Saturday, February 20, 2010

Worst Editorial FLG Has Read In A While

As far as FLG can tell, the NYTimes offers absolutely no evidence, reason, or logic for their stance opposing Starbucks' decision to allow people to openly carry guns where there are open carry laws besides an implicit "guns are scary" assumption. FLG doesn't often agree with New York Times editorial stances, but at least they usually take the time to offer some sort of evidence or rationale for their position.


Anonymous said...

Well, then, clearly you didn't read their editorial about tiger farms. Clean the wax out of your eyes! It's dreadful. The Starbucks shit is just reflexive throat clearing and showing off, the tigers editorial is actively wrong about what will keep tigers alive long term. dave.s.

FLG said...

I skipped the Chinese Tiger one.

Withywindle said...

You keep on being startled about how wrong lefties can be ...

rahowe said...

You don't buy the idea that more guns means more likelihood of injury or death by a firearm, whether intentional or accidental and that some would prefer spaces free of that hazard?

FLG said...


"You don't buy the idea that more guns means more likelihood of injury or death by a firearm, whether intentional or accidental?"

In a word, no.

rahowe said...

Dude, that is illogical. If there were no guns, there would be no accidents involving guns, of course. The possibility of an accident arrives with the first gun and increases as the number of guns increase. Some would prefer to be spared that risk and other risks associated with guns and strive to negotiate the social contract to provide them some protection from that hazard. There is nothing wrong with that.

FLG said...

"If there were no guns, there would be no accidents involving guns, of course."

True, but there are guns in the world and so this is pointless. Furthermore, even if Starbucks doesn't allow guns inside, bullets go through windows.

"The possibility of an accident arrives with the first gun and increases as the number of guns increase."

Most people who are in a Starbucks, even those opposed to open carry, wouldn't argue that police officers shouldn't be allowed to bring guns in. Yet, the risk of accidental death from firearm discharged within the store increased above zero.

That's where this logic goes wrong. It's not the gun. A gun, even loaded, sitting on a table untouched by human hands in the middle of a crowded Starbucks isn't going to kill anybody ever. It's about who is holding the gun.

If 50 cops were in a Starbucks, then the risk of accidental shooting went from zero to something higher, but still pretty damn close to zero. However, the risk of an armed robbery of the Starbucks went from some low probability to even lower probability.

The people we need to worry about are the ones who don't care about the law, you know, the criminals. I assert that the odds that a criminal will rob a Starbucks with a person openly carrying a weapon decrease dramatically whether that person is a cop or not. Most people who take the time to wear their gun openly on a holster aren't the guns I'm worried about. What I am worried about is the guy who has it tucked in the back of his pants.

So, I would argue that for the average Starbucks that when a person openly carrying walks in that the risk of accidental shooting does increase, barely; however, the risk of armed, or otherwise robbery in the place, goes down dramatically.

Fundamentally, it's not about the presence of guns. It's about who is carrying them.

rahowe said...

See, the problem with criminals is that they were not born that way. They each committed a crime to earn that title. Take, for example, the man in southern Virginia who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and who recently shot his family and friends. One does not have to be a criminal before shooting someone.

You might also recall that a criminal entered a coffee shop in Seattle November 29th, specifically to shoot cops. He was hardly intimidated by the presence of guns.

Somewhere, a gun-carrying non-criminal will stop a robbery by opening fire. Somewhere else, a non-criminal will resolve a dispute by remembering that he has a gun with him. Innocent people will die who would not have otherwise. We are increasing the likelihood of these things happening.

FLG said...

You are focusing on the narrow, technical definition of criminal. My point is that the motivations of those people who possess the guns are the problem. Not whether they are technically a criminal at the time when they walk in with a gun.

People carrying openly with a hip holster are not very likely to resolve disputes in a Starbucks using their gun. Also, many states have concealed carry laws and I don't see them walking into Starbucks and killing people willy-nilly.

rahowe said...

I would say that someone who feels compelled to carry a pistol into a Starbucks is expecting trouble and now feels ready to defend himself against perceived threats. That is not a wholly rational thought. Today's Post, for example, features a story about a guy advocating for carry laws in DC. He says it is because a gun (unfired) saved his life in 1982. Notable in that story is that he has not had use for a gun in the 28 years since.

More people carrying guns means eventually that unstable people are carrying guns. (For concealed carry, statements that the person is known to be rational are often required.) Indeed, it may be that those unstable and fearful people will be among the first to carry. The risk to you increases.

I'm with the police on this one. They generally would prefer fewer guns on the street.

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