech is to squelch anyone who disagrees with the concept." But the article talks about a protest (not by free-speech advocates) against a Holocaust denier (not a free speech opponent). So really it wasn't by free speech defenders versus a free speech hater. --Jdellaro 14:55, 16 January 2008 (EST)