So Juliaergane Posted a comment on my Trump post that has some good points, and some things where in I at least would like to respond with my position, or explain my position further. So I’m going to address it here, because I’ve found I like to give comments I both like and dislike their full weight and respect above the fold, if you will. If my readers however do not like this or do not like me doing it, please let me know. I don’t want this to be an unwelcoming place to comment.
With that said, let’s break it down.
I have to disagree with you this time, Lucius.
Gasp! A heretic against my beautiful teachings! I must kill it with fire!
Nah, I’m just joking. I actually like it when people have a reasonable position different from mine. Gives me something to think about and even debate/discus. Those are the conversations and readings I find most fun. It’s one of the reasons I don’t read John Beckett much…we agree on so much it’s like an echo chamber. The man’s talent (which is great) just doesn’t equal the chance to sharpen my own thoughts.
Could be why I’m not the most popular writer too, I don’t echo chamber very well.
We should, as a nation, do a lot more for the Yazidis and the polytheists in Afghanistan. However, these clumps of oily sludge (DAESH) also murder their own religionists with impunity. Far more Muslims have been murdered than Westeners.
In this, I wish Juliaergane had been a bit more specific. More muslism have been murdered than westerners by whom? ISIS has killed more muslims than they have westerners? True. More Muslims have been killed as a whole than Westerners in this entire conflict?
The problem for me is that this statement mimics the claims by Muslims that more innocent Muslims have died in this present conflict (I’m counting all the way back to 2001) than “innocent Westerners.” The problem arising when you realize that the statement is made from a place where no Westerner is in fact innocent, but rather in a state of sin for being a non-muslim. I doubt this is what Juliaergane means or intends, but without clarification as to where this fact or position is coming from means it could potentially be coming from this source.
There is of course the issue of “does more casualties make greater righteousness?” That’s an odd statement, but what we’re looking at here is Muslims, largely conservative Muslims, being killed by Muslims who are even more conservative. Except that the primary targets of ISIS is not their fellow Muslims, but rather the non-Muslims in the area or Muslims who disobey their slightly stricter version of Islam.
The fact of the matter is though, that the Yazidis, despite suffering far greater horrors than the Muslims “fleeing” ISIS are standing up and fighting, even though it means their death or slavery. At any point, the option is given to Muslims to just simply say “Okay, we give,” at which point they not only will not suffer at the hands of ISIS, they will be rewarded from the bounties of ISIS’s conquests, such as Yazidi slaves.
And this really is an issue for me. We have no public outcry to help the Yazidis escape ISIS, we have no real efforts to go in and liberate those Yazidis taken as sex slaves and repeatedly raped on a daily basis. We barely do anything to even arm them as they fight to prevent the extermination of their people. Yet we become somehow immoral for daring to say that maybe we shouldn’t take in the people who believe in the religion that is presently causing a Yazidis holocaust because they might bring this same violence to our shores?
Yes, known areas should be searched with court warrants. Most people who are planning vile things really cannot totally keep a secret. A quick call to the FBI will provide a tail on the said individual.
I’m not sure what Juliaergane means by “known areas” here. Mosques, nations, homes? I’m not in disagreement though, these places should be legally searched.
However, as the San Bern thing shows, people can keep these things a total secret. There was no idea it was about to happen until it did. The Paris terrorists managed to keep it a total secret right up until they attacked. Hell, the Paris attacks were talked about on social media for a couple hours while they were happening and no one came. Same with nearly every terrorist attack that’s gone down. No one knew until it was too late to stop it.
And no, a quick phone call to the FBI will not provide a tail. They can’t just go tailing people based on phone calls. There’s not the funds, there’s not the man power, there’s not the police state, and they legally do not have that authority. Muslims are the third largest religion in the USA, at about 0.9% of the population, so about thirty million people. Given that intelligence agencies place the potential “radical” population of Islam world wide at one in four, that’s about seven million potentially radical Muslims.
You expect the FBI to tail all of them so completely? What about the other three out of those four? They’re innocent, are you suggesting a violation of their civil liberties because one out of every four believes it is a good thing to kill in the name of Islam until the whole world believes in nothing else? All while trying to screen in millions of more refugees with who knows how many either believing the same, or put in specifically to create terrorist networks?
That’s a tall order even in a nation with a police state, much less a liberal democracy.
This is not to say I do not understand or sympathize with Juliaer’s position. I do, and on a theoretical level they are fairly correct. However, when we take into account real world numbers of population, not to mention the size of the USA itself, we start to run into practical problems.
Gun shops and other people who provide arms and munitions should be CLOSELY monitored — and I mean closely.
One, I’m pretty sure they are, as much as the law allows.
However, there is a problem with this. You’re basically saying it is okay to violate someone’s right to privacy based purely on the product they are buying. You’re wanting to treat a merchant as if he was a criminal, simply for selling a perfectly legal product. And you want to do the same for his clientele, because they’re purchasing a perfectly legal product. A product which has been for sale since before the founding of this nation and a product whose free and open sale was vital to the very foundation of said nation.
Here’s the thing though, even if you traced every penny and round sold in a legal shop, it wouldn’t do anything. The materials to make ammunition can be bought easily off the shelf or online, separately, and then assembled on site. This is of course not to mention black markets which will sell even better grades of ammunition than you can buy in most shops. In fact, you can make a fully functional gun and ammunition with a trip to your local hardware store, if you know what you’re doing. I mean, we’re talking about a weapon that was originally made by blacksmiths with hammers and alchemists with mortar and pestle.
In which case, you would be violating the civil liberties of non-criminals simply because someone, somewhere, might do something. And that’s against the law as much as any terrorist attack.
I am a 1970s veteran of the USAF, yet I refuse to own any of that weaponry. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for anyone — even a regular hunter — to own that type of weapon and ammo.
I’m presuming “that weaponry” means assault grade/military grade weapons. And it is fully within Juliaer’s rights to not own any of those weapons. I’m actually fine with this, people shouldn’t feel the need to buy things they don’t want to, and that Juliaer feels safe enough in this country to not need them is a testament to how far we have come as a nation.
However, Juliaer ends up arguing from a false premise here. I don’t mean this in a bad way, this is a pretty common premise among those against such weapons being sold to the open market. “Not even hunters need X weapon.”
Well technically, if we’re arguing from what hunter’s “need” they don’t need anything more than a muzzle loading flintlock. I mean, I’m not an expert hunter by any means, but if all the hunting show’s I’ve watched have taught me anything it’s that you get about one shot, and if you fuck that up you have to start over. Spray and Pray is no where in a hunter’s manual.
But the false premise is that guns are sold for hunters, and that their primary goal is sport. This is not so. The primary reason guns are sold is for defense. Most handguns are sold for the purposes of personal defense. Most military grade rifles, however, are sold for the purposes of political defense.
This traces all the way back to the 2nd amendment, and why there were no stipulations as to what weapons a citizen could possess. The soul purpose of the 2nd amendment was so that should the government ever become a tyranny which violated the liberties of the citizenship, the citizens would have the capability en mass to resist the state.
“Oh well, that’s bullshit!” someone no doubt is saying as I write this. Well, here’s how the logic of most gun control people goes.
So either a state should have a monopoly on “force” (in this case high powered rifles), but at the same time, the state is capable of mass tyranny. Or, we can allow the citizenry access to high powered rifles in the hopes that the implied threat of well armed civil unrest keeps the government from becoming a tyranny.
The weapon is not for the hunt. The weapon is against the state.
These people somehow “got away” with getting that weaponry without it being reported. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES.
Actually, there are plenty of “excuses” (and gods, how did I end up here). The citizens of the united states are entitled to liberties and right, included among them the right to privacy, and the right to bear arms.
Despite my own reservations when it comes to Islam, these rights are not simply suspended because of the ideological leanings of individuals. Maybe it would be better if they were, but that starts us down a very slippery slope of curtailing the civil liberties of those who “disagree” with “us.”
And that they “got away” with getting these weapons is not the issue here. The issue here is that they then used these weapons to commit a terrorist attack in the name of Islam and ISIS. I hate to pull the whole “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” meme here, but really, it’s true. The problem is not that these people owned guns. These people could have easily done all this with handguns, swords, or any number of weapons. Guns just made it easier.
The problem is not that he (and I do believe he was a legal citizen) was able to get these guns as was his right. The problem is that he and his wife decided they also had the right to kill people in the name of Islam.
We are our own worst enemies. I was born 5 years after the end of WWII. The Japanese internment camps were a travesty. The ships of tears were even worse when we did not allow passenger liners filled with Jewish refugees to land in America. I learned of these things when I was just about 6 years old on TV documentaries about the war. I still remember it to this day. There are things we can do which will prevent most of the horrible things DAESH can do which will not sink our values.
In a way, Juliaer is right here. We are our own worst enemies. We, the USA, believe in civil rights and liberties such that people do not have to live in a land where they face invasions of privacy, unreasonable searches, curtailment of self defenses, the freedom to believe whatever religion we want, etc.
These liberties stand in the way of security at every turn. Our own generous nature to take in refugees works against us. At every turn, our respect for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness thwarts are attempts to protect ourselves from bad people.
But there are things, as Juliaer says, we can do to help prevent the harm of ISIS without loosing who we are. One of those things would be a moratorium on taking Muslim refugees. Not a ban, but a pause, to investigate and vet. The already increasing violence by those refugees coming into Europe as they find their paths sometimes blocked, the increases in crimes (often hushed up, but still occasionally recorded) and so forth means that patience is also a virtue. This isn’t like the Holocaust, at least, not for the Muslims fleeing. It is for the Yazidis though.
But the majority of Muslims fleeing are people who do not want to fight for their countries. Lands their ancestors have lived on for hundreds of years. They take one look at ISIS and while the entire time saying “That is not Islam” run away rather than stand and stop those who “pervert” their religion. Now, I am a heathen, I have different cultural values than Muslims, but one does not simply flee one’s home simply because an enemy shows up, and one certainly does not let a blasphemer and perverted of the things sacred to to oneself to simply run rampant when one could fight to prevent it.
I respect the Yazidis. I would be happy to offer them refuge in my nation. They have shown they are a brave and honorable people, and their coming here would only make my nation stronger (it doesn’t hurt that they’re pagans either).
But these Muslims? They act the coward when they should fight. They cry for pity, when they have shown none to their non-muslim neighbors. They practice a religion of bigotry, homophobia, sexism, and racism, a religion whose members around the world have shown intolerance to other beliefs and the liberties of others. Yes, it is sad that human life ends, and it horrible what ISIS is doing. But should I then let in the lesser of two evils simply because the greater is attacking them for basically not being evil enough? If bigotry is wrong, if misogyny, homophobia, and so forth are bad ideals, why then should I open my halls and my nation to people who not only believe these things are right (when so many work so hard to remove such ideals form our nation already) and whose fellow believers have proven time and again all across the world that not only will they not dispose of these horrific practices, they will gather together to enforce them in our own, liberal nations? My nation should offer safety to a peoples who for the last several decades have decried us as evil, and celebrated at our defeats and pains?
I am a heathen, it seems ill advised to me to let someone so ill tempered to my existence entrance to my lands.
Now maybe, maybe if these people were honestly fighting as hard as they could and loosing, I could feel a bit more sympathy. But I keep a pretty good eye on the situation over there and on the refugee population and despite the fact that there is a war going on, no one is doing anything of measure. Hell, it’s come out that Turkey is more interested in pissing off Russia, buying Oil from ISIS, and fighting the people who are honestly being hunted down by ISIS than they are in stopping ISIS at all. The other Muslim nations are doing jack all except for Jordan, a nation so under powered as to be making token resistance, and those Muslim nations most capable and with the highest duty to take refugees are accepting none. It paints a very different picture for me.
Anyways, I hope that explains some of my position more. I understand where Juliaer is coming from and they do have some good points. We’re both arguing from positions of liberty and morality, but different perspectives and positions on it. The truth is, the desire to ease suffering is a noble one. Under most situations, I support it as well. but the problem arises in that we also must be careful who we support in said suffering. The world is full of the unintended consequences of noble actions, often which end up being worse than if things had been left alone.
This started because Trump wants to pause taking in refugees until we can be sure they are people in honest need who will be a benefit to this nation, not a terror. All the issues Juliaer mentioned could have been avoided had such actions been taken in the case of the San Bern terrorists. Had even a modicum of investigation been done on the wife before she came in, both parties could have been tagged, investigated, and stopped. But she wasn’t, because she was in “need” and wanted to be with her husband. Generosity, not lack of gun control, was at fault. Sometimes, to truly be kind and generous, you must first hold the purse strings, before you open them.