March 25, 2018

Ban everything harmful and polluting: The new nonpartisan Temperance movement to undo the bipartisan libertinism of our neo-Gilded Age

A major shift in the zeitgeist is turning away from the laissez-faire individualism of the past 40 years, and toward regulation in the social interest. It's popping up in various disparate issues -- assault weapons, pitbulls, sugary drinks, drugs, pornography, etc.

So far it is an inchoate shift in attitudes, rather than a consolidated united front movement, but it's going to get there at some point in the near future. The near-term goal should be to highlight the commonalities across the new attitudes, and to band together politically to achieve all of them as part of a single new movement to regulate chaos in order to prevent societal destruction.

That would reverse the reigning orthodoxy, akin to Social Darwinism, of letting anyone do anything and hoping that the optimal outcome (for individuals or for society) will result from unfettered behavior.

In this post we'll be focusing on social-cultural issues, even though there is a similar shift on more economic issues (banks, social media companies, immigration, inequality, etc.). This is like a new Temperance movement, which is running in parallel with a new Progressive economic movement -- just like they paired with each other during the last struggle to overturn a laissez-faire Gilded Age.

* * *

As revealed by a new poll from Fox News, the rearguard Conservative Movement (TM) has failed to win the argument on gun regulation.

Put aside particular items like banning assault weapons or requiring background checks, and look at which general goal is more important -- protecting the right of citizens to own guns, or protecting citizens from gun violence? A bit over 50% say protection from gun violence, a bit over 40% say protecting gun rights, and under 10% are undecided.

Those figures do not depend on class or age / generation. Men, whites, and Independents are split evenly, when they should have been decisively in favor of gun rights, to balance the expected anti-gun views of women, non-whites, and Democrats.

Gun nuts have only focused on preserving their hardcore libertarian base -- gun owners, Republicans, white Evangelicals -- and alienated the middle enough to make them 50-50 allies at best. Like all extremist interest groups, the gun nuts will either not accept those numbers as true, or they will dismiss their relevance and refuse to try to win back the middle.

They will shrink even further into their echo chamber, ramp up their already high level of anti-social paranoia regarding gun-grabbers advancing toward them in a great big confiscation apocalypse event -- which would now seem to be confirmed by how ambivalent the average American, not just the typical liberal Democrat, has come to feel about their cause.

* * *

As the extremists retreat further from attempts to reach out and make deals, the opportunity arises for those who are not rabidly pro-gun or anti-gun to strike grand compromises. As detailed in an earlier post, I don't see these being compromises on a particular issue, with endless haggling over the precise kind and degree of regulation on firearms. Rather, the side screaming for more gun regulation will more or less get their way -- in exchange for giving up to the other side on some separate issue, where there will be much greater regulation, for example on immigration (regulated downward).

Trading more gun control for more immigration control may seem a bit too random of a pairing, though. So perhaps the trade should be one form of harm-based regulation for another. Liberals are rabidly anti-assault rifle, but also rabidly (as it were) pro-pitbull. Conservatives (distinct from libertarians) are pro-gun and anti-pitbull. In a stylized trade, both sides would agree to remove assault rifles from the population of firearms, and to remove pitbulls from the population of dogs.

If the conservatives felt like pitbulls were not enough to make the trade worth it, make it violent criminals instead. If the goal is to reduce the threat of violence, remove both assault rifles and violent felons -- not by killing them off, just keeping them locked up instead of turning them loose back onto the general public to commit further violence.

Or conservatives could push for a trade related to preventing harm -- preventing pollution, degradation, and other forms of degeneracy. In exchange for banning assault weapons, both sides agree to ban red light district activities like strip clubs or legal marijuana shops.

Liberals have their own puritanical views on food and drink, so maybe there could be another trade within the framework of preventing pollution -- the Right gets a (figurative) war on drugs, while the Left gets a war on sugar. Both sides would be spared the sight of people who viscerally disgust them -- junkies for the Right, fatties for the Left.

* * *

These have mostly been material things that could be subject to bans, but there are also informational media that could be subject to regulation in the social interest. During the golden age of the 1950s, government censors prevented all sorts of "bad influences" from showing up in comic books, movies, and music -- today that would have to extend to internet media and video games.

Pin-up posters were fine, but hardcore pornography was illegal. Alcohol was OK, but not marijuana. Violence in movies was fine in moderation, but not gore. Sexual innuendo was allowed in pop music lyrics, but not graphic descriptions. Certain profane words could not be said on TV, radio, etc.

Those were all aspects of mass media that conservatives wouldn't mind seeing a return of.

On the other hand, right-wingers were not allowed to use their own taboo words, and had to make arguments with terms that were not socially offensive per se. Whatever they said privately, in the mass media for public consumption, they said "negro" rather than "nigger," "fairy" rather than "faggot," "tramp / hussy" rather than "slut / whore," and so on and so forth.

Again, in private situations they could say taboo words, or make taboo gestures like the middle finger or jerking off. But in a social and public space like the mass media, these were not allowed.

Would conservatives be willing to bring back "words you can't say" in the media, including those that free speech / libertarian right-wingers might prefer to use themselves, in exchange for bringing back "images you can't show" in the media?

Liberals are more abstract and verbal, and are more sensitive to offensive words, while conservatives are more corporeal and visual, and are more sensitive to offensive sights.

The danger of censorship, on the verbal side, is going beyond regulating isolated words to entire ideas regardless of which specific words are used to express them. On the visual side, the danger is going beyond regulating discrete images to entire scenes or events regardless of which images are used to convey the gist of who did what to whom (e.g., banning all scenes that convey sexual behavior having taken place, rather than just hardcore pornography).

So the compromise in regulating the media would likely be restricted to the discrete items, rather than broad bans on ideas or scenes.

* * *

The main laissez-faire objection to these bans is that they won't be effective -- you can't make bad things go away just by passing laws against them.

First, they certainly do reduce the level of bad things, and that's what we're looking for.

But more importantly, the effectiveness of these public campaigns to "ban X" does not only come from the direct results of the ban. It comes also from the change in norms that is signaled by the broadly popular, publicly supported, and lobbied-for ban.

When drugs and porn are banned, people get the idea that substance-based and sexual degeneracy are socially "out," so they start dialing down their inclination toward degeneracy, lest they be perceived as deviants and treated as pariahs by others.

The ban is like a social pressure -- threatening ostracism if others do not adhere to the new norms that are signaled by the ban. Without a highly visible norm that everyone knows is there, how can violations of it be policed (somewhat by law enforcement, but really by your fellow citizens)?

Perhaps a tacit norm is fine for policing an enduring problem, but then when a new problem emerges, there may need to be an overt concerted effort to signal a norm against it. That will be more likely when technology is the driver -- promiscuity is an old enduring problem that everyone understands needs to be policed, whereas hardcore porn videos streamed into an internet-capable device are new, and require a more overt regulation. Ditto for assault rifles or hand grenades, as compared to earlier weapons.

That's how it worked to drive tobacco consumption, and cigarettes especially, out of the public sphere. The government could raise taxes and limit access to cigarettes all they want, and it would make a decent dent alone -- but reinforced by the greater social pressure that the restrictions had signaled, they all but wiped out cigarette smoking within a single generation.

Banning high-carb food and drink, banning porn, banning assault rifles, banning pitbulls -- all would unfold the same way as in the war on cigarettes. Some direct effect, backed up by an even more powerful social pressure.

* * *

These problems are not going away, and the dam has already begun to break on the laissez-faire morality of the last 40 years. Hardcore libertarians on any issue -- allow all guns, allow all porn, allow unlimited pot, allow unlimited sugar, etc. -- are losing the argument, and have begun to grate on the average person's nerves, especially when they attempt to give an overarching framework to justify their views. It boils down to embracing chaotic destruction-creation, and Social Darwinism will improve society by separating the strong from the weak.

We see where unregulated chaos and Social Darwinism has gotten us, and we don't like what we see, unless we're Boomers who have been shielded from the consequences of their decisions since they were babies.

"I don't know how to define dystopia -- but I know it when I see it."

Now is the time for striking grand bargains on regulating these social-cultural issues, not doubling down on all-or-nothing partisanship.

47 comments:

  1. The pro-pot people seem to be politically ascendant now. It's been decriminalized/legalized in a number of places, and the broader culture seems to treat it as normal.

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  2. The real danger that the gun nuts face is not physical confiscation of their assault rifles by law enforcement officers -- but becoming pariahs by their family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens for owning and especially for displaying them to others.

    Their job is not to prevent seizure of their weapons by The Man, but to rehabilitate their public image so that people won't think they're such deviant extremists for owning AR-15s, let alone displaying them on social media.

    Ditch the psychotic paranoid image of the NRA ad campaigns, and present an image of being a total normie.

    The problem is that gun nuts increasingly are the deviant type, including in unrelated areas like sexuality and sexual identity:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2018/03/would-you-self-defend-me-id-self-defend.html

    At any rate, that's what their problem is -- their public image and the social pressures that will be brought to bear on them for it, not their ownership of the guns per se and the LEOs who will be brought to bear on their seizure.

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  3. Pot is more commonly available, but so are AR-15s -- you couldn't find those in a K-Mart back in the 1950s. Both are symptoms of laissez-faire (moral and economic).

    Concealed carry, and even open carry, of firearms are more common than before.

    But the backlash against both is also on the rise -- perhaps more intensely against gun deregulation, but in the midst of the opioid epidemic, and seeing what hell San Francisco and LA have fallen into, ordinary Americans are becoming less sanguine about the supposedly neutral effects of decriminalizing drugs.

    Again look at how cigarettes -- far less harmful or illegal historically than pot -- have been driven into oblivion.

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  4. They are keeping it quiet but the FDA is currently looking at drastically eliminating nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, which is defacto prohibition.

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  5. On the topic of Prohibition, we can forecast a similar over-shoot of the optimum this time around as well -- especially if emotional women play an outsized role in the current Prohibition movement like they did in the original one.

    The laissez-faire apologists say Prohibition didn't work, was almost immediately undone with the 21st Amendment, so don't think about a second attempt at a Dry movement.

    But it's not like the actual behavior reverted to what it was during the fin-du-siecle once the 18th Amendment was repealed.

    The wholesome Midcentury did allow some drinking, but not drunkenness. Some gambling in Las Vegas, but nowhere else (pinball was banned as a game of chance). Some burlesque shows, but not brothels and streetwalkers like in the *ubiquitous* red light districts of the turn-of-the-century cities.

    The shift in norms was made, whether the Amendment signaling it remained in effect or not. The social pressures remained and increased -- against drunkeness, debauchery, and self-centered hedonism.

    Prohibition lasted de facto, if not de jure, through most of the Midcentury, fading out only during the 1970s -- again, not so much because of changes in the law, but in popular attitudes and the lack of social pressures against individualism and libertinism.

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  6. The youngish adults of the Seventies -- the Me Generation -- didn't know how bad things were during the previous era of individualist hedonism, so they felt like there was no big deal in changing the norms for their peers. They still felt the pressure from the older generations, but not from one another.

    As the Me's became the older generation themselves, the post-Me generations felt no pressure from the olds (maybe from the elderly), nor from themselves. By the time you get to the Millennials, they've never felt any concerted social pressure from any group of society telling them to rein it in for the social good.

    With no one ever guiding them -- pressuring them toward this, away from that -- the Millennials are turning to self-help gurus in record numbers. Jordan Peterson on the Right... someone I haven't heard of on the Left.

    I sense things shifting now away from, or beyond, self-help, which is done in isolation and while still being bombarded by all the toxic waste of modern society.

    Post-Me generations want to clean up social pollution collectively so that they don't have to individually don their hazmat suit every day and pretend it's normal to wade through corrosive sludge all day long.

    You see this targeting Left-wing do-what-I-want-ism in combating the opioid epidemic, and targeting the Right-wing version in combating gun nut culture.

    It hasn't reached collectively combating porn, which is still stuck in the self-help stage (better than self-harm, I guess), namely No Fap and Vol Cel. That's the next frontier for the broad movement.

    I'd also look out for new nutrition regulation, already an incipient collective project on the Left (sugar drink tax), and in the self-help stage on the Right (paleo diet).

    I see the astronomical costs of healthcare playing a role in triggering a collective backlash against carboholic and other junk food -- treating current fatties as lost-cause junkies who get grandfathered into a healthcare program, but radically altering the choices for everyone else going forward. Ban high-glycemic junk in advance, rather than treat them with a zillion drugs after the sugar pushers have already gotten them hooked and fucked up.

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  7. "As the Me's became the older generation themselves, the post-Me generations felt no pressure from the olds (maybe from the elderly), nor from themselves. By the time you get to the Millennials, they've never felt any concerted social pressure from any group of society telling them to rein it in for the social good."

    Um, I dunno. Boomers pushed Aid to Africa, animal rights, etc. on the Left starting in the 80's, while conservative Boomers vowed to crack down on drugs, gangs, etc. at the same time. By the later 80's, Boomers were starting to put lots of pressure on their kids to not make the same mistakes that Boomers and Early Gen X-ers did.

    Most of the excesses rooted in the period of about 1977-1981 hit people born in the 50's and 60's hardest, and many of these people have for all intents and purposes told their kids, "do as I say, not as I did".

    Later Gen X-ers and Millennials are more superficially glib about morality precisely because they haven't taken as many risks; Boomers and early Gen X-ers grew up around drug burnouts, motorcycle crash victims, and the like so the tend to be earnestly concerned about bad behavior, esp. as it relates to younger generations.

    I did recently see that car crash deaths peaked from 1978-1980. Property crime peaked in 1979, and child abuse also peaked in the late 70's and first year of the 80's.

    Older adults had virtually no influence on kids, teenagers, or twentysomething people in the 70's. The drinking age was lowered, and young criminals and delinquents had it much easier than they would have had it in previous or subsequent decades. The moral nadir of the late 70's sparked the nascent culture war as early as 1978, and it would fully develop around 1984, at which time society started to denigrate drugs, promiscuity, criminals, and began portraying kids as resourceful but still vulnerable little angels who had to be shielded from the corruption of society.

    GenHQ.com puts the age range of Millennials at 1977-1996 because this cohort grew up with moralistic mature adult driven post-1981 culture, whereas 1965-1976 births had a much greater likelihood of being perpetrators and/or victims of 70's youthful nihilism. And to this day, the aged Boomers still are the pre-eminent force in mainstream culture, whereas in the 60's and 70's it was youthful Silents and Boomers who set the tone.

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  8. Property crime rate peaked in 1991 -- meaning the point before a sustained decline. It fell into a lull from '81 through '84, then rose again through '91. Similar to the movement in the violent crime rate (sustained decline only after '91-'92).

    Child abuse peaked in '94 or so (Finkelhor).

    Car fatalities per person peaked circa 1970.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

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  9. Anyway, the Boomers promoting aid to Africa, etc., is not reining in their individual hedonism for the greater social good. We're talking about not doing drugs because of how it will negatively affect yourself and others.

    Or in general putting individual license above collective cohesion.

    Boomers have never been willing to "give up" any of muh freedoms in order to promote greater social functioning, well-being, and so on.

    They are militantly anti-social, saying "fuck society's rules" since they were little, only differing among themselves on what they consider "The Man's rules" against which they're perpetually rebelling in their personal lifestyles.

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  10. Looking at pictures, optics game goes to the March For Our Lives rather than the counter-protesters.

    In a sign of the re-alignment on the Dems' side, with no change on the GOP side, the gun control rally was attended by people who look like normies -- because they are normies.

    It's such an abrupt change from what these liberal / Left rallies used to look like during the 2nd Obama term -- slutwalk, gay pride parade, Black Lives Matter, even the Antifa crowds from Trump's first year. They all showed people who were so obviously part of a narrow deviant sub-culture, who were making a point of throwing their anti-normie-ness in the faces of anyone watching.

    The gun control marches showed regular kids and adults.

    The pro-gun counter-protests showed a narrower sub-culture of patriotards that is familiar from the Tea Party events of nearly a decade ago. Don't Tread On Me flag, camo clothing, open-carry AR-15 slung on their shoulder.

    They look like they're outside the norm, and are delighting in their anti-normie-ness, where they see the liberal gun-grabbers as the norm, and themselves as the rebels.

    They're playing right into the hands of their enemies, whose strategy is to ostracize them by portraying them as hostile and unrepentant deviants, and themselves as the commonsense conformist normies.

    The slogans and signs the gun nuts are displaying, or sending out on social media, only reinforce their self-defeating anti-normie-ness -- "facts don't care about your feelings," "fuck your feelings, snowflake," etc.

    It's the same defiant anti-social tone that we expect from slutwalk and Black Lives Matter, only it's being applied by the gun nut sub-culture to spit in the face of normie gun-grabbers.

    That juxtaposition of images needs to reverse by the next time these two groups show up in public. Otherwise the ostracization will only speed up for the assault rifle crowd.

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  11. Ag:

    WRT child abuse, I could've sworn that the child murder rate peaked around 1980. Anyway, is there any kind of racial breakdown? I have a hunch that many of these problems were worst for whites in the late 70's, while on the other hand black ghettos just got worse as the 70's and 80's went on. How much 90's child abuse was perped by 1960's born blacks who came of age when being a thug was most fashionable? I don't think it's a stretch, I do know for sure that black Gen X-ers are way more likely to be serial killers than white Gen X-ers, relative to the racial breakdown of killers among Silents and Boomers.

    "Boomers have never been willing to "give up" any of muh freedoms in order to promote greater social functioning, well-being, and so on."

    *Do as I say, not as I do*

    It's Silents who tended to refuse socializing their kids with any moral agency. Most Late Boomers and very early Gen X-ers, who usually had at least one Silent parent, recall parents who frequently were distant to literally absent. It's part of the reason Strauss and Howe said that Gen X-ers were born from 1961-1964; parental involvement and guidance nosedived in the mid-late 60's, and fell further in the 70's. S&H also remarked that the Boomers consciously groomed their kids to be better behaved than they themselves were. Of course, the Boomers still feel themselves to be the real deal, wiser and more spiritually deep than other generations (which is why the still run the show), but they also know they did a better job of parenting than their parents and perhaps even grandparents did. It's not to say I totally agree with this, but narcissistic Boomers feel that way.

    The moral campaigns of the 80's and 90's were driven by Boomers (and their Silent mentors). Aid to Africa was very moralistic; the Left was not immune to saying that something was either good (for the kids) or evil (against kids). Conservatives complained about the gay agenda, drugs interdiction not being strong enough, and so forth. Much of this was rooted in the desire to protect kids; everyone agreed that we screwed up big time in the 70's, and we had to do something to make up for it. It was often higher class Boomers who pushed this stuff hardest, and had no empathy for the lower class Boomers who were stressed out over their bills, committed crimes, and did not invest as much in their children.

    I get that as a Gen X-er you think that Boomers are full of shit, but they did impart at least some good things into their children.

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  12. Major confusion from the Right that "collective" means "not organic". Lots of glib dismissals about how the marchers were "bussed in," how the kids were ackshually organized by adults, how these groups receive funding from George Soros, etc.

    That view says that the collective, coordinated nature of the action disqualifies it as an organic phenomenon, and therefore poses no real threat to gun rights.

    This is individualism blinkering the Right to how social action really works.

    In any battle, campaign, or war, there are leaders and organizers who plan things out in advance, who work out logistics and supply chains or transportation chains to get things and people where they need to go in order to carry out the plans, who manage the masses as generals do to foot soldier legions, and who get funding for their campaign from other powerful and wealthy factions with coinciding interests.

    This is not a group of puppet masters pulling on the strings of a group of dummies. If the marchers didn't truly want to be there holding those signs and broadcasting their policy desires, they would not have agreed to hop on the bus. It's not like they were conscripted.

    If there were no broader support, there would have been no funding for it. But there is considerable support, at the elite and popular levels, so it did get major funding.

    It is totally voluntary and organic, not involuntary / duped, and not artificial and misleading.

    In the minds of the individualists, the only real social phenomenon is one where a bunch of individuals separately come up with the exact same idea, show up in the same place and time with minimal coordination, and arrive and depart as individuals or at most nuclear family units.

    Showing up to the workplace, the church, the sports stadium, or the movie theater.

    But none of those activities and places are like an army conducting a battle on a battlefield, which requires hierarchy, planning, logistics, coordination, and other collective actions.

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  13. Even if the individualist doesn't want to admit these rallies are organic, and insist that they're artificial -- so what? That means it poses no threat? It poses every much of a threat that other "artificially planned-out" battles pose to the targets of the generals and foot soldiers of the advancing army.

    These dumb individualists think that just because they can convince a group of already sympathetic right-wingers that "the rallies are phony," they will somehow deprive the rallies of any effect. As though the marches will only shape society if they get enough people to believe that they're totally spontaneous happenings.

    What kind of hippie love-in bullshit is this coming from the Right? I'm waiting for MolonGroyper1776 to start snarking about the gun control rallies not having enough "cleansing synchronicity," and bragging about how gun nuts are the real counter-culture.

    So clueless. Organize collectively with normies or go extinct!

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  14. How dare those libs and mods give normies a chance to join a collective action to pressure / ostracize The Other Side into retreat or submission?

    I know what'll trump that -- we cons will individually purchase more assault rifles, withhold our dollars from stores that have relented to gun-grabbers, and display these new purchases more visibly on social media! Nothing gets tangible results like consumerism and lifestyle slacktivism.

    How did that work out for the cigarette smokers who responded to social pressure by individually buying even more packs and trying to smoke them more conspicuously?

    Just because a bunch of individuals are doing the same thing at the same time doesn't give it collective force. There has to be some kind of cohesion and integration of the members into the whole group, which then acts in ways that only a group can (shutting down major streets for a march, etc.).

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  15. "As the extremists retreat further from attempts to reach out and make deals, the opportunity arises for those who are not rabidly pro-gun or anti-gun to strike grand compromises."

    More control over the mentally ill.

    And these issues happen to intersect so well. The close family members of the ill are vastly more likely to be harmed, including with a gun. Our society puts the entire burden of mental illness upon families in the name of freedom. They are burdened with the financial, emotional, and physical burden from the mentally Ill.

    If one is lucky enough to get their loved one to a psychiatrist, there is no protocol for asking family members about guns, weaponry, or for a detailed history of violence.

    Personally, I'm desperate for this change. It's a special hell living with a sick individual, hoping and praying their antipsychotic meds will always be effective.

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  16. Of course it wasn't organic, they even used Hillary Clintons mailing list to fund raise, i got one to chip in from the same address! The democrats immediately stuck their hand into Hogg and co, it's all scripted and handled, schools working directly with democrats, how is that organic? It's abuse on top of it, that's why i have a problem with it, aren't schools supposed to be neutral?

    Gun violence is actually down by half since 1991 and most current gun homicides are clustered in Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and DC, places run by Democrats with strict gun control. Only the Amish and Mormons are more law abiding citizens than gun owners, the "gun crisis" is as manufactured and fake as Trumps collusion with Russia.

    It's all wag the dog.

    They want to ban gun for the same reason they want to get rid of pickup trucks, it's the mark of the beast, whitey.

    Stats or safety has nothing to do with it.

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  17. Or to quote the Z Man:

    "Our public debates in the West are not about finding the right trade-offs to arrive at a sensible set of public polices. It is about public piety and defending the dominant moral framework."

    That's what the march was, a public display of piety.

    They may have just as well be flogging themselves.

    And to quote the Z man further:

    "I’m fond of pointing out that the main reason Progressives win every fight is that their opponents make the mistake of thinking it is a debate over facts and reasons. The people calling themselves conservative right now are sure that all they have to do is round up the facts and present them to the other side and the Left will throw down their weapons and embrace them as brothers.

    Progressives don’t care about guns. They care about who they imagine are the gun owners. Neo-Puritan fanatics associate guns with southerners in particular and bad whites in general. It’s the tool of the sinful. They believe this with the intensity of a zealot because it is wrapped up in how they define themselves as the anointed. Therefore, facts and reason have no impact on the believers, the statistics of crime have been explained for half a century.

    Gun control has always been a proxy-debate that is more signalling than a debate. Good whites from Yankeedom see guns as a stand in for southerners in particular, but all bad whites in general. After these shootings, the good whites get to have their day for acts of public piety. It’s why they say the same things over and over. Rituals are like that. The illogical of gun control has been detailed for as long as I have been alive. Yet, the true believers belied ever more intensely.”

    Facts like how the homicide rate declined by nearly half since 1992, despite multiple surges in gun purchases, never enter the debate."

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  18. Who Runs March for Our Lives? Follow the money:
    https://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2018/03/who-runs-march-for-our-lives.html

    "March for Our Lives is funded by Hollywood celebs, it’s led by a Hollywood producer and its finances are routed through an obscure tax firm in the Valley. Its treasurer and secretary are Washington D.C. pros. And a top funder of gun control agendas is also one of its directors. "

    Very organic!

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  19. Excellent example of individualist cluelessness coming from gun nuts and right-wingers in general.

    None of the organizers and funders conscripted the hundreds of thousands of normies who marched around the nation. They didn't buy them off with money, bonus points on their homework, etc.

    So it was not a Potemkin protest -- those hundreds of thousands really wanted to be there, they really believe the message being broadcast, and they really intend to put social pressure on owners of assault rifles until they relent.

    In your losing movement's view, genuine vs. phony boils down to spontaneous and bottom-up vs. coordinated and top-down. Is our nation's military phony rather than genuine -- nobody really wants to fight against another country, or defend this country from others? Bullshit.

    The gun control "army" is no less genuine.

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  20. Even if you remain retarded about the organic nature of these protests -- are you going to defeat yourself further by letting down your defenses and not going on the offense? (Offense = collectively organizing normies, not LARP-ing stand-offs with a few weirdos.)

    That's the implication of this obsession over the protests "not being organic" -- that, if that were true, it allows you to glibly dismiss the threat they pose. They're Potemkin protests, they're guns loaded with blanks, they're empty and idle threats.

    You'd readily agree that the Civil Rights movement in the '60s was "not organic" because it was coordinated from above, had deep-pocketed funders from outside the region, and a good number of organizers were Northeastern Jews rather than Southern blacks themselves.

    Well, then, I guess all the societal changes that the movement made happen, did not ackshually happen! Phony movements orchestrated by outside meddlers are just guns loaded with blanks.

    And all of those campaigns against cigarettes orchestrated by Madison Avenue firms and funded by wealthy donors -- did not ackshually help cigarettes going to oblivion within a single generation.

    Great lessons to learn from historical changes that have happened within people's own lifetimes!

    No wonder nobody is signing up for your events and activities -- there are none! They are not needed, since these paper tiger gun-grabbers pose no threat to gun rights.

    Even if people agreed with your position on gun regulations, they wouldn't join your movement because you're so damn clueless and destined to lose, lose, and lose some more.

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  21. With the Right so clueless, gun nuts must rely on Bernie, Killer Mike, Connor Lamb, Doug Jones, and other gun-sympathetic Democrats to protect their 2A rights.

    Just look at how absolutely clueless, alienating, and ineffective the right-wingers are on gun regulations.

    As in all other domains, all the shake-ups, change, and re-alignment is going on in the Left / Democrat side of things.

    The major re-aligning figure, Bernarino, was vilified by liberal Dems during the 2016 primary for having gotten money from the NRA and for not blaming gun manufacturers for gun violence. He's not an ideologue and wants a sensible balance for urban vs. rural concerns on guns.

    Killer Mike was a Bernie surrogate, and got vilified by gun-grabbers on Twitter for sticking up for gun ownership in an interview with NRA TV.

    And Connor Lamb ran on supporting guns -- but also against tax cuts, entitlement cuts, union-busting, etc. He is in no way a conservative or a Republican.

    Doug Jones' first speech on the Senate floor was to defend the 2A in the process of making sensible gun regulations, like raising the owners' age to 21 for semi-auto guns. Did *not* attack the NRA or decry bitter clingers.

    The conservative movement is toast -- preserving your rights is a fight that will take place entirely within the re-aligning Democrat party, as it moves away from Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.

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  22. Au contraire, i very well agree that those useful idiots pose a great threat, the ignorant and self righteous zealot is much more dangerous than a mere poser. I too agree on conservatives, our false rino friends.

    But why do we need sensible gun regulation, when homicides involving guns are falling, and have been for decades?

    And with fake we mean that it isn't about guns.

    The gun issue is a mere battering ram they use.
    Just like abortion, or how same sex marriage was.

    It's all feelz no realz, how do you counter that?

    How do you counter a public display of piety?

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  23. "In the minds of the individualists, the only real social phenomenon is one where a bunch of individuals separately come up with the exact same idea, show up in the same place and time with minimal coordination, and arrive and depart as individuals or at most nuclear family units."

    Something that you hear, again and again, is to the effect of "let's go retreat to the mountains" from the Right. They have no clue that it was the later 70's when the Left gained the upper hand on collective/mass organizing to prove a point or just as a cathartic exercise. During those 60's/early 70's uprisings, the authorities could still use force to put down the brattiest, most out of control agitators. Then that protester generation "grew up" and became the authorities, who have since allowed Leftist agitation of all kinds to run amok.

    We talk about flash points in mass unrest; but what kind of era are we in and what generation is running the show? In the 60's, institutions were still strong and run by people who liked it that way. In the 2010's and 2020's, institutions are weak and run by people who like it that way.

    Like you say, the gun protests are too well-attended to attract too many freaks. But we've seen numerous examples of dangerous civil unrest associated with an unruly liberal pet groups (blacks in Crown Heights '89, Los Angeles '92, etc., foreigners in numerous anti-Trump protests in '16 and '17, anti-fa(g) attacking journalists and faculty on numerous campuses in the Trump era) that Silent and Boomer authorities and cultural figures enable and excuse. And whereas GI elites in the 60's weren't partisan cheerleaders (for the most part), Silent and Boomer elites of the last 40 years habitually sponsor mayhem committed by their side .

    It's all well and good that liberals do something useful every once in a while without going nuts (protesting Bush in the 2000's, to little effect as both parties were too indebted to the Pentagon by that point, and reminding people right now that civilian assault weapons serve no sensible civic duty). But until we get a stronger grasp on protest culture and civic order, it looks like the 2020's might be a bloodbath, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1920's, or possibly even the Civil War.

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  24. We may not *need* gun regulation, but then we don't *need* pitbull / drug / porn regulation either.

    We can trade one for the other and everyone will be better off -- nothing about self defense goes away just because you don't have access to semi-auto rifles, which serve more as a security blanket than an actual security system.

    And nothing about feeling good or getting off goes away just because you don't have access to drugs or porn, which are security blankets and substitutes rather than the real thing, akin to AR-15s for protection.

    You give up your security blanket, they give up their security blanket -- and you see a real threat eliminated (drugs, porn), and they see a real threat eliminated (assault rifles).

    This is not a dogmatic or ideological issue -- it's a pragmatic attempt to strike bargains when tempers are rising on all sides.

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  25. The anti-assault rifle people aren't reacting to violent crime rates, which have been falling for over 25 years, but to the rise in collective violence like spree or mass shootings since the polarized climate began circa 1980.

    If the killer's goal is to get revenge on as many indistinguishable enemies as quickly as possible, they will need something like a semi-auto rifle -- or bombs or something else that can kill many quickly.

    That's the difference in collective violence -- the killer has a grudge against an entire group of people, such as "the kids I went to school with" or "the people I work with" or "people of ethnic group X". Each member of that group is indistinguishable, from his point of view -- he has a beef against the entire group, not any particular offending individual member.

    That puts him in the same mindset and behavior as a soldier facing an enemy army -- he's got a beef with anyone who belongs to the entire group "army of foreign country X," and any member of that army needs to be killed or disarmed or contained. It's not a beef with any particular individual member of that foreign army.

    Inflicting collective violence leads to methods that can kill many quickly, since there's no need to micro-target individuals. That means semi-auto or auto firearms, bombs, and so on.

    When the paranoid gun nuts imagine the need for such weapons in self-defense, they're imagining a similar scenario against an entire group with indistinguishable members -- a zombie apocalypse, a horde of foreigners, a gang like MS-13, a team of Feds, etc.

    In that situation, the gun nut wants to take out every one of them, since it's the group that poses them a threat -- not any specific individual. Hence their building up of an arsenal of military-style weapons.

    *That* is what the normies want to prevent -- a private citizen who is thinking, feeling, and behaving like he's going to face off against an entire group that he has a grudge with. He may think or feel that way, but he shouldn't be able to act on it by building up an arsenal, let alone use them to target members of a group indiscriminately.

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  26. It's the same impulse that people have toward the militarization of law enforcement, which has begun to weird out conservatives as well as liberals.

    The local police don't need MRAPs and other armored vehicles unless they're raiding an MS-13 headquarters -- which they are too lazy, afraid, or corrupt to actually do, and instead target run-of-the-mill corner drug dealers or the wrong target altogether.

    Similar to gun nuts who are too lazy or afraid to target a real threat like the local MS-13 compound, which would actually serve as community relief and earn them some goodwill.

    It's not just that it's functionally overkill -- it's alienating to see these things in your community, or on TV, knowing they're nearby. They're a symptom of how polluted our culture has become.

    Again, on the Southern border to repel Mexican drug cartels -- fine. But they don't ever use them for something useful. They drive them around mundane locations, and it warps their minds into an anti-social "under-siege" mindset, which fears an entire group with indistinguishable members rather than specific individual threats like "the guy I put in jail last week".

    You can bet these psychotic LEOs think exactly the way that the gun nuts do about attempts to take away their BearCats -- first they come for the BearCats, and pretty soon the police will be totally disarmed, wielding batons like in England.

    So, sorry folks, the police are going to be driving tanks through your neighborhood and firing RPGs into suburban houses -- to yield an inch would be to GENOCIDE THE POLICE.

    Normies don't want all of this weird, off-the-wall, paranoid nutjob culture surrounding them -- whether it's a private citizen with their collection of assault rifles, or the local PD busting a corner pot dealer by driving a BearCat through the front door.

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  27. Agnostic,

    While I've found your blog fascinating for years I think in this one case you may be misguided in your analysis of the gun issue. I meant to post this comment in your previous thread on the topic but it works better here I think.

    You correctly perceive that gun owners in the US have an optics problem. As someone who has owned and shot guns of all types for twenty years I have seen this myself. There is an element for sure in the US with a strong libertarian "I want to do whatever I wish" streak. These people really are no danger to others, yet they are alienating to what you call "normies." Case in point, the obese, sloppily dressed neckbeard open carry types who inevitably caused problems during the open carry debate in Texas, showing up in public looking absolutely awful and carrying guns just to prove their point. They do more damage to their own cause than their worst enemies.

    However the majority of gun owners, even of AR-15s ARE normies. My guess from reading your posts is that you don't have a history of your own in using guns extensively or interacting with people who do. I'm constantly surprised when I learn that many acquaintances and friends who I never would have expected to own a gun, much less a military-style semi-automatic rifle, own one. I remember going to a gen-x, artist, hippie-ish coworker's house one night to hang out after he learned I shot guns he proudly showed me his AK. Most normie gun owners have learned to hide these things for multiple reasons. They know that non-gun people are often afraid of guns, they know that criminals target cars/houses if they know they have guns inside, they are afraid of political attacks or reprisals from rabid leftist anti-gunners in the workplace or socially. It didn't always use to be that bad but today as we've seen with the recent marches, it's only getting worse. Thus the gun owners you see in public, counter-marching, protesting, etc are the tip of the iceberg and also the rather dirty, poop-stained tip. Just like the people who turn up at an anti-abortion rally, they are people who either don't care about fallout or are anti-fragile due to being unemployed already, self-employed, old, young, or the like.

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  28. How to change this? Banning semi-automatics is not the answer. As has been seen in every gun control debate before, giving into gun control just leads to further demands. As was mentioned earlier in the comments the people pushing for bans on AR-15s aren't operating in the realm of facts but rather emotions. Once AR-15s are banned it will be something else. Your suggesting of going back to "old school" hunting culture with guns that don't look scary isn't going to work either. Hunting, like bridge, or bowling, or canasta is a pasttime that is no longer a part of American life like it once was. Restrictions, suburban sprawl, and cost puts it in the realm of sports like skiing for most suburban or urban residents. It's something only the financially secure do in cities, and while it's still very popular in rural areas those rural areas have been declining in their political and demographic power for well over a century.

    Most modern gun owners do in fact own guns for protection and self-defense, many sport shooters own AR-15s just because they are fun and look cool. The route younger shooters like myself get involved in the sport isn't Granddad taking them out squirrel hunting with a .22, it's them playing Call of Duty and then finding out they can go shoot a REAL gun like that at a shooting range and that it's a lot of fun and not all that expensive either.

    I really would prefer if we had the type of gun culture as seen in places like Germany demonized and shooters and gun owners trust their government and fellow citizens and vice-versa. But in the multi-cultural, rapidly fragmenting and increasingly polarized US, gun owners know they cannot trust their neighbors or their government to have their best interests in mind. They know only too well that any compromise leads to further demands. And any offer of reform from the right is usually rejected by the left.

    I often ask people who are pushing for gun control if they would accept the following compromise:

    "Effective immediately all gun sales and transfers are subject to a background check and registration, along with a federally-run ID system that must be renewed every x number of years and will be denied for mental or criminal histories. To get the card you must also pass a simple shooting and gun safety test. In return said card gives nationwide concealed carry reciprocity and nationwide freedom to own basically any normal type of small arm and puts a hiatus on any further gun control legislation or modification of the agreement for 25 years."

    I've never had anyone want to take that offer even though in theory it actually gives up more from the gun owner's side. The reason I think is that to them it's not about making gun ownership safe and well-regulated, it's about taking away guns from the deplorables by any means necessary.

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  29. "If the killer's goal is to get revenge on as many indistinguishable enemies as quickly as possible, they will need something like a semi-auto rifle -- or bombs or something else that can kill many quickly."
    The Virginia Tech shooter used pistols. Those are common enough that they actually do contribute to a large fraction of total homicides.

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  30. You've become a sellout pointing at strawmen to justify your inane worldview about "gun nuts" and "right wingers." Won't be subscribing to your autistic blog any longer.

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  31. Lol at your ragequit.

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  32. It's not a slipper slope when everyone is involved in the decision -- you're assuming that what the extremists say on the other side is what will happen.

    But that's no more true than their fear that extremists on the pro-gun side will get their way -- and that we'll see gun nuts toting around fully auto guns in suburban Starbucks, after getting out of their MRAP.

    There are plenty of people in the middle who are going to mediate, like Bernie or Connor Lamb or whoever for the Dems, and Rubio or Kasich or Trump for the GOP.

    And that's why I said I don't see the compromise taking the form of focusing on a single issue like guns, and endlessly and fruitlessly haggling over the kind and degree of gun regulation.

    It will be more like one side in the culture war agrees to more heavily regulate semi-auto guns, and the other side agrees to more heavily regulate pitbulls, drugs, porn, or whatever it may be that the Right wants to see erased.

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  33. As someone in the middle with lots of relatives who are gun people (and a few gun nuts), I don't see the military-style guns lasting as unregulated as they currently are. At the least, the age for owning them is going to go up, the number allowed to be owned will be capped at some low number (1, 2, 3), and so on.

    It's not so much their effect on violent crime in general, but on spree violence, and on the toxic climate of militarization. Nobody wants to live in that climate, and they're going to diminish the number of AR-15s from private citizens, and diminish the number of BearCats from local police departments.

    Same on the Left's side -- they're going to give up all sorts of substances, and all sorts of porn, despite calls from their extremists that we can't give an inch or else they'll take a mile.

    That's what the argument sounds like to the middle from gun nuts -- as though some Leftist is calling for more and more drugs to be legalized, and no more substances to be criminalized, otherwise the puritanical Right will make every substance illegal.

    Or that we have to tolerate the production and distribution and consumption of weird forms of porn since it's a slippery slope. And since the best defense is a good offense, the Left should move to expand the number of legal forms of porn, including those currently banned -- akin to gun nuts wanting further expansions, not just defending the status quo.

    Again, I'm not predicting exactly what type of guns will be more regulated or made totally illegal. The point is: there's going to be more regulation of guns, particularly at the extreme end of their spectrum, just as there will be for drugs, porn, and other potentially harmful / polluting things, especially in their more extreme forms.

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  34. "It's not so much their effect on violent crime in general, but on spree violence, and on the toxic climate of militarization. Nobody wants to live in that climate,"
    Please don't forget the mentally I'll. Near me, by a heavily wooded interstate exit, is a large and invisible homeless community. To be mentally I'll is to be invisible, but exacting a huge cost to society.
    The loved ones, especially the spouse's, are often "disappeared," pushed out to the margins.

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  35. Speaking of the Rust Belt (per new post), some common sense:

    "Before she retired at the end of 2016, state Sen. Pat Vance, R-northern York County, sponsored a bill that would require domestic abusers to relinquish their guns. It languished and died at the end of the session.

    State Sen. Tom Killion, R-Delaware, took up Sen. Vance’s cause and introduced similar legislation.

    Finally, this week, the state Senate passed the bill.

    What took so long?

    Maybe the #MeToo movement and reaction to the school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has changed the political landscape on firearms. If so, that’s a good thing. We need reasonable restrictions on firearms to protect women, children and other potential victims."

    https://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/03/22/get-guns-out-hands-domestic-abusers-quickly/448966002/

    It's a start. Mental illness/personality disorder is a common feature of domestic violence. And, if I'm informed correctly, domestic violence is way overrepresented in the backgrounds of spree killers, too.

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  36. While your commenters challenge you for your thoughts on guns which I kinda agree with, i'm gonna take you to task on pot. Your out of your mind if you think aging millenials will support pot prohibition. Being relatively young and considering your background i'm shocked at your views on pot. I'm beginning to think your an autist, just a very extroverted one. Which is why your always like "reeeeeeee cocooning"! Same with booze good pot bad, because the people Agnostic likes(extrovert normies) drink booze and the people Agnostic hates(cocooners) smoke weed.

    I'm an '84 birth living in Canada and growing up pot was cool and we were at a loss as to why this was illegal but booze was legal. Boomers we're considered brainwashed morons for being stupid enough to support weed prohibition. The government and police were despised for allowing and enforcing laws against such a plant. Canada is on the verge of legalization and any millenial who is against it would be considered a huge cuck by their peers.

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  37. Millennials aren't the only generation in the electorate, and drug use isn't part of the shift in issues that are most pressing for the post-Boomers (X, Millenial, Z).

    The new enduring issues are about inequality, healthcare, and other material issues.

    We live in a boring period where most people are not exposed to heavy drug use -- when we enter another wild period, watch how quickly people start souring on the idea of unrestricted pot use.

    Again look at the reaction to opioids, the already won war against tobacco. Maybe marijuana makes the cut and joins alcohol, but I doubt it -- recreational, anyway, not medicinal.

    And remember the history -- lots of hard drugs were available during the fin-du-siecle. Opium dens, cocaine, you name it. Then when the norms shifted against laissez-faire, there was no more personal morality about "do whatever you want," and drug use plummeted.

    That may take until Gen Z or the one after them, with Millennials being an anomalous bubble in the generations about being so ideologically pro-pot.

    I don't care about pot so much compared to other hard drugs, but most conservatives do, and that would make a natural swap -- restrict pot in order to restrict assault rifles, or whatever.

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    1. I see your point. I can see the benefit of restricting hard drugs, they're starting to cause trouble now. But drug prohibition always came off to me as as a power grab by the government and busybody christians(ban everything I don't like reeeeeee!).

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  38. "I'm beginning to think your an autist, just a very extroverted one. Which is why your always like "reeeeeeee cocooning"! Same with booze good pot bad, because the people Agnostic likes(extrovert normies) drink booze and the people Agnostic hates(cocooners) smoke weed."

    Talk about blithely insulting. He's far from autistic. Some of his viewpoints seem unusual because the public discourse itself has become so deluded, and a more down-to-earth perspective seems revolutionary.

    and "cocooning" is very real and one of the worst things happening now in society. It will be interesting to see how the younger Millenials react when they realize that life as they know it so far has just been a facsimile of the real thing.

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    1. I'm a natural born cocooner, I just blamed it on being an introvert. I was bad enough in elementary school, but went off the rails in high school. At 33 I'm starting to realize I missed out on some things, some of us aren't meant to be normies I guess.

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  39. Keep in mind, I don't mean that in a negative way. Its more like, Millenials, my peermates, don't have a clue how badly they're getting fucked over by the zeitgeist.

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  40. "More control over the mentally ill.

    And these issues happen to intersect so well. The close family members of the ill are vastly more likely to be harmed, including with a gun. Our society puts the entire burden of mental illness upon families in the name of freedom. They are burdened with the financial, emotional, and physical burden from the mentally Ill."

    The street nutter population (and those currently in the pipeline to street nutter status) ballooned in the late 60's/early 70's, as possibly the worst excess of the civil rights era. We should've corrected the mistake in the later 70's, when people sobered up from The Sixties, man, but we never did.Why? In the late 70's, the Left began to support abdication of moral norms WRT behavior, so you no longer were supposed to notice the behavioral problems of mentally ill people and do something to keep them away from normal people. Drug use, homosexual promiscuity, stark raving mad bums, etc. all got a free pass. What was the Right doing?Abdicating a fiduciary duty to their fellow man. Ronnie Raygun slashed California's once expansive mental health facilities, not so much for ethical reasons that the Left wing approved of but more to save the state money.

    So being that the Left-wing is not willing to call out insane people for their dangerous tendencies, and the Right-wing doesn't want to foot the bill to commit more people, how the hell do we keep crazies off the street?

    Every society makes bad choices (like turning insane people loose); but when society works better we can correct those mistakes. The Right is correct to lament the excesses of the Civil Rights era, but the 60's per se aren't the problem; the real problem is society after the 60's giving up on enforcement of certain common sense norms, which would've corrected the problems of the 60's.

    The Left doesn't want anyone in prison, while the Right gives privileged people a pass, does nothing to assist middle-low income people, and is supporting trigger happy cops and the building of evermore prisons to house people arrested for increasingly trivial offenses (whereas in the good old 1950's, people were sentenced to proportionate terms, not the excessive lenience of 60's terms or the draconian harsh terms of the 90's).

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  41. "Again look at the reaction to opioids, the already won war against tobacco. Maybe marijuana makes the cut and joins alcohol, but I doubt it -- recreational, anyway, not medicinal."

    We're leagues away from the attitudes that people had toward drugs from 1984-1992. Teenagers back then shifted away from drug use to a great degree, in comparison to the 1970's or late 1990's. Silents, Boomers, and Gen X-ers all became markedly disapproving of drugs in the 80's and early 90's, compared to how people felt in the 60's and 70's.

    Opiods don't cause alarming episodes of mania and violence....As I understand, though of course addicts will commit crimes to support their habit. Nor are they associated with the downsides of "fast living". So many Boomers got bombed out on speed and coke in the 70's and early 80's that people not only became frightened of hard upper drugs (as well you should be) but even downers and "soft" drugs by the mid-80's.

    Tobacco became taboo because of second hand smoke; tobacco became associated with harm to children (as was crack-cocaine), and even right now you still have to think of the children. There's still a tremendous taboo regarding crack; it's the only drug that still is as hated right now as it was in the late 80's. I would say though that meth is still pretty widely detested, as it became associated with low-class whites burning their houses and trailers down.

    It look like you need healthy enforcement of norms (ala the 1920's-1950's) or a stupid generation fully embracing drugs for 20+ years (including the kind that cause violent psychosis) to really make people turn hard against drugs.

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  42. just don't see the political will or ability to make a quid pro quo deal for guns and drugs. Federally all drugs are still criminalized as it is, and the only push by states and local governments is to loosen restrictions on pot. So what would the basis of any trade be? Harsher federal penalties on pot possession along with a federal crackdown on states that don't play along? We've seen how hard it is to do that even with sanctuary cities.

    Too, there's the problem that the right is pretty well united on the second amendment but divided on drugs. Outside of a few hardcore drug warriors and religious fundamentalists there just aren't enough people on the right who care so much about restricting pot still further that they are willing to give up their guns. While a lot do disapprove of drug use there is just not that pressure to ban it still further.

    The general experience learned from places like Colorado, Washington, California, etc, I think took what fire there was away from the hardcore drug warriors anyway. People were told for decades about how terrible pot was and if punishments were eased up even a little society would crumble. Really none of their warnings came true at all. Ironically the same was true of the people who were against allowing people to carry guns concealed. They warned it would be the Wild West all over and there would be blood in the streets and people shooting each other over arguments about parking. None of that happened either.

    Literally the only political swap type deal I can imagine where there is enough political will on the right for a gun ban to seem a good trade is for abortion. If the deal was banning guns in exchange for banning abortion, you might be able to sell that. Though with the heavily invested base of both sides so committed to their positions, who even thinks such a deal could ever be made?

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  43. When you give up your second amendment they will take your first amendment. Then they will kill your people.

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  44. "The general experience learned from places like Colorado, Washington, California, etc, I think took what fire there was away from the hardcore drug warriors anyway. People were told for decades about how terrible pot was and if punishments were eased up even a little society would crumble."

    Society did crumble in the 70's and 80's, when thrill seeking Boomers and early Gen X-ers were running wild.

    What is your age, Vlad? People turned on drugs, big time, in the 1980's. And it wasn't as if people assumed that pot ruined your life; it's more that so many losers were burned out on drugs (pot and god knows what else) by the 80's that it was no longer acceptable to downplay the effects of drugs.

    All generations have become much more relaxed about pot since the mid-90's; as youth behavior has gotten gradually better, and people no longer get out as often as they once did, the overall level of danger present has diminished considerably. When crime surged from the late 60's-late 80's, it largely paralleled the rise in drug use, the rise in teen runaways, and the rise in the homeless population. Drug use used to be considered an issue of vital importance, part and parcel of the overall pattern of troubled behavior amongst many teens and young adults in the 60's-90's.

    The most poorly behaved cohort (those born in the late 50's/early 60's) was well passed their peak crime years (the late 70's/1980's) when crime began to decline in the late 90's. Furthermore, people of all generations simply stopped going into the outside world as often as they used to. Thus, there were fewer opportunities to commit crime or be a victim of crime.

    The downside to people playing it more safe is the level of naivete exhibited by everyone these days. The Left (and libertarian Right) has gotten more and more pushy about letting people out of prison, relaxing vice laws, and so forth. People these days just don't that many people who've been hurt by crime and drugs. We don't have friends like we did in the 80's, we don't go out to the bar like we did in the 80's, we don't play pick-up basketball like we did in the 80's, we have shorter conversations with people than we did in the 80's. and people don't reveal their lives to each other like they once did. So why not say that most or all anti-drug sentiment is the result of ignorance or hysteria? It's not like drugs ever hurt anyone, right?

    And cripes, CA, Colorado, etc. are a psychological mess. People in the Western states tend to score poorly on measures of well-being and conscientiousness. Lax enforcement of vice laws are par for the course in regions with poorly socialized people. Didja know that when porn was made in New York in the 60's and 70's, it was largely done under the aegis of the mob? That's why East Coast porno vanished in the 80's; the Feds went heavily after the mob in the 80's. Out in the West, normies can do vice (professional porno is still made and plenty of "respectable" people want to be and sometimes are drug dealers), whereas in the East it is scummy people who do scummy work. And yes, none other than tribesman Micheal Bloomberg banned big gulps in NYC, while his co-ethnics in San Pornando Valley film anal sex.

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  45. I grew up in the "Just Say No" DARE era of the 1980s and early 1990s. When I said the warnings that "society would crumble" didn't come true I meant the recent local decriminalization, not the state of society in the late 60s-the early 80s. You're right that there was a backlash against what was perceived as out of control drug use and resulting deaths, crime, and social decay. We still live in that heavily regulated world today. The punishments for drug crimes, especially on the Federal level are quite harsh, having been ramped-up particularly during the 1980s. That's why I am not sure what more can be done against drugs from the criminal justice system side. You already have the Black Lives Matter wing of the Democratic party trying to push to LOWER the punishments for drug offenses, not because they particularly seem to think that it's a good idea to do drugs but rather it's often black people who end up in jail for it. The libertarian/hippie side of the Democratic party is pushing for pot legalization because they want to remove what stigma is left over its use.

    That's why I just don't see where the impetus will come from for a new drug war. The only way we could really try to push more from the criminal justice side would be a Duterte-style crackdown which I just don't see as politically possible in the US. At least not anytime soon. Most normal people on the left or the right would balk at summary executions of drug dealers or the death penalty for drug possession.

    The real cure for drug problems is fixing society to where low income, low-IQ people both in the country and in urban areas get a shot at a life based on productive work and family formation. That will take bringing back domestic manufacturing and turning the trend towards income inequality in the other direction. It will also take bringing back a high trust society based on religious and ethnic ties, but that's even harder to do.

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