Guns and Nonsense: Part 2

Beyond the front matter, the first part of substance inside In Defense of the 2nd Amendment is the Foreword. This is written by Nick Searcy, who is an actor in stuff that I don’t think I’ve watched. I’m not going to go through this book with tons of quotes but I’ll quote bits that will help you get a sense of the tone and the approach.

“I didn’t know who Larry was when I first befriended him on social media. I just knew he tore up silly leftist dumbasses on the internet the way Michael Moore tore up extra-large supreme meatza pizzas. And Larry did so hilariously, with biting sarcasm, incisive wit, and invincible logic. I immediately saw him as an irreplaceable ally in the never-ending Twitter War, and I felt a kinship, as both of us do not play with leftist idiots well. We both had waded into the social media sewer with all our guns blazing, laughing hysterically as we slaughtered stupid Democrat-worshipping brainwashed losers day after day, laughing all the way.”

Correia, Larry. In Defense of the Second Amendment (p. XIII). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.

It is reasonable to say that Larry Correia uses biting sarcasm, opinions differ on whether his wit is incisive and I’ve always found that what logic he uses is supremely vincible. Maybe that’s me. However, Searcy does focus on the central quality of Correia’s approach to examining topics of the day: mockery. Michael Moore is a large man and hence somebody who can be mocked and once mocked his opinions can be dismissed. In reality, Moore is far from infallible and his documentaries are far from flawless but engaging with them takes effort and it is so much easier to make a quick dig about over-eating and be done.

Mockery is a recurring rhetorical device in Correia’s style of argumentation and it is what his readership enjoys. He does attempt some arguments of substance but the overall thrust of his approach is not to show that an opinion is incorrect but that it is an opinion that can be mocked or dismissed. To this extent, Searcy is accurately getting to the guts of this book. The point is not to show gun control adherents as wrong but as foolish and contemptible.

Searcy also has a point to make about law and order.

“In reading Larry’s Monster Hunter novels, you realize that underpinning all the exciting action, banter, and bloodshed there is a strong, sensible moral code—a code that goes beyond mere legality and enters the realm of right and wrong. Often the hero in a Correia work steps outside of the framework of the law—which, if followed to the letter, would have allowed evil to triumph—and makes a moral choice that might technically be illegal.”

Correia, Larry. In Defense of the Second Amendment (p. XIV). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.

I guess that’s true of Correia’s characters. It’s also true of Paddington Bear and Bilbo Baggins but I digress. The point Searcy is making is that Correia’s characters and the character that Searcy plays the boss of in the TV show Justified have to step outside the law because the law can only punish evil not prevent it.

“Which is why the Second Amendment is the only thing that makes Americans capable of preventing pure evil from victimizing them. A law will not and cannot do it.”

Correia, Larry. In Defense of the Second Amendment (p. XIV). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Now a roving internet pedant might point out that the 2nd amendment is also a law but that’s why roving internet pedants aren’t characters played by Timothy Olyphant. The point is…actually, I’m not sure what the point is here, back to Searcy:

“Because the ultimate goal of the Left is to outlaw self-defense. They want you unable to defend your life with deadly force, even when a criminal is coming for your life with deadly force. Why? Because then they know you will be totally dependent, for your safety, for your health care, for your food, for every single thing that makes you able to exist, on the totalitarian government that they intend to install. Think I’m exaggerating? Leftists have done this all over the world, in North Korea, in Cuba, in Venezuela, in the USSR, and now even in Australia, England, and Canada. And they will do it here if we let them.”

Correia, Larry. In Defense of the Second Amendment (p. XV). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Apparently, Australia is a totalitarian government these days, indistinguishable from North Korea. At this point, I did wonder if we were going to get some Covid-19 era anti-Australian rhetoric in the book and indeed we do later but it is actually fleeting.

Searcy ties this back to Correia’s fiction.

“Larry Correia understands this, and he imbues his fiction with this powerful idea, and that is why it has resonated with so many throughout the world—because, unlike leftist fiction, it makes sense.”

Correia, Larry. In Defense of the Second Amendment (p. XV). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.

I assume the powerful idea is that a hero often has to step outside the framework of the law to make a moral choice to defeat evil, just as Paddington did in Paddington 2 when he escaped from prison.

OK, now I’m mocking Searcy after being dismissive of arguments that are just mockery but there is so little substance here that it really is laughable. I’m also struck by the descent in the quality of right wing thought. In recent months I’ve been reading all sorts of right-wing punditry from the 80’s and 90’s and while those works were packed full of bad and appalling ideas, there was at least substance. Maybe that was worse! Maybe the fact that Jerry Pournelle could write incisively and plausibly and string genuine facts together with his opinions was worse for the world we ended up in as he gave better foundations for terrible ideas. Yet, I can’t help missing the days when the right had more in their rhetorical quivver than just fat jokes and nonsense.

Running through current right-wing rhetoric is this deep malaise about a world in decline and a world that is nonsense (e.g. the term “clown world” for modern society). To some degree that’s just a long-held tenet of conservatism: everything was better in the past. it also reflects the genuine damage that conservative policies have done to public services and infrastructure to intentionally make so many things in our lives that bit crappier. However, I can’t help but notice the sharp contrast between this 2020’s book by Correia and the 1980’s book by Newt Gingrich. It’s only two points but I think they exemplify a genuine cognitive decline in right-wing thought over several decades.

The right genuinely have become clownish. Evil, scary clowns but clowns nontheless lurking in the sewers laughing hysterically.

Next Time: Vultures.

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59 responses to “Guns and Nonsense: Part 2”

  1. As someone who has watched Justified, and knows in great detail how much Searcy’s character hated virtually everything that Olyphant’s character did, this is *very* funny.

    The show is extremely clear-eyed about how much a nightmare to be around a man like Raylan Givens would be, even though he’s likeable and looks like Timothy Olyphant at the same time.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well I read one of Gingrich’s books in the 1990s (I think it was To Renew America) and it was so bad I just stopped. So if he said anything intelligent in the 1980s, there’s been a decline.
    I’ve sometimes thought the whole conservative media infrastructure is a subtle Poe: National Review and multiple other magazines rely on deep-pocketed donors, not selling to the public so they’re not competing in a free market — and look, the products are terrible!
    “Often the hero in a Correia work steps outside of the framework of the law—which, if followed to the letter, would have allowed evil to triumph—and makes a moral choice that might technically be illegal.”
    Funny how this always seems to mean “you can’t kill people” rather than “legal technicalities keep innocent people from getting out of prison.”

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      • We’re a couple of generations down the radicalization pipeline since Gingrich started.

        There are interviews I’ve seen which made it pretty clear that this was always about creating a complete alternative news system that would lock ‘Conservatives’ in and lock reality out, dating all the way back to the people upset that Nixon was forced to resign because the mainstream media actually reported on what he did. Everything from Conservative AM Talk Radio to Fox News was deliberately contrived to lock the audience into the radicalization pipeline.

        Back in the 1980s, Gingrich still had to deal with the fact that most of the potential audience wasn’t locked into the pipeline yet, so he had to care about using the right dog whistles so it wasn’t too obvious. Correia doesn’t care, because the audience that has already bought into what he’s selling is large enough that he doesn’t have to.

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        • Christian homophobe attorney Matt Staver has just recommended that Christian schools find ways to keep out children of same-sex couple because exposure to real gays might make kids realize gays are just normal people who shouldn’t be demonized.

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          • Never forget that the court case that created the Religious Right wasn’t Roe v. Wade; that was just the excuse they started using years after the court case actually happened. No, the court case that really created the Religious Right was Bob Jones University v. United States, which in turn was a result of Brown v. Board of Education. Bob Jones University was complaining about the fact that they couldn’t get federal funding if they didn’t allow black students into the school, and then later about the fact that their half-hearted attempt at allowing black students wasn’t considered good enough. (Black students could attend but not stay in on-campus housing, and inter-racial dating was an expulsion-worthy offence.)

            Keeping the ‘wrong’ people out of ‘our’ schools so that the next generation wouldn’t have a chance to learn that they’re just people and not demons has been part of the plan from very early on.

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      • Regardless of the quality of Gingrich’s thought, his writing being relatively more coherent doesn’t necessarily say anything about the right wing in general in the ’80s versus now. Gingrich coexisted in that decade with Rush Limbaugh, whose aggro-comic style is very recognizable in the modern right. I would say that talk radio, with its heavy reliance on catchphrases and caricatures and in-jokes and its general disdain for intellectual curiosity, was far more influential on the late 20th and early 21st century than anyone like Gingrich or Pournelle was.

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        • And to the degree that Gingrich was and is influential, I don’t think it’s because of his ideas about science or the Constitution or any of that. He was good at getting media attention because of his general persona: glib, jolly in an assholish style, “smart” in a style that would remind business owners of how they saw themselves. And he was good at amassing party power because he was a ruthless sociopath with an instinct for building coalitions of various types of assholes. He and his cohort very actively steered the party in its current direction; they didn’t want more Gingriches with “ideas”, Gingrich himself made no effort to build such a faction. They wanted more Limbaughs, more Correia-type cranks, more Bible-thumpers and militia ranters. That was already in progress in the Reagan years and it accelerated visibly in the ’90s— there was no shortage then of the kind of nonsense that you’re describing as a modern thing.

          I think it’s fair to say that there was also a bigger market for books of punditry that weren’t entirely aimed at the fringe, but I would ascribe that more to changes in publishing & media than to a real change in the movement. If Correia had been writing political tracts in the ’80s you would not be reading them now, because they would’ve disappeared like most books that aren’t from high-profile authors.

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          • Tl/dr: I think the niche for “smart” right-wingers was small then and it’s small now, and once someone is in it, they cling to it and don’t encourage competition. They don’t need another Gingrich, he’s still around. Among non-politicians in the media world there’s John Stossel, who’s been churning out his type of libertarian pseudo-journalism for decades; he’s much stupider than Gingrich but has a similar audience, and they don’t really need more of him.

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          • The media play a role. The “both sides are really the same, good and bad in both parties” assumption requires you have Smart Conservatives somewhere. Like the NYT a couple of years ago painting Ben Shapiro as “the cool kids philosopher”

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            • Just as a few years before that, the media fell all over themselves portraying Paul Ryan as a “smart, principled conservative”, when in fact he was a lying fraud whose proposed “budgets” were filled with what the economist Paul Krugman memorably called “magic asterisks” to disguise the fact they were nothing but massive tax-cut giveaways to the wealthiest Americans that blew trillion-dollar holes in the Federal deficit – all with the goal of forcing massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

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              • Or an article from 2022 portraying the Liberal Editor and Right-Wing Pastor in a small town as mirror images. The Liberal Editor covers lots of covid deaths; the Right-Wing Pastor thinks they’re mostly caused by the vaccine and the government’s covering it up. So see, they’re twins!

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  3. Well The Shape of Water is one movie in whitch this Searcyguy played a role, very watchable.
    I also ask myself how Germany, which has quite some leftwing partys escape the list and why England is on it.
    Steping outside the law is a stable of fiction, mostly because the law becomes corrupt, or is to restrictive and stops you from saving people (this is mostly not in rightwing books)
    Re better rightwing writers of the past, we have a radicalysation (at last in the US), I have the same feeling from religios writer (Lewis or Chesterton are way better than say Wright), or is that just the bias of the better works surviving?
    (And this is mostly tangents because there doesn’t seem much meat in the foreword.

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    • By these guys’ standards Lewis is a radical lefty. I mean, he sees nothing wrong with men and women being just friends! And you don’t have to believe in Aslan to enter the Narnian version of heaven!

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    • Nah, singling out England and Australia makes sense because they enacted pretty severe gun laws after mass shootings. And afaik they work pretty well which might be the real point of contention. Germany doesn’t compare. Dunno why Searcy mentions Canada either.

      But you can also always explain any glaring omissions of salients fact by (US) RWNJs that they’re proudly pig shit ignorant.

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  4. Apparently, Australia is a totalitarian government these days, indistinguishable from North Korea

    Well, in that population of thinkers on the right, Australia absolutely is in their book, because you can’t have unlimited numbers of precious guns to protect your freedom

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  5. Hm. Wait. Something just occurred to me. If the right to arm be^W^Wbear arms is there to provide a militia, does it logically follow that any gun owner can be press-ganged into military service? I mean, some of the RWNJGOs would probably applaud that, at least until the press gang arrives to take them to whatever front they’re needed as fresh bodies at.

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  6. The right-wing intelligentsia [sic] has been demonizing and damaging public education for decades, and as a result they now need to significantly dumb down – er, simplify – their messaging so their target audience can understand it.

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  7. Hello all: I’ve been reading here for a while (in tandem with File 770), but don’t think I’ve commented before. However, since I’ve left the Evil Facebook behind, I am concentrating on other social media and trying to comment more.

    Searcy says: “. . . . you realize that underpinning all the exciting action, banter, and bloodshed there is a strong, sensible moral code—a code that goes beyond mere legality and enters the realm of right and wrong. Often the hero in a Correia work steps outside of the framework of the law—which, if followed to the letter, would have allowed evil to triumph—and makes a moral choice that might technically be illegal.”

    And Camestros notes, quite rightly, that the same can be said of Paddington Bear and Bilbo Baggins, and when I read that, my mind went ZING!

    Because I’d bet that Larry, Searcy, and other nasssty pups wouldn’t agree (about Bilbo–sorry to say I’m not a Paddington Bear reader or viewer)! I mean, yes, Bilbo steals the Arkenstone (while trying to convince himself he’s not), and then hands it over as a bargaining chip in a negotiation where he’s not authorized to act, and clearly goes against his CONTRACT with Thorin & Co — but there’s no GUN (or the medieval equivalent, a MANLY SWORD) involved (Bilbo’s sword is more like a letter opener!!11!).
    He doesn’t even use the LITTLE SWORD he has against Gollum (well, he threatens him with it, right, so a defensive use, drawn but not cocked or fired?)! In fact he SPARES Gollum’s life (and as Gandalf points out, that is the reason Bilbo was not corrupted by the Ring, because he began his ownership with mercy).

    Of course a total tolkien nerd would argue about the issue of what “laws” did or did not exist in M-e, but I’m so not going there (have to walk dogs soon).

    In all seriousness, though, I think that Searcy’s (and Larry’s) central focus is on GUNS and the owning, brandishing, and using or GUNS as a moral act (unless of course, the person owning the gun is Black (because the historical fact is that the Republicans were in favor of gun control when it was the Black Panthers who were exercising their Second Amendment Rights!).

    (hoping this looks OK and I did the html correctly and all that since I don’t see a way to preview!)

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  8. Republicans don’t want to persuade anybody anymore; they just want to own the libs and exercise power. Exhibit No 1 for this: gerrymandering. If they were secure in their own beliefs (or more accurately, sure that the general public would go along with those belilefs) they wouldn’t be afraid to travel to the big bad liberal cities and ask people to vote for them. (Unlike, say, Beto O’Rourke, who in his recent campaign for governor of Texas visited every Texas county, including all the rural MAGA-fied ones.)

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  9. “To some degree that’s just a long-held tenant of conservatism…”
    Typo, I think, unless conservatism has a persistent tapeworm.

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  10. Leftists have done this “now even in Australia, England, and Canada.”?
    WT Everliving F? England? Are the Tories leftists now? Is Doug Ford a leftist?

    This is a new book, right? One has to wonder whether Correia and Searcy are tapped into some alternate stub, as Bill Gibson would say.

    Do members of the LDS eat ‘shrooms? That is the only explanation I can envision. Because, honestly, if I wrote a book with an introduction like that, I’d probably yank Searcy’s text and replace it with some ChatGPS-esque bullshit. It would be less embarrassing.

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      • And yet, of the four countries mentioned there, the U.S. is the only one that still has nationalized murder (a.k.a. capital punishment); the rest of us all got rid of it fifty or sixty years ago.

        (From Wikipedia: in Australia the last execution was in 1967 and the death penalty was abolished piecemeal in various states though as of 2010 the federal government prohibits any state from re-enacting it; in Canada the last execution was 1962 and the death penalty was effectively abolished in 1963 even if laws formalizing it weren’t passed until 1976 and 1999; and in the U.K. the last execution was in 1964 and the death penalty was suspended in 1965 and abolished in 1969. So all three has their last executions in the 1960s and disassembled the process after that.)

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        • The U.S. did actually suspend the death penalty for a few years in the 1970’s thanks to the Furman case. But states eagerly worked to do new ones. The number of crimes that could be given the death penalty were narrowed over the years and the number of executions were reduced due to lengthy appeals processes. The death penalty is disproportionately applied to black and other POC prisoners, including those who are mentally disabled. A number of people who were probably mistried and might have been exonerated have been estimated to be executed. There’s been regular global and U.S. pressure to get rid of the death penalty as unjust punishment and unconstitutional. Studies have shown the death penalty does not act as a deterrent for violent crime nor does it really give much closure to victims’ families. There is literally not one justified reason to have it. But bloodthirsty autocrat supremacist Republicans want to have it and they still control enough states to do it.

          Additionally, no one wants to supply us with drugs to do it and they are hard to get. So the Republicans have been bringing back firing squads and other violent, even more inhumane methods to do executions. And they’ve routinely tried to get rid of the appeals process.

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        • I’ve noticed gun nuts see no conflict between “Rape victims should quit whining because other countries would treat them worse” (which is irrelevant, I note — justice for rape victims isn’t graded on a curve) and whining regardless of how much stricter gun rules are elsewhere.

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  11. I love how they pretend that dictatorships like North Korea are “left-wing” because once upon a time they declared what they were doing communism. They do the same with the Nazis who called themselves socialists even though it was a lie and it was actually a form of fascism. And now, actual neo-Nazi groups in the U.S. ally with Larry’s right wing people, not socialists. They are armed conservatives and actual fascists.

    But in any case, the goal of right wingers and active bigots is always to declare objection and opposition to autocracy unreasonable, illegitimate and threatening. Back in the 1980’s, they were still going with the conservative intelligensia routine from folks like Buckley and guys like George Will, to put an academic and thoughtful leader cast on bigotry and autocracy. The conservatives promoted that they were better at running the country because they were smarter, learned, wealthy and supposedly insightful policy makers who should naturally be in charge of the plebes and we still see that proposition play out in various forms of corporate autocracy like the techlords and libertarians.

    But Gingrich presided over the sea change in the 1990’s when cable news’ 24 coverage developed. And that change was to be provocative, sound bitey, more religious, to promote common sense average Joe claims over “lefty” academics and education which was supposedly detached from the common man, and to use much more violent and hostile rhetoric. It was the “aw shucks” strategy, one that Reagan had employed and which was necessary because the religious and rural right had gotten in with Reagan and demanded more power and accommodation from the Republicans. And then came Rupert Murdoch with Fox news. That all paved the way for fake cowboy George W. Bush, whose stance was the opposite of his more intelligensia father George H.W.

    It was also a sea change on guns. The assault weapons ban that ran from 1994 to 2004 significantly reduced violent shootings and crime, which is why Republicans refused to renew it. Fighting gun control efforts of liberals became a political cause, the NRA flipped from consumer advocacy group to gun lobbying schills and increased their political power. And that was all built around again the Hollywood version of the Old West, rather than the real time period. The version where lone white men had to stand against the law without government assistance or interference to defend the plains from the bad indigenous, foreigners, black men/escaped slaves, etc. John Wayne, Red Dawn, Bush’s and Reagan’s fake cowboy acts — the growing western states became more important than before in elections and the whole good old white boys thing became the dominant political narrative.

    This was reinforced by existing U.S. culture, which again meant rich locals controlled small rural areas as their own fiefdoms. The sovereign sheriff act is a development of that. The good old days were better because white men with some power could rule and be repressive. And the ones with less power could still slap a black person in the street and be lauded for it. The less of that “self-defense” power they have to do whatever they want to others, the more they feel a loss of status. It’s all a game against those they see as lessers who shouldn’t be allowed to criticize their beliefs and actions and who support multi-ethnic/racial, equal rights democracy. Which they consider tyranny because it means they can’t do what they want to others, don’t have dominating status. Being able to wave a gun at folk is dominating and when you’re raised that this is the be all, your identity, well, you again want to hold the present violent racked hostage to your fears of an imaginary future where you will be even less dominant.

    But what I really like about this so far is that the book is supposed to be a defense of the 2nd Amendment law which calls for a well-regulated militia, not lawlessness. And yet here the substance is about breaking the law, using rule of force as “self-defense,” — lawlessness in supposed opposition to tyranny. Having to treat gay people as your equals isn’t tyranny (or loved by North Korea.) Having a gun shoved in your face by a self-appointed ruler claiming you are a threat is tyranny. If Larry’s whole argument is that the 2nd Amendment is the only legitimate law and otherwise it’s a free for all of rebellion, gun against gun, that’s not a civilization. It’s just an action movie where the tyrannical warlords pretend they are the heroes.

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    • It’s just an action movie where the tyrannical warlords pretend they are the heroes.
      Hopefully it at least stars Charlton Heston.

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      • Yeah he didn’t help the situation, old Charlton. But basically Larry thinks he’s Mad Max but is actually supporting Immortan Joe, the warlord. Old Immortan was running a civilization of libertarian conservative capitalism. And tyranny is not having to live under equal civil rights, the things they put in the 1st Amendment. Of course to Larry, equal civil rights is just a fake cover for liberals trying to create a dictatorship where they will supposedly be dominant. And he’s going to scare off the U.S. military and its drone missiles with his little gun. Guys like him believe that enough folks in the military will side with them in the imaginary rebellion and stop the liberal tyranny.

        He’s not entirely wrong about the sympathizers — bigoted vets and serving military were part of the insurrection on 1/6. And the Airforce has long had a problem with Christian nationalists. But the bulk of the military is forward looking. They are dealing with a multi-racial, multi-gender, high tech trained volunteer army. Not having to wait for a time period of vetting to get a handgun or refusing a ban on AR-15s is not going to protect Larry from that. But the billionaires promise him that he will reign supreme and so he happily signs his rights away to the Republicans for the fantasy. All so he can wave a gun around.

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        • “And he’s going to scare off the U.S. military and its drone missiles with his little gun. ”
          “What kind of fool says power springs from the base of a gun when the other side has the most guns?” — Stokely Carmichael, supposedly.
          As you say, the military not being a reliable enforcer for white supremacy scares the hell out of Republicans. Plus their misogyny makes them think military service should be the province of Real Men full of toxic masculinity. One reason they love Putin is that he markets himself so well as that kind of creep.

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  12. I was going to make a snarky comment about the 2A being the only thing keeping Americans being victimised by pure evil remark, but then I thought I would be falling into the same fallacy as Larry Correia – dismissing an argument via mockery – and…ah stuff it.

    Any country without a 2A equivalent is presumably awash in pure evil. In fact, pure evil is so prevalent here that I have a long-standing arrangement with it. It comes around and victimises me every Tuesday morning. Helps to manage both our schedules.

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    • That first quote … I must say I’m intrigued how often right-wing/evangelical culture warriors pride themselves on their ability to ‘laugh hysterically’.

      “You think you’re getting at me, but I’m laughing hysterically. Also, my hair is standing up and my eyes are bulging. You see how unaffected I am by your opposition? You SEEEEEE?”

      Oh well, now I’m mocking them. Again.

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  13. “waded into the social media sewer with all our guns blazing, laughing hysterically as we slaughtered stupid Democrat-worshipping brainwashed losers day after day, laughing all the way”
    I know it’s a figure of speech, but perhaps not the best thing to say in a book advocating for gun rights.

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  14. You know, wasn’t “The Mountain That Writes” rejected from serving in the US military because he was and is asthmatic, flat footed and, well, overweight?

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    • Yes. Basically, Correia is a guy who never served who has never been in an actual combat situation who has the Batman fantasy that he can leap into action to stop armed criminals.

      The reality is that if anyone started shooting back at him, Correia would likely piss his pants and run screaming.

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  15. There’s a lot to unpack here, so this is probably going to be a little unfocused:

    1. Calling people fat is basically all Nick Searcy has insofar as a personality goes. When he says “we slaughtered stupid Democrat-worshipping brainwashed losers day after day, laughing all the way”, he’s basically making up a hero story for himself that is at odds with reality. What he really does is shout loudly that people are fat and then run back to his clique of morons giggling like an elementary school kid who insulted someone on the schoolyard. Searcy has never made a cogent argument or a valid point in any internet debate.

    2. Searcy is a really stupid man. So is Correia, but Correia is marginally smarter than Searcy in that he can minimally function in society – Correia still demonstrates regularly that he doesn’t understand statistics, logic, or the law, but he’s not a blithering idiot. Searcy is.

    3. As a side note, I think it is important to note that Correia is super-sensitive about his intelligence. He has put author insert characters into his books more than once, and they are all big gun-loving guys who are super smart (and always right), and they have a chip on their shoulder about people underestimating their intelligence. Correia, however, is just a big dumb lug.

    4. When Searcy talks about doing the moral thing even when it is illegal, he reveals much, and it isn’t good. Who decides what is moral? Him? Can I decide what is moral? If I can, Searcy and Correia better watch out, because I can come up with some very good moral arguments that would result in the conclusion “people who advocate what Searcy and Correia advocate should be executed immediately for the common good”. They won’t be all that convincing of arguments, but they will be at least as good as the best arguments either Correia or searcy have ever made in their lives.

    5. It is clear that Corriea and Searcy think of the U.S. government as some sort of weird outside force that is imposed upon them, rather than the elected representatives of the populace. One can make arguments about just how representative the U.S. government is, but the unrepresentative elements make the voices of guys like Correia and Searcy more powerful, not less. U.S. law (and state law) is the manifested implementation of that representation. For them to whine about it is just rich.

    6. Anyone who thinks that their rights are defended because they have a gun has a child’s view of the world. All the guns in the world are irrelevant when compared to the forces that governments can bring to bear. There has never been a military conflict the US. was involved in in which privately owned firearms had any notable impact (no, not even the Revolutionary War). I cannot think of any instance in modern history in which privately held firearms prevented a totalitarian government from doing what it wanted to do. “Disarming the populace” is an irrelevant nonsequitur when it comes to these sorts of issues. Correia’s pop-guns are an irrelevancy.

    7. All of these gun rights activists conflate “owning a gun” with “self-defense”, which is an entirely illogical leap.

    8. Guns rights activists are also, as a whole, the most cowardly people in the world. They are afraid of everything, including their own shadows. That’s why I don’t take any of the self-reported “defensive gun use” studies seriously. Most of these guys are reporting things that are no more of a response to a threat than “I saw a scary black man across the street so I fondled my gun and it made me feel better”.

    9. I am 53 years old. I have lived in rural America, I have lived in urban America (in Washington D.C. no less, one of the “scary” places that gun nuts falsely claim are horrific war zones). I have lived in Africa. I have never been in a situation in which having a gun would have been useful in any way. I have known people who were in professions that sometimes use guns (notably, I knew some intelligence officers working in Africa) – all of them hated carrying a gun, because it meant someone somewhere had seriously screwed up. Most of them didn’t carry weapons most of the time, because, in their professional opinions, they simply didn’t make situations better.

    10. Correia and Searcy are both fat guys, which apparently means their opinions can simply be dismissed out of hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #5. As the blogger Hilzoy once observed, for a lot of right-wingers government is supposed to work like a slot machine: they put in votes, they get the government they want. When they don’t get it, this is a violation of natural law.
      #8. Conservatives often remind me of a line from a mid-sixties comic book I reread recently where a character claims he can’t fight because of back trouble.
      “Back trouble?”
      “I have a yellow streak running down it.”
      #9. In “Gift of Fear” Gavin deBecker pointed out there’s a higher probability of needing to give someone CPR than needing to help them with a gun but gun fanatics don’t set the same priority on it.

      Like

  16. The weird thing is that it used to be the left that took the law into their own hands. In the thirties you had Raymond Chandler showing how corrupt the police were and how the detective was the White Knight opposing the system, and *The Grapes of Wrath* with Tom Joad setting himself against unfair oppression. Then in the sixties the left did little else but fight the Establishment.

    Now, as everyone says, white straight men have lost a tiny bit of power and are terrified about it. God help them — there are even lesbian M&Ms. How can they be expected to put up with that?

    Liked by 3 people

  17. It’s quite weird to mock Michael Moore for his weight since it’s more than ten years since he went on a diet, started exercising and lost quite a lot of it. I’d say it would be as logical to mock Correia for his Pizza intake now.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m having a moment of cognitive dissonance here.

    1) ACAB (no offense to anyone’s special Nigel T. Cop who is definitely a good apple)
    2) I very much enjoyed Justified
    3) I very much enjoyed Searcy’s character
    3a) Searcy’s character on Justified is someone I would loathe in real life
    3b) Olyphant’s character on Justified is someone I would loathe in real life

    So why is it, then, that…

    4) I’m saddened that Searcy, who looks, speaks, and plays the roles of a dumb reactionary, is a dumb reactionary.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve taught self defense. I taught concealed carry in Arizona when I was on that end of the gun debate in the mid-1990s.

    If you’re carrying a weapon with anticipation of using it, you’re not actively defending anyone. You’re carrying a self-esteem totem.

    If you’re not willing to wear a mask to defend others in an airborne pandemic, I don’t trust your judgement to carry a gun to defend others. It is far likelier that you’ll take pot-shots at people you’ve been conditioned to treat as less than human and a threat.

    Conservatism is the cognitive dissonance of wanting adult agency while living in the world as it was when you were 10. All problems have simple solutions, and the simple solution starts with The White Guy Is Always Right.

    Mind, that degree of simple solution usually ends up in death camps when carried to an extreme, but hey, if you’re one of the White Guys Who Is Always Right, who cares, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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