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Thread: How to win a debate with an anti-gunner

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    How to win a debate with an anti-gunner

    http://www.americas1stfreedom.org/ar...n-anti-gunner/

    [URL=http://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2015/4/15/how-to-win-a-debate-with-an-anti-gunner/[/URL]

    If the link is giving you trouble, right-click on it and copy nto your browser.

    First of all, do not debate.

    The confrontations always begin the same way: Someone asks what I do, I tell them, and if they aren’t for the U.S. Bill of Rights as written, I see battalions of “I’m-more-enlightened-than-you” thoughts assembling behind their politically correct eyes. Soon, they’re firing anti-gun sentiments at me.

    Until I learned a better way, I’d counterattack with shock troops of facts. Before long there would be gaping wounds in their logic, and their ignorance would be bleeding all over them.

    Those debates were always a lot of fun—especially when the people were from England—but over time I noticed that my opponents were mostly leaving angry. I was winning debates, but I wasn’t helping to change views. They’d soon use pride, and quite possibly conceit, as tourniquets for their hemorrhaging self-esteem. They’d hate me, and would be consoled by others who share their viewpoint. Soon, the facts I’d used to attack their unfounded convictions would fade, and they’d go back to feeling morally superior.

    I was winning debates, but I wasn’t helping to change views. All of that changed one evening ....
    For the Too long/don't want to read crowd:

    Using this strategy, here’s how I respond to four common types of people I’ve encountered over the years.



    #1 - [person] who thinks he or she is on the moral high ground when telling you guns should be banned and that gun- free zones work.

    I ask, “Why do you feel gun-free zones save lives?”

    They typically respond with a generality, such as that they feel there are too many guns in society. They don’t have any experience with guns and are afraid of firearms.

    I like to tell them about my conversations with Evan Todd, a young man who had a gun held to his head by one of the Columbine killers, but who now has spoken at hundreds of schools and in other places about how he wishes a good guy with a gun had gotten on the scene sooner. Then it’s easy to calmly point out that mass murderers have a habit of taking guns into “gun-free zones.”

    Finally, I give teachers a way out by telling them they can attain an educated opinion by taking a local gun-safety course. The NRA lists these and other courses at findnra.nra.org.

    #2 - Those who naively think disarming law-abiding citizens will make them safer.

    I ask, “Why would disarming your neighbor make you feel safer?”

    After they answer, I ask if they know their neighbors. This humanizes the point. I then ask why they feel average Americans can’t be trusted. Now that I’ve broadened the point, I explain that the nation’s violent crime rate hit an all-time high in 1991 and thereafter declined in 18 of the next 20 years—49 percent overall, to a 41-year low in 2011. This decline includes a 52-percent decrease in the nation’s murder rate.

    All this happened even as the number of privately owned firearms and the number of states with right-to-carry laws rose to all-time highs.

    Now it’s easy to explain that many people don’t know this because newspapers find more profit in printing bad news. Then I can end the discussion by asking them to be neighborly and tolerant (they love that word), and by showing them how to learn more about their freedom.

    #3 - The well-meaning, but startingly ignorant, types who just want to be safe.

    I ask, “How would you feel if you were trapped in a public place with some madman who was assassinating people?”

    After they answer, I ask, “Now, in that state of helplessness, would you like it if an average American gun owner was there with a chance of stopping the killer, or would you prefer to wait for the police?”

    Most reasonable people will stop and ponder that. Maybe they finally say they just want all those military-style arms taken away from people. Maybe they flounder about for another false premise. Either way, they’re looking for answers.

    It’s easy to explain that just about every type of firearm has been used by the military and u.s. citizens, and about how, in a free country, the two are necessarily linked. You can explain all about semi-automatic firearms, and how this century-plus-old technology represents the most commonly owned firearm type today.

    Wherever the conversation goes, just be sure to let them know that it’s okay they don’t know these things, as schools rarely teach this information. Then tell them about your favorite books or articles on these topics, and offer to share them.

    #4 - The committed anti-gun zealot who truly hates you.

    I like to ask, “What makes you feel so cruel toward women and the elderly?”

    They usually respond with shock, as they gasp, “What?!!” After they’ve had their say, I explain that it’s cruel to prevent, for example, an elderly man or woman from having the one tool that we know can stop a bad guy from badly injuring or killing them.

    I point out that anti-Second Amendment policies empower thugs and murderers. This is a cruel thing to do to good, law-abiding people. Depending on the particular person and the context of the opportunity, you can easily let their egos off the hook by explaining that they probably just haven’t had the opportunity to hear this side of the argument before. If they have any reasonableness left in them, you can then begin to help them see past their bias.

    Note that with all these types of people, if you ask the right questions you can at least make them start considering more seriously the real truth about gun ownership.
    Try it the next time someone starts to "discuss" you and your gun.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 05-01-2015 at 10:11 PM.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    "I used to win debates using facts and logic, but I wasn't winning people to my side. Now, I win debates using facts and logic, and everything is different!"


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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    ^^

    Reading comprehension is key. He's asking a question, not debating. IMO.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    They're not called "rhetorical questions" for nothing.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Good read, Skidmark. Thanks for posting.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    ^^

    Reading comprehension is key. He's asking a question, not debating. IMO.
    Maybe for a limited definition of "debate".

    But then most folks believe that "debating" is arguing differing opinions and that "arguing" must of necessity be contentiously adversarial.

    http://classroom.synonym.com/types-debates-2476.html Three out of the five styles presented rely on persuasion rather than the presentation of overwhelming evidence that the other side are complete idiots.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    For those who watch Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) There's an hilarious bit where the interviewer tries to get anti-abortion proponents to say the word "choice" and they just can't do it.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    For those who watch Comedy Central's Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) There's an hilarious bit where the interviewer tries to get anti-abortion proponents to say the word "choice" and they just can't do it.
    Does this signal a sudden change of mindset about "debating"?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I'd debate you on this, but that would be counterproductive...
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    Good read, Skidmark. Thanks for posting.
    I will second that. I never did like a frontal attack. I like to flank their brains until they see the light,........and let them think it was their idea.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Anti-gunners are persuaded when their vote is no longer a effective weapon against liberty. I will not provide them the satisfaction of lending any credibility to their false premise. I prefer to work to make they, and their views, irrelevant.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Anti-gunners are persuaded when their vote is no longer a effective weapon against liberty. I will not provide them the satisfaction of lending any credibility to their false premise. I prefer to work to make they, and their views, irrelevant.
    Make what irrelevant?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Good read. Thank you, skidmark.

    The gun grabbers have been successful largely through the use of emotion.

    The methods posted by skidmark have the advantage of bringing emotion to bear in favor of our side, or at least to undermine the anti-gun views.

    As someone's tag line once read, "You can't use logic to talk a man out of a position he got into using something other than logic."

    The proper use of emotions opens someone up to accept some facts.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Anti-gunners are persuaded when their vote is no longer a effective weapon against liberty. I will not provide them the satisfaction of lending any credibility to their false premise. I prefer to work to make they, and their views, irrelevant.
    A fair number of current pro-RKBA persons used to be anti-gun or at least fence sitters.

    There are committed gun grabbers who will never be persuaded. But many fence sitters and even some currently anti-RKBA persons are open to persuasion of the right sort.

    After all, one of the fundamental premises of this forum is that we can advance statutory and social respect for our RKBA by OCing. Proper OCing of a firearm is one way to help persuade people to respect our RKBA.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    A fair number of current pro-RKBA persons used to be anti-gun or at least fence sitters.

    There are committed gun grabbers who will never be persuaded. But many fence sitters and even some currently anti-RKBA persons are open to persuasion of the right sort.

    After all, one of the fundamental premises of this forum is that we can advance statutory and social respect for our RKBA by OCing. Proper OCing of a firearm is one way to help persuade people to respect our RKBA.

    Charles
    I'm going to have to make a confession to comment. About 15 years ago when it first looked like CCW was going to pass in MO, my then boss (I was his 2nd) sat down with me to discuss the company position if it passed. To post no carry or not to post. We were both gun owners and occasional shooters so not antis, but were somewhat ambivalent about citizen carry. The issue failed (I did vote yes) before we had to make any decision but it got me thinking. Some here may notice that my opinion evolved, dramatically, over the next 5 years leading to CCW becoming law, and in the last push I was a stalwart supporter of CC. I owned my own business by that time and have never even considered prohibiting carry.

    When I started to carry, my father raised an eyebrow and my mother was concerned. Eight years later they both have multi-state CC licenses and, while they don't carry regularly, they are starting to carry more and more. They travel a lot and it is primarily the patchwork of laws state to state that they find overwhelming to research and follow that inhibits more regular carry.

    So yes, I have seen the triumph of responsible carry win the day just within my own family and with my wife's friends as well, none of whom were even very comfortable around guns when they met me and most of whom now are at least pro-CC.

    We each have to decide if we approach carry as "it's my right - screw off" or choose to do our best to be ambassadors of this precious right. I have been in both places, but have found that personally the role of ambassador has been far more effective in winning hearts and minds and makes my life more pleasant.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    A fair number of current pro-RKBA persons used to be anti-gun or at least fence sitters.

    There are committed gun grabbers who will never be persuaded. But many fence sitters and even some currently anti-RKBA persons are open to persuasion of the right sort.

    After all, one of the fundamental premises of this forum is that we can advance statutory and social respect for our RKBA by OCing. Proper OCing of a firearm is one way to help persuade people to respect our RKBA.

    Charles
    Please do not patronize me on the associated benefits of OCing or the mission of OCDO.

    If I were referring to fence sitters I would have included fence sitters in my post.

    I do not go about proselytizing on the topic of the 2A. I engage in conversations, when approached, and answer honest questions with facts and figures to the best of my ability. Fence sitters (non-gun owners who philosophically support the 2A), in my experience, typically "vote for" the 2A, even if tangentially.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME;2140852...
    . I engage in conversations, when approached, and answer honest questions with facts and figures to the best of my ability. ....
    The point being, one guy (author of the article quoted in the OP) claims (en emotinal rather than objective state) to have better success dealing with anti-gun rights folks by responding with the same types of emotional (as opposed to objective) responses as the anti-gun rights folks use.

    Some folks find it very hard to do that (use emotional responses against an anti-gun right's reaction/response to ZOMG GUNZ!) without breaking into uncontrollable fits of laughter or foaming-at-the-mouth rage and frustration. The author of the article seems to have the ability to engage in emotion-based argument without hitting either extreme.

    Anyone who says you must engage in this or that type of debate/conversation seems (an emotional as opposed to objective judgement) to have missed the point.

    stay safe. (an objective desire, although some believe it is an emotional comment)
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  18. #18
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    The point being, one guy (author of the article quoted in the OP) claims (en emotinal rather than objective state) to have better success dealing with anti-gun rights folks by responding with the same types of emotional (as opposed to objective) responses as the anti-gun rights folks use.

    Some folks find it very hard to do that (use emotional responses against an anti-gun right's reaction/response to ZOMG GUNZ!) without breaking into uncontrollable fits of laughter or foaming-at-the-mouth rage and frustration. The author of the article seems to have the ability to engage in emotion-based argument without hitting either extreme.

    Anyone who says you must engage in this or that type of debate/conversation seems (an emotional as opposed to objective judgement) to have missed the point.

    stay safe. (an objective desire, although some believe it is an emotional comment)
    It is interesting that the author relates this wee tidbit.
    So I let him off the hook and we talked about Ancient Rome and other things. In the years since he has slowly come around, and now even says he wants “to shoot skeet some time.”
    Skeet, huh? Well, isn't that special, we have a new found 2A supporter who resides inside "the" ivory tower...

    You missed my point, I don't engage folks who may take years to getting around to wanting to shoot skeet some time. I thought that I made this crystal clear.
    I do not go about proselytizing on the topic of the 2A. I engage in conversations, when approached, and answer honest questions with facts and figures to the best of my ability. Fence sitters (non-gun owners who philosophically support the 2A), in my experience, typically "vote for" the 2A, even if tangentially. - OC for ME
    Anyway...

    If the author gave a rip about that professor's position, how he votes, then why not pursue a course that prompts the professor to persuade his comrades wanting to shoot skeet some time, from within the ivory tower.

    You are free, of course, to "debate" anti-gunners any way you see fit. Heck, try different "styles" until you find one that works on most folks. Or, maybe a professor is a poor choice as a example of changing hearts and minds.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    ^ ^ There is no style/one size fit all ^ ^

    Best to target your response in accordance with the most effective method given the situation at hand.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  20. #20
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    ^ ^ There is no style/one size fit all ^ ^

    Best to target your response in accordance with the most effective method given the situation at hand.
    Obviously.

    There is, however, something to be said for taking the path of least resistance, namely, fence sitters. They are not that hard to find, most folks are fence sitters in my experience. A 2A friendly professor? A unicorn sighting in the very vast majority of ivory towers.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Obviously.

    There is, however, something to be said for taking the path of least resistance, namely, fence sitters. They are not that hard to find, most folks are fence sitters in my experience. A 2A friendly professor? A unicorn sighting in the very vast majority of ivory towers.
    Did someone say "fence sitters"?

    http://www.guns.com/2015/04/23/how-d...to-gun-rights/

    We know the worth of firearms. Beyond fun – yes, I went there – they offer deterrent value, peace of mind, and as illustrated by the new television series “The Last Man on Earth“, make great universal keys.

    But there are those who remain largely in the dark on firearms.

    One constituency is afflicted with the kind of willed ignorance that has seen fit to put Obama in the oval office (twice, no less). Lost causes in search of one, these hoplophobes are best left alone or subject to limiting voting rights.

    But there is another constituency that perhaps deserves some consideration.

    These are the “neither here, nor there” Americans, people who just don’t feel particularly invested in gun ownership or Second Amendment rights. The prospect of formally familiarizing themselves with firearms, unfortunately, just doesn’t fall high on their personal priorities lists, probably because they are largely insulated from the debate and don’t perceive themselves as having a dog in the fight.

    That they are ignorant on the issues that concern us – and them – does not mean they are necessarily stupid. If they are not exactly victims of the same kind of pernicious indoctrinations that find children carrying out executions on behalf of ISIS, they are at least subject to similar kinds of limiting agents courtesy of the media to which they are exposed.

    But if they are not exactly for or against us, they might be swayed by our ambassadorship.
    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Obviously. There is, however, something to be said for taking the path of least resistance, namely, fence sitters. They are not that hard to find, most folks are fence sitters in my experience. A 2A friendly professor? A unicorn sighting in the very vast majority of ivory towers.
    Must have read Mike Rothfeld's The Real Nature of Politics and Politicians
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post

    . A 2A friendly professor? A unicorn sighting in the very vast majority of ivory towers.
    The author is only married to a professor.

    All of that changed one evening when my wife dragged me, like a chained bear, to a cocktail party with her colleagues. She teaches at one of those esteemed universities that celebrates diversity, but where every staff member seems to have the same politics. So there I was in a room full of her highly educated friends who don’t know the first thing about ballistics or how to clean their own game. For my wife’s sake, I tried to fade into the background, but apparently all the hours I’ve spent concealed in trees hunting deer didn’t help in the cocktail scene.
    Now that in itself is admittedly a strange relationship, but there are vstories of even weirder pairings.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Please do not patronize me on the associated benefits of OCing or the mission of OCDO.
    There is no need for a hostile response.

    I suspect very few of us go looking for opportunities to proselyte on RKBA. But especially when OCing, many opportunities present themselves and in most cases a response more civil than "bugger off" may be warranted. Something about being armed and polite comes to my mind.

    But whatever works for you.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    There is no need for a hostile response.

    .

    Charles
    So, Charles, why do you feel that hostile responses are problematic? Why would disallowing hostile answers make you feel better? How would you feel if you were in a public place instead of a private forum and someone started making hostile responses? What makes you feel so cruel towards those who make hostile responses?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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