The person who’s handle is Bannik is a British citizen who is active on a website I frequent and we often but heads on the issue of the 2nd Amendment.  The comment was in response to a video titled Badass Baby.

Bannik wrote,

What does the badass baby expect gun control to do? Eliminate all crime?… plus there is no evidence to suggest that guns actually make you safer… most likely the ability to own the gun by the "citizen" helps the "criminal" obtain the firearms with more ease…

nothing wrong with guns, everything is wrong with EVERYONE being able to own one… owning a gun is not a RIGHT its a privilege, act like it.

In Britain it may be a privilege Bannik, in the United States is it a Right guaranteed by the constitution and constitutional rights may not be infringed except via due process of law.  The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right vests in individuals, not merely collective militias.  Everyone who is born, or becomes a citizen of the United States and reaches the majority age (18) is guaranteed certain inalienable rights.  These rights cannot be suspended except via due process of law.

For example, US citizens have a 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.  I can’t just walk into someone’s home without their consent and start looking for evidence of a crime.  However if probable cause is found a Court can be petitioned for a warrant which allows me to search and seize anything that may prove that person committed a crime.  Likewise, if there is a trial the Judge can place a gag order which suspends someone’s 1st Amendment right to speak about the trial and even imprison that person if they violate that order.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment, if someone pleads or is found guilty of the charge of domestic violence then they forfeit their 2nd Amendment rights.  If someone pleads or is found guilty of any felony offense, then they forfeit their 2nd Amendment rights.  If years later that person has committed no other offenses they may petition a court to restore those rights and expunge their record but what you’re advocating does not involve due process of law.  You see the government must be also to show good cause for suspending the right via the person’s own actions.

Your idea would be to have everyone give the government good cause for allowing them to keep and bear arms, it doesn’t and shouldn’t work that way.  In states where people must jump threw hoops and give a compelling reason why they should be ALLOWED to carry a firearm only the WEALTHY and POLITICAL classes are able to obtain carry permits.  Look at Senator Feinstein in California, that bitch has spent her entire political career trying to gut the 2nd Amendment but she herself has a very rare permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Fucking hypocrite.  Rosie O’Donnell is another cunt who calls for more civilian disarmament and it was discovered that she had hired ARMED GUARDS to be near her child while it was away at school.

What you are advocating is that we make what is currently a right and declare it a privilege.  We should convert citizens into serfs.  Nobody likes to talk about it in modern times but the 2nd Amendment is a also a guarantee that the citizens will always have the right to abolish any government which becomes tyrannical.  Now don’t shit a brick, I don’t that is the case now and I hope it never happens but if human history is any measure it seems to happen eventually.

Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly 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.

(Emphasis Added)

In the grand scheme of things the 2nd Amendment exists as a last resort measure, a guarantee if you will that no ruling class or authoritarian regime can ever rule unchecked over the people, which would also include foreign powers invading the country.  Now you can cry about that never happening and perhaps you might be right but we mere mortals cannot tell the future so why risk it.

In the short term or personal level, the 2nd Amendment exists to guarantee that the most effective tool is available for defense of self, family, home and community against individuals who might engage violent criminal behavior, that is to say, the firearm.  Current law dictates that all able bodied men are subject to being called up by the elected Sheriff during breeches of the peace or during natural disasters.  The militia spoken of in the 2nd Amendment is not the standing military.  The militia is every able body male, between 17 and 45 according to Federal code, who has not renounced their US Citizenship.  How else do you think the draft was legally justified?

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ONE – Their Title Is Unimaginative & Misleading

Their official name is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a title so long that it begs for an acronym, but since M-D-A-G-S-A sounds like a Klingon curse word they are stuck with the monstrosity. Ironically the group was founded by a former communications executive named Shannon Watts; one might think that someone with that sort of expertise would have realized a thirteen syllable title isn’t very communicative.  And since when does “gun sense” equate to handing over more of our rights to the government?

No matter how you say it, the title is misleading in that you might assume the “gun sense” they are advocating is actually sensible and rational.  You see anti-gun groups have learned over the past few decades that being open about their real goal of erasing the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t work in a country where the majority of people rightfully distrust their government and value their personal liberties.  Unlike Watts, everyone is not wealthy enough to hire armed guards, affluent enough to live in gated communities, nor politically connected enough to have priority response from law enforcement.

The first stated goal of MDAGSA is to require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases.  That is to say that if I want to sell or trade my Glock pistol to my friend for his AR-15 rifle I will first have to seek permission from the Federal or State government.  This is not sensible, nor will it stop violent criminals from obtaining either of these items.  By mandating that everyone seek the permission of the State to engage in otherwise legal commerce, this proposal actually accomplishes their unstated goal of transforming a constitutionally protected right into a state granted privilege.

TWO – They Formed as an Emotional Response to Sandy Hook

According to its founder, Moms Demand Action was founded December 15, 2012, EXACTLY one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, ostensibly because Watts did not have the metaphorical balls to tell her then 12-year-old son what had happened.  Was it formed along with a cadre of fellow concerned mothers who decided to study criminal statistics involving firearms, pouring over the research from numerous studies concerning the issue before finally deciding to found an organization to lobby government and advocate for their solutions in the media?  No of course not….

It was founded by one very affluent white woman living in Zionsville, Indiana who claims her son was psychologically afflicted by other shootings in the news and was shocked and appalled by the deaths of children belonging to other affluent parents.  With the median income for a household in Zionsville at $108,420 and a median value of owner-occupied housing units in the town at $355,800; it is a heavily gated community of approximately 14,160 people (as of 2010 Census), 94% of which is also White.  With a police response time of 2 ~ 3 minutes is it any wonder why Shannon Watts doesn’t see any merit in keeping a firearm in the home and/or carrying one on her person?  I guess all the poor brown-skinned children that died before Sandy Hook didn’t bother her son as much and weren’t important enough to motivate Mrs. Watts to get off her privileged white ass.

Are the proposals advocated by Shannon Watts new and original? Of course they’re not, they are the same list of bullshit pseudo-solutions that every other civilian disarmament group is pushing under the false mantra of ‘common sense’.  As is typical among gun control advocates, it doesn’t matter that none of the measures proposed by Watts are based on facts or data showing they will actually have any effect on violent crime. What matters to her is that her intent is noble and that this public display of good intent fulfills her emotional desire to feel good about herself.  Lets not forget that it also looks nice on her résumé along side the other multimillion dollar companies and government bodies for whom she has worked.  I’m sure she also draws a decent income as the head of her very own “non-profit” organization, people like Watts do not give up lucrative careers to chase political pipe dreams for free.

THREE – Their Proposals would not have stopped Adam Lanza

Had the groups proposals been law at the time, it would not have stopped Adam Lanza from carrying out his murderous rampage.  Having totally broken from reality, Adam murdered his own mother and then stole her rifle and handgun, both of which she had undergone a background check to purchase.  The proposed ban on modern rifles which they misidentify as ‘assault weapons’ and standard capacity ammunition magazines which hold more than 10 rounds would have made no difference either.  First, there is no functional difference between rifles erroneously labeled ‘assault weapons’ and other semi-automatic rifles which fire the same cartridge, the difference is purely cosmetic.  Second, ignoring the millions of standard capacity magazines in circulation, the time it takes to switch out three 10 round magazines over a single 30 round is perhaps a few seconds, no difference at all when your victims are defenseless children. The groups proposed laws are not sensible; they are, every one of them, senseless steaming piles of feel-good bullshit.  The only thing that stopped Lanza that day was a bullet to his head. The shame is that it was from his own pistol and on his own terms thanks to the existing feel-good ‘gun free school’ laws that prohibited someone working at the school from doing it prior to him making it to those classrooms full of children.

FOUR – They Censor their YouTube Channel

If you look at the group’s YouTube channel and click on any of the 65 videos you will find that both the ratings and comments section have been disabled.  Why?  The NRA doesn’t censor their videos.  I think that they fear their bullshit being called out and having to rationally defend their proposals.  The group has also been known to demand Facebook remove links to stories exposing the founders personal background.

Among the videos, the channel contains videos entitled FACES OF COURAGE which feature parents whose children were shot and killed. There is never any explanation given of how the group’s proposals would have changed anything for these grieving parents, merely sad music played over a tragic story with the non-sequitur argument that because these parents support the group’s proposals, the proposals must have merit.  Logically this is known as an ‘appeal to emotion’ and although it is irrational it can be effective in the short-term and with people who refuse to think for themselves.

FIVE – They Dishonestly Claimed To Be Victims of Intimidation

When the members of Open Carry Texas rallied in front of a meeting of four members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (imagine Moe, Larry, and Curly, then add Shemp and make them women), many bricks were publicly shat in response.  Using a misleading photograph, Watts and the mainstream media went big on the story.  As you’d expect, Mother-in-Chief Shannon Watts milked the story, casting herself and her Moms as victims of . . . wait for it . . . terrorism. Never forget that the civilian disarmament industry wants to cast gun rights advocates as criminals, thugs and psychopaths and they will lie through their teeth to do it.

Watts and her partners in the media began plastering a photo (above) which appears to show a group of armed individuals posed in an intimidating manner outside the restaurant where the mothers were holding their anti-gun quartet. Using this misleading photo some of the groups members even appeared in shadow to be interviewed claiming they felt their life was in danger.  Oh those poor souls being stalked and threatened by those evil gun owners. But then the truth of the misleading photo came to light when the photos taken face on revealed that there was no intimidation, it was merely a group photo to document the counter protest.

Was the group’s founder called out for her dishonest statements on national news channels?   Of course not, because liberals feel morally justified in lying their ass off in the name of advancing liberal causes like gun control.

The hardest part is only picking five….

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Buzzfeed’s Matt Stopera published an article entitled  22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution which contained photos of 22 creationist at the event, each holding a question for Bill Nye.  As these questions often come up when discussing the issue with creationist myself I wanted to post my own answers.

If we define positive by how well we educate our children concerning the operations of the physical world, how to think critically, and to recognize when supposed answers actually have no explanatory value, then yes.  Whereas other educators are focused on teaching at the high school and college level, well after some parents have crammed their children’s minds with superstitious religious bullshit; Bill Nye is at the forefront of education, introducing young children to the wonders of the real world.

 

Since there is nothing to fear from “creators” that show no evidence of being physically real, then no I am not scared.  I do not fear a divine creator for the same reason I don’t fear the boogie man, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, Jason Voorhees or Freddy Kruger.  I find this question odd because to fear something first requires a belief in that something.  If there is no reason to believe this divine creator is real then the question seems to resolve itself.

 

Yes, of course it is illogical.  Occam’s Razor tells us that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.  The idea Earth was created as we see it today would require your creator god to create all the evidence currently pointing to a 4.5 Billion year old Earth.  That necessitates your god being a dishonest trickster deity which is refuted by the very Bible to which Ham appeals.  Hebrews 6:18: “[I]t is impossible for God to lie.”

 

No, it does no such thing.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics roughly states that energy can only flow from a hot body to a cold one in a closed system, and that the measure of this is called entropy, which only ever increases.  The argument being that a living cell appears to contradict this by maintaining order in their cellular innards.  Alas living things are not closed systems.  Creationist like to use one thing they don’t understand to explain the others.  The problem here is a misunderstanding of physics.

 

This is a misunderstanding of physics and cosmology.  Living in the same region, I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt that her question was with regard to the beauty of the sunset, not how it occurs.  It should be obvious to anyone with a basic education that the earth is a rotating oblate spheroid and sun sets when any surface observer rotates away from the sun.  The beauty aspect usually depends on other factors such as landscape and weather and is purely subjective, not everyone is in awe over the sun setting.

 

Basically the same answer as #4, with a slight twist. At the start, the universe in its compressed form would seem to be at near-maximum entropy — a dense, homogenous gas.  But the “organization” of the universe into its current form also generates disorder.  The solution here is that because the universe is expanding it keeps getting shifted out of equilibrium.  In the drive to reach a new equilibrium state, you can get pockets of order occurring without violating the second law, because the maximum allowable entropy also keeps increasing.

 

What about it?  It is a branch of study concerning the mind and intellect.  The concept is most widely known from a mention in Dan Brown’s novel “The Lost Symbol.” It’s not evidence against evolution nor is it evidence pointing to any sort of god.  The argument would appear to be that the mind is unexplainable without a supernatural creator.  Again we find the old argument from ignorance.  As far as we can tell our mind is a manifestation of our physical brain and not something that is separate from the brain.

 

From many of the same places that you probably do.  But this is irrelevant to the question of whether evolution is true or not.  Should we not try and shape facts to fit a certain philosophy, or figure out the facts and consider how this affects our worldview?  The hidden argument here is that without a sky daddy there is no meaning to life.  But the meaning granted to us by a religious belief is that we are all slaves created to dedicate our entire lives to the adulation and subservience of an invisible celestial dictatorship, backed up by a threat that refusal will lead to torment after death.  Why would anyone want that sort of “objective” meaning?

 

This is yet another argument from ignorance, otherwise known as the god of the gaps.  The implied argument being that, absent a scientific explanation concerning how life arose, the default answer is to attribute it to a god; this doesn’t actually explain anything.  The question of how the first cell arose is actually irrelevant to the Theory of Evolution via Random Mutation and Natural selection or the Earth being 4.5 Billion year old, the two things which Ken Ham explicitly denies. The chance of life originating on Earth is actually 100% because it has already occurred.  Attributing life to a god only begs the question of how god originated?  Did their god originate by chance?

 

This isn’t a question but a theological assertion which shoe horns a religious belief into the prevailing cosmological model for the early development of the Universe.  This assertion is another appeal to ignorance as it is currently unknown what if anything existed or could exist before the initial quantum fluctuation that lead to cosmic inflation.  This assertion requires further investigation such as why and how does god speak?  What did god say exactly and how did uttering this mystery phrase cause physical reality to begin?  The fundamental problem of appealing to supernatural causes in an attempt to explain natural observations is that it raises far more questions than it attempts to answer.

 

The question reads, “Why do evolutionist, secularist, humanist, non-god believing people reject the idea of their being a creator god but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terrestrial sources?” This is example of prejudice as we don’t universally embrace that idea, nor are we required to believe aliens designed life in the absence of a magical sky daddy.  The exact explanation of how life arose is currently unknown.  All we know is that there is nothing within the laws of chemistry that prevent self-replicating molecules from occurring in nature.

4  

The argument appears to be that there is nothing in-between Lucy and modern humans, only a few fossils of the hundreds necessary for what this person would consider “official proof”.  I’m wondering if this lady has ever heard of something called Wikipedia?  Perhaps she could start here and see all of the fossils showing the many intermediate forms between humans and our ancient apelike ancestors.  I’m also certain that even with hundreds of fossils this lady would then move the goal post and demand even more evidence before considering it “official proof”.

 

Metamorphosis is not micro-evolution; it’s a series of developmental stages in a single organism. Here is a good article on the evolution of metamorphosis in insects.

 

The idea that diseases are caused by germs is a theory too, yet most medical schools tend to spend much more time on antibiotics and hygiene than on faith healing. Most science classes don’t teach evolution “as fact”; it is taught as a scientific theory. And in this case, “theory” doesn’t mean “a bunch of wild ideas that Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye cooked up after a late night at the pub”; it means an explanation supported by massive amounts of physical evidence and logic, tested and weighed and re-tested and scrutinized by scientists across the world.Creationism is not a scientific theory. A scientific theory can be altered or disposed of if new, convincing evidence arises; creationism ignores or selectively misinterprets existing scientific evidence in favor of preserving the assumption of a divine creator.

 

That definition of theory is wrong as explained in the previous response.  Observation and testing is actually pretty much the entire thing that science is about.

 

So this seems to be a common creationist argument: evolution cannot be real because mutations don’t “add information.”  In their view, it’s impossible to get from a tiny microorganism that has a very small genome to a human with about 20,000 protein-coding genes through mutations.  This is kind of an extension of the entropy argument.  But there are actually plenty of ways that mutations can “add information” to the genome!  A region of DNA might be copied and inserted into the genome due to an error during replication, or by a virus.  Sometimes even a whole genome can get duplicated — many plants are what are called polyploidy, meaning they have multiple copies of their whole genetic library (cultivated strawberries, for example, are octoploids — they have 8 copies of their genome in every cell!)  Duplication is thought to be a powerful engine for evolution.  A creature might retain an original version of the copied gene, while the other copy might undergo some point mutations (changes to a single letter of the DNA sequence). The organism still has the functional, original gene that allows it to keep on trucking’, while the other copy may gain new functionality.

 

Like the 2nd & 8th question, this question is irrelevant to the larger question of whether evolution is true or not.  But this is also a false dichotomy; there are plenty of scientists that identify as religious and don’t see a conflict between evolution and their beliefs.  Does the concept of Salvation really hinge on whether or not humans evolved over time?

This also presumes that salvation from sin is something to be concerned with.  Sin is an affront against god and as yet there is no good evidence to assume there are gods, therefore there is no good reason to assume there is a need for salvation.

 

Scientists have actually found at least nine specimens of Austrolopithecus afarensis (the species “Lucy” belongs to) in Eastern Africa.  This is someone else who hasn’t yet heard of Wikipedia.  Perhaps he should look here if he wishes to see the other pre-human fossils he assumes have yet to be found.

 

Yes, because there are multiple lines of evidence supporting the theory.  Astronomical observations show that galaxies are moving away from each other, and if we trace their paths backward, it looks as though the Universe was condensed into a single, very hot point billions of years ago.  The ratios of hydrogen, helium and other elements throughout the Universe appear to match what we might expect if the Universe was once compressed into a tiny, very hot, very dense point.  We haven’t found any stars that appear to be older than 13.8 billion years old.  The cosmic background radiation permeating throughout the universe is at the temperature that one would expect from an expanding, cooling universe.

 

Ah…. you can add this to the long list of arguments from ignorance.  The non sequitur here being that the world is amazing therefore it must have come about by the will of a god; and I’m going to bet on it being her god.  Most scientists find evolution pretty amazing and beautiful!  It’s exciting to think about how life in all its vast, varied beauty and terror, has changed over billions of years – and how it might change in future eons.  Black holes are amazing as well, but they are also terrifying objects which can destroy solar systems and swallow whole stars.  Did god makes them?  Supernovas can destroy entire planets in orbit around them, some of which may harbor living beings.  Why would your god create something like that?

 

Barring the fact that the Big Bang isn’t quite the same thing as an exploding star—it’s massively hotter, for one thing, and stars explode in space, while the Big Bang created space itself and stretched it — a lot of scientists would like to know this too!One idea*, for example, is that the Big Bang was actually the interaction between two vast objects outside of our universe called “branes.” It’s an important question, and a difficult one to explore – but one of the great things about science is that you can always say “I don’t know”; another is to follow that up with “but I’ll try and find out.”

 

This question is, for lack of a nicer word, as stupid as asking why, if Americans came from England, are there still Englishmen?  Or, if dogs were bread from wolves why are their still wolves?  Humans did not “come from monkeys”, we simply share a common ancestor with all modern primates.  This man might be shocked to discover that humans are currently classified as great apes.  We are Homo sapiens, members of a clade of tailless catarrhine primates, belonging to the biological superfamily Hominoidea.

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