Another Half-Assed Facebook Debate

This was the response when I said that Colorado’s gun laws could be used as a template for Federal legislation. Hardly a radical concept, and one that doesn’t even affect Coloradans because, like I said, it’s already the law where we live.

This guy isn’t just threatening me. He is threatening to defy the will of the majority of voters in the event that I am elected. This is what Ken Buck and Donald Trump have created – an environment in which you can threaten and bully others; an environment in which a “Second Amendment Solution” is considered acceptable; in which any concern for commonsense gun safety is considered a threat to the Constitution.

This isn’t a campaign against guns. This is a campaign against bullies who make threats against others. This is a campaign against people who think that guns should mean more than ballots.

I apologize for the language in these images, but people need to see the extremists for what they are – radical people who use the threat of violence to get their way.

Thanks, Trump. Thanks, Ken.
Please help our campaign.

Isaac Furtney It’s a political threat, Bob. And I hate to say it, but gun control laws don’t seem to make us any safer.

Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey Actually, statistically controlled research (rather than the anecdotal, cherry-picked, and outright doctored research informing your narrative) indicates otherwise.

Here’s a comprehensive argument, with some links to relevant sources at the end:See More

There are two competing narratives at work in the gun control debate (narratives that, in general form, define many of the debates dividing the political “left” and the political “right”). One narrative views the world as a dangerous place, with bad people who do bad things, and that therefore an ar…
Like · Reply · 4 · 16 hrs · Edited

Richard Carpenter
Richard Carpenter What an excellent essay, Steve…

Like · Reply · 2 · 14 hrs

Steve Harvey
Like · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

Bob Seay
Bob Seay Steve Harvey Wish I had written that. Thanks for sharing it.

Like · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey My pleasure, Bob.

Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

Isaac Furtney
Isaac Furtney No. I’m sure it’s a lovely essay, but the root cause of most gun violence is crime. When we make an economy that works for everyone instead of against most people, then the violence will dissipate. There are countries with nearly as many firearms per capita as the US with minimal gun violence.

Like · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey Isaac Furtney, that’s a narrative. I offered a comprehensive analysis, with citations, which you ignored, because you prefer clinging to your emotionally self-gratifying (but completely bogus) narrative to becoming better informed and developing a more nuanced understanding of this complex and consequential issue. There’s a word for that, derivative of another word for disregarding relevant information.

There are, in fact, no countries with anywhere near our private firearm ownership rate, per capita or in absolute numbers. We have almost half of all privately owned firearms in the world, at a per capita rate (nearly one firearm for every single man, woman and child residing in this country) nearly twice that of the next highest. You’re in extreme factual error right off the bat, because you’re content to rely on fabricated information in service to an irrational and deadly set of demonstrable absurdities.

Also, we have an intentional homicide rate that is about seven times the developed nation average, higher than all but one other OECD country (Mexico, which “benefits” from a constant flood of are arms across their border and intothe hands of their drug cartels), from two to twentyfive times higher than all but two others (Mexico and Estonia, the latter having a lower homicide rate than ours, but, alone among the remaining OECD countries, more than half our rate).

There are indeed many factors involved, but your use of “crime” as some catch all that is somehow unrelated to firearms availability is analytically indefensible. There are two basic reasons for that: 1) Guns are an amplifier of the deadliness of acts of aggression or violence that otherwise would not have been deadly, so their superabundance in our country turns more crimes deadly more of the time; and 2) our crime rate is a function of the same cultural pathology that expresses itself in the form of our gun cult, a hyper-individualistic callousness that both does too little to invest in programs that reduce poverty and crime and inculcates the bizarre belief that being constantly prepared to kill others is necessary and virtuous.

If you actually want to know what you’re talking about, rather than spouting empty, shallow and erroneous ideological platitudes, read up a bit more on the actual empirical evidence and peer-review research on the subject. (My essay provides an excellent primer on the issue, for those who actually want to be well informed.) That’s what responsible citizenship requires of us, especially when one feels compelled to spout falsehoods assertively on a literally life-and-death matter, death for over 30,000 Americans every year.

Like · Reply · 3 · 11 hrs · Edited

Isaac Furtney
Isaac Furtney I notice you ignored my economic inequailty argument altogether and instead just complained that I didn’t use citations. Look at Mexico and El Salvador where, sure many of their guns come from the US, but the real problem is gang and drug violence just like here. Neoliberals like you do all your academic research and change nothing. I hope that’s enough to help YOU sleep at night. So try to pull your head from the clouds to understand what is really going on. Your view of what is happening is too simplistic and not holistic enough. Of course, you cannot have gun violence without guns and “gun culture,” but it still all comes back to economics because firearm manufacture and sales is a $16.6 bn industry. The democrats little sit-in was cute, but they knew they wouldn’t accomplish anything when 50+ republican members of congress have taken money from gun groups like the NRA. …..”our crime rate is a function of the same cultural pathology that expresses itself in the form of our gun cult, a [hyper-individualistic callousness] that both does too little to invest in programs that [reduce poverty and crime] and inculcates the bizarre belief that being constantly prepared to kill others is necessary and virtuous. Your use of “hyper-individualistic callousness” sounds akin to Clinton’s use of “super-predators.” It’s a bullshit excuse and convenient way of avoiding the facts–that you–in similar circumstances to many of our urban people of color face everyday–police terrorism and lack of economic opportunity combined with systemic racism, oppression, and injustice–are somehow morally superior. Fuck you, Steve. No you’re not. As for “reduc[ing] poverty and crime” by “investing in programs,” our economic system, is, by and large, corrupt and inherently inequitable. No amount of well-meaning political “programs” regardless of how much we, the taxpayers–not the one percent, mind you–“invest” in them will make any real difference in the lives of millions of wage slaves, prisoner slaves, and those forced to take government assistance while their employer gets tax breaks. You speak much more ignorantly, despite your eloquent diction and research, you don’t KNOW shit. Mic drop.

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey Isaac Furtney, first, I didn’t “ignore” your economic inequality argument. It is encompassed by my reference to the callous hyper-individualism that is at the root of a matrix of interrelated problems which include both economic inequality and gun violence.

Second, if we’re going to refer to “ignoring arguments,” let’s point out that you ignored mine in its entirety, and simply repeated your own narrative, without responding to any other information other than that which you currently hold, regardless of its demonstrable inaccuracy.

Third, I specifically pointed out that the anecdotal, cherry-picking mode of argumentation that gun idolators rely on (“look at Mexico and El Salvador”) can be used to argue any position, no matter how absurd, and therefore is the prefered tactic for those arguing absurdities. To illustrate, if I wanted to argue that using seat belts increases your probability of dying in a car accident, all I need to do is gather together all of the anomalous cases in which that occurred, and present them as evidence in support of my claim. But someone presenting actual statistical evidence (as I did, regarding cross-national analyses of gun ownership rates and homicide rates, and regarding relative probabilities of being killed, by a gun or by any other method, between those with guns or with guns in the home and those without, as well as specific studies examining the actual statistical effects of gun regulations) is effectively refuting that anecdotal farce.

Fourth, you insist, arbitrarily and erroneously, that, despite the fact that the evidence clearly and definitively refutes your narrative, that those who disagree with you (such as myself, a former sociologist, lawyer public policy analyst, urban outreach worker, and teacher) “have their head in the clouds” (because how else do you dismiss demonstrable realities that are ideologically inconvenient to you?), while you, simply by posturing and pretending, are in possession of the more “holistic” truth. Bullsit. You’re in possession of an ideological narrative built on factual falsehoods and intentional irrationality, all in service to sacrificing other people’s lives and other people’s children on the alter of your deadly fetish.

Fifth, there is indeed a matrix of interrelated problems, so drugs and crimes are relevant. But so are guns. And so is your dogmatic refusal to include guns in the mix of factors we consider as we forge rational and responsible laws and policies by which to co-exist in this country of ours. Guns are a factor, the relevance of which I explain in precise and compelling detail in the essay you couldn’t be bothered to read (because the one thing you don’t want is knowledge or comprehension, both of which would inconvenience you ideologically).

Sixth, I haven’t claimed and never claim that guns are the only factor, that there aren’t other issues, even more fundamental issues, for us to address. You use the word “simplistic” as if it magically becomes true just by virtue of your using it. But there’s nothing simplistic about looking at the systemic whole (which IS what holism actually is), and all of the factors that comprise it, and recognizing the various roles that each of those factors play. That’s an authentic analysis, a real understanding. And the fact is that instrumentality is a very important systemic factor. It requires a highly motivated, self-induced ignorance not to understand that.

I sleep perfectly well at night, because I’m honest, well-informed, and highly rational social observor who responsibly and painstakingly researches and analyzes all available data to develop the most comprehensive, precise, and accurate understanding of the issues and dynamics involved as possible. Maybe you should joining that club; responsible citizenship requires it of us.

Isaac Furtney
Isaac Furtney Right on. Keep on intellectually masturbating, we’re all very impressed. You ignore the most important factor–the money. I’ll read your little essay when I get a chance. Thanks for the debate.


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