Question that Gun Control Advocates Obsess Over – How Do You Feel?

Question that Gun Control Advocates Obsess Over - How Do You Feel?
Question that Gun Control Advocates Obsess Over – How Do You Feel?

Fayetteville, AR –-( “How do you feel?” is a question that perplexes the resurrected Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, but it is a query that is the obsession of gun control advocates. They phrase things differently, of course. For them, the word is empathy, and in their view, we who support gun rights are lacking in that quality.

Empathy is a problematic word, since the similar word, sympathy, blends into the former’s meaning. The distinction is important, however, since the definitions of the two words get at the core of the debate over gun rights and gun violence in America.

To use another Star Trek reference, Counselor Troi is an empath. She has the ability to get inside the mind of another, to feel the world through that person’s emotions. Someone with empathy feels with others, understands what it is to be them. By contrast, sympathy is the capacity to feel for others, usually feeling sorrow over the suffering that others endure. But also, to the confusion of the language’s speakers, sympathy can mean an identification with an ideology or a group of people.

Which one is relevant with regard to the role of guns in America? Both, in fact, and more on that in a moment, but empathy is the one that gun control advocates prefer. I’ve discussed the article by David Brooks in The New York Times that suggests that if people on his side would only show some respect and attempt at some understanding of those of us who value gun rights, we’d be willing to give up those rights. Or perhaps we’d just feel better about people who yearn to curtail those rights, and all of us would feel together. Neil Steinberg, a columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, tells a story about hearing gunfire in the wilderness while hiking near a range and goes on to say that to achieve gun control—he calls it “commonsense gun regulation” and thus commits the fallacy of begging the question—we need to be won over “to the idea of a unified, rational American nation, caring for each other, addressing problems for the common good, and then we can talk about gun control.”

Of course, Brooks and Steinberg don’t really want to empathize with us. The latter mocks us as paranoid and racially insensitive. He is willing to allow that shooting firearms at a range is fun, though that isn’t a sufficient reason for refusing to go along with his schemes.

To put it another way, to the advocate of gun control, we’re vicious sociopaths who won’t feel for the children. Except that would be a lack of sympathy. Or it’s empathy if our problem is that we won’t put ourselves into the mind of someone in a mass shooting and agree to surrender rights as a result.

Which is to say, the thinking of people who seek to curtail rights is muddled. Strictly speaking, empathy with persons who have been at the scene of a mass shooting is impossible for anyone who has not been on the receiving end of gunfire, and in a society in which violence is steadily on the decline, it is increasingly difficult for most of us to feel what it is like to be the victim of violent crime.

What we can do is work on things that will reduce violence: funding schools at levels that would actually leave no child behind, ending the war on drugs, and treating threats of violence seriously, for example.

To say that we who support gun rights do so out of a lack of pathos for victims of violence is an assertion that requires evidence. The mere support for gun rights is not that evidence. I, for one, want to do the things that would make life better for all of us. But even at risk of being called unfeeling, I will not surrender our rights.

About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

  • 50 thoughts on “Question that Gun Control Advocates Obsess Over – How Do You Feel?

    1. @GrumpyMSgt…Take away the cell phones (their kill rate is coming up fast) and the violent video games ! Make mommy ,daddy (if he’s there) and kiddos spend more time together learn to cohabitate and there just might be a better quality of people in both generations.

      just an E5

    2. I’ll tell you how i feel:


      I feel I would rather fight to keep them than surrender them.

      1. @Kuetsa

        Many of us feel as you do, and will fight when it comes down to it, Right now, it is important that everyone study the origin and founding of our country. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

        “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government” ~ Declaration of Independence.

      2. well.
        i WILL fight all comers to keep mine.
        that’s not brag, THAT’S A DAMN FACT.

    3. Author: JT
      Amen. Cain killed Abel with a rock.

      I always thought it was the jawbone of an ass [a donkey].

      1. Jawbone of an ass? I think that was Samson.

        Of course, in today’s world the jawbone of an ass would more probably be wielded by almost any of our politicians

        1. Actually in today’s society the jawbones of ALL the asses are on the Democrats, hence their party logo.

    4. In 2016 476 teenagers DIED violent deaths due to distracted driving. That is, the drivers and passengers were teens. Let’s see……………476/17? That’s 28 Parkland school events per year!! 28. Texting, cell phone use, distracted driving. And I haven’t mentioned the number of injuries both to other teens and completely innocent bystanders. It’s roughly 12x the number of deaths. Horrible violent deaths and injuries. And the sound of a crash makes a gunshot sound like a whisper.

      So I suggest this. Raise the age for purchase of cell phones to 21.
      Require prospective cell phone buyers to attend and pass a cell phone safety course. $25 fee of course.
      Forbid felons or those simply accused of domestic violence from possessing a cell phone.
      Require, as CA does with guns in cars, that cell phone batteries be removed and placed in a separate locked box in a part of a car not accessible to the driver.
      And who really needs batteries that give you 3-4 hours of use. Limit battery life to 10 minutes. Nobody NEEDS a battery with 240 minutes of life.
      Felony to loan anyone your cell phone.
      Require sellers to register with the appropriate government agency and obtain a Federal Cell Phone License to deal in phones and/or batteries.
      If someone, anyone, is stopped with an illegal loaded cell phone in their car? Felony!
      Require anyone carrying a cell phone to have a CCP. Concealed cell phone permit. 8 hour class primarily on the legal issues if you cause an accident because your walking around looking online and run into a little old lady.

      So, that’s it. Haven’t gotten to fertilizer or knives, hammers and rebar!! Goodness. Do you know what getting hit with a hammer does to a skull!

      And remember, when the Constitution and Bill of Rights was drafted cell phones didn’t exist. Perhaps freedom of speech should apply only to printed material and how loud someone can shout!

      1. @JT…And don’t forget Sexting should be a felony as well as being put on a sex predator list for life . (minors)
        Shouting without mechanical amplification .

    5. Breaking news, shooting/attempted murder took place at youtube headquarters in California. Perpetrator appears to be female, with her main intended victim being her boyfriend. Currently believed to have killed herself at the seen.

      Listened to it on my way home from work today. Some outlets are already trying to tone down that it looks like a woman perpetrated this, or stating that this is a first(and therefore not as news worthy compared to “toxic masculine violence”). I expect more coverage to begin tomorrow, at least briefly unless our media finds a way to spin a narrative from this. Should that fail, expect it to be dropped as Maryland was (Though I don’t predict that as it happened at YouTube), and more face time for David camera Hogg.

        1. Thanks. No matter who you are, two and a half months of working 12 hours a day will eventually lead to a grammatical error.

          Good catch

    6. During Chicago’s “so-called” anti-firearm protest, a number of students(?) ran across the street to loot and destroy a K-Mart store. No MSM coverage on that! We’re in a battle to save our country and culture. What amazes me is that the majority of our citizens are totally complacent and think nothing of it. The roots of this complacency grew from the 60’s when the socialist left took control of public and higher education. Education no longer exists…’s now indoctrination.

    7. Well constructed assessment Greg of Modus Operendi and the important distinction in the use of language to better understand just how an individual may be sueded into a belief that is wrongly based.

    8. Look at those kids in the picture. The real problem is with the species as a whole. We’ve stopped natural selection and the result can be clearly seen in the photo. You can’t take two people with I.Q.s of less than 100 and expect their kids to have higher I.Q.s, and these same people breed like rats while most smart and capable people today are only having one or two kids, usually later in life. Folks the idiots are outbreeding the best and the brightest at an alarming rate and these nitwit kids without a clue blindly following their “feelings” are the result because they can’t think. Look back several generations at the heroes of the nation, look back at the character of the majority of citizens and look at the majority of citizens today; it’s scary. We can hold out for a while longer if we work our butts off to do so, but in the long run, if the current trend continues, we’ll be outnumbered by the home-grown, home-bred sheep and there won’t be any rights or a Constitution left, only feel-good laws enforced by a totalitarian government.

    9. Ignorance is not an excuse. Would someone educate me on the meaning of “common sense gun laws”, considering that there are already over 20,000+ laws already in existence. The National Rifle Association and other pro-firearms groups have often cited the 20,000 firearms laws that are already on the books as reasons why more enforcement, not more legislation, is the answer to curb firearm violence. It looks like “common sense gun laws” already exist for the law-abiding citizens that have chosen to exercise their second amendment rights. So why have the activists, politicians and alike, not set up protests, against the criminal firearm users, public mental health issues, along with the legal and illegal drug users? They use the words “common sense”, Yet they really have no idea the meaning of those words in their simplest form. The largest bell with the greatest empty space, when rung creates the loudest Clank!

    10. These children have been taught for several generations that the United States is a democracy. Democracy is also known as mob rule and they certainly are a mob.
      The USA a constitutional republic with laws that are supposed to be in alignment with the constitution.
      The Constitution must be understood in context of the history going back to 1750 so all the events that formed the opinions of the Founders and the Patriots that fought the British, won independence. Then they formed a government that failed and then wrote a Constitution and created a form of government such as had never existed before or since. The USA is unique.
      The schools stopped teaching U.S. history in depth in the 1950-60s. The public, government run schools are following the Soviet pattern of education.
      The result is kids can do math with a calculator or laptop but they do not know how to use logical processes.
      Teachers don’t want to be armed [75%?] and logically that means that they are suicidal preferring to die unarmed when a madman decides to breach the metal detectors, security doors or other passive “security such as video cameras.
      I don’t think suicidal teachers should be in charge of the children or have the power to disarm the 25% of teachers who woud prefer to be able to defed the classroom.

      1. @Jim

        Love the comment so far. I do have a question to ask of you though, because you seem to be on the right track. Not being critical, just asking.

        What do you feel is our nation’s founding document?

        1. The Declaration of Independence first “official” document. Of course there are hundreds of letters and newspaper editorials between 1750 and 1776.
          The formal documents are the Constitution and amendments.
          People, don’t know the what and why… Slaves were counted as 3/5th not because they were “subhuman or inferiour” but because if slaves were counted as whole people the south would have had a majority in Congress and slavery would never have been outlawed. As it was importation of slaves became illegal in 1807 if I recall correctly.
          Some claim the Bible is a founding document but it was more of an inspiration than a founding document.

          1. @Jim Macklin

            Good response! You are correct in that the Declaration is our first and founding document. It details the reason for the colonies secession, the reasons governments are formed among men, and the innate unalienable rights all humans inherit upon their birth. Yes, it is Biblically inspired, as the revolution was induced from and born in the preaching given at the pulpits on sunday, but that was not our founding rather than our call to action. I hope you will read this to the end, and pass it on to others. In advance, for the above comments I congratulate you for being one of the few who are truly informed on this subject.

            Secondly, I feel it is an important distinction to make note that it is the Declaration that prescribes when documents such as the Constitution are to be created. This is important for the simple reason of determining what type of document the Constitution is. The correct legal term for this type of document is a “Charter.” This is extremely important and what I feel most people do not understand. The formation of a charter is such that the charter states the reason for creating a governing or operating body(in our case a federal government), the structure of that body and each divisions duties(legislative, executive, judicial), and the bylaws that those divisions MUST adhere to. It is because of this that the amendments are not actually rights. They are intended to be restrictions on the government to keep all the divisions of the body under the charter from violating or over reaching their authority limited to the extant that the bylaws state.

            It is the Declaration which states that rights are inherent in an individual from birth, not granted by governments. The Constitution itself recognizes this in several places, and places limits upon itself, first in the preamble that the power resides in the citizenry alone in all matters(referring to the right stated in the DoI that we have a right to establish or abolish governments, and at times a duty to do so), in Article 1 that the only powers granted to the branches ‘especially the legislative’ are to be limited to only those prescribed within the constitution itself, and finally most predominantly in the 9th and 10th amendments.

            Next, I believe the date specified by the Constitution is 1808, in Article 1, section 9 or 10 but I cant remember exactly which off hand. Yes, it was a power grab by the southern states, who were far less populated at the time as they were more agrarian in nature. What is funny, we are seeing it again right now, though not in the form of explicit slavery. California’s protest over the Census citizenship questions is linked directly to the 3/5ths idea in that if we only count citizens to distribute delegates, the millions of illegals there wont be able to be used in figuring their representation in seat numbers within the house. Funny how history repeats itself!!!

    11. The number of teens who are dying or being injured as a result of texting while driving has skyrocketed as mobile device technology has advanced. Researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park estimate more than 3,000 annual teen deaths nationwide from texting and 300,000 injuries.Do we ban cell phones, restrict the age to use a phone that will text or what? Kids lives>texting!

      1. According to NHTSA 11 deaths occur a day do to texting or cell phone use ages 16 to 24. You are spot on. The hypocrisy of these kids who want to turn a blind eye towards a real issue in their age group where they can truly make a difference. They are currently making additional plans to skip school while driving and texting.

      2. You would think that with all of this amassed information and under these circumstances that, WE, The People along with the parents of students would be counter-protesting these ignorant and mis-led kids in front of the schools and administration, demanding they ALL wake up to these facts!?!

    12. We need to seriously consider hardening the potential targets. MVAs have more security than schools. Federal and other state institutions have more security. Office buildings have more security. As a predicate let’s try entrances protected by metal detectors and armed guards. The new i.d. tags at Parkland seem to be a good idea but only if the entrances and exits are controlled. I have to agree with the kids that the transparent backpacks add nothing to the security of the school but do significantly invade privacy.

      1. @Pete …Don’t forget military recruiting centers, and bases and posts are GFZ’s . Who cares if the clear backpack’s invade their privacy . They didn’t care about someone else’s rights they just didn’t want it in their backyard.

    13. @Paracosm76:

      A paracosm is a term used to describe the phenomenon of an imaginary friend. More precisely, “A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations.Dec 16, 2011

      You just validated your position as WHOLY VOID! Nuff Said! DROPPING THE MIC!

    14. In the entire history of this nation I have yet to see ONE gun on the hot seat, (witness stand) in front of a jury, under prosecution, at trial in ANY Court of any level, nor have I found ANY RECORDS of ANY firearms being incarcerated in ANY penal institution. Until that time comes I will maintain my Marine Corps training, my hardware and my Second Amendment. Feel froggy? Kids the wife and kids or your dog goodbye before you come and try to disrupt my life or the life of my fellow law-abiding citizens!

    15. You said:
      “guns kill more people than car accidents in America. We’ve got a problem.”
      The problem is that’s false, unless you admit counting firearms suicides to get that number…
      The solution is getting cowards and fools out of the way of the duty and right of self defense.
      There can be no compromise with cowards and fools, they need to be left to get what they deserve, sorry. I plan to shoot back.
      Sir, don’t you wish you could have helped stop the slaughter, then and there, no waiting for the cops to come out of their hiding places or come after its all over when the zombie kills himself or has left the scene.
      If you are ever in that lonely place I hope you do your best. I wouldn’t presume to deny you adequate tools for the task.

      1. @cutterjack, you are a true American and Patriot and at any time I’ll stand at your side or watch your six!

        We, (America) loses every time a situation like this, when we run into the individualist that doesn’t look at the overall good of the nation and look at the big picture for the Cure of the problems we face! You do!

      2. Yes gun deaths do include suicide by gun. Not sure why you’d make a distinction there. People suicide by car as well but gee a gun is a lot more efficient.

        1. @JVC…More efficient? Seams one car took the lives of 5 off of a cliff and possibly 3 more unaccounted for. No injuries , none recovering in a hospital . That was in commifornia where guns are highly restricted.

          1. @JVC…OOPs tonight’s local propaganda said there were six kids and two adults in that car , all dead that’s 100% can’t beat that for efficiency . Just can’t trust the Fake News..

    16. So, Marc, You must be for restricting gun access for nut jobs, right? Background checks – you should have nothing against that, then.

      guns kill more people than car accidents in America. We’ve got a problem. /How do you propose addressing it? head in the sand?

      1. Guns kill more people than cars? You best go back to square one, don’t pass go, don’t collect any money because you haven’t learned a damn thing close to the truth! do your research and you wouldn’t look so stupid in a public forum making these kind of ignorant remarks.

        1. I think it’s you that better do some research. Yeah it’s shocking but gun deaths are far greater than deaths from car accidents. That’s how big this problem is. Unfortunately it is you that is ignorant.

      2. Only when you get those who Break the Law to Obey the Law 100% of the time would I consider ANYTHING YOU propose, because it’s “Feel Good Legislation”
        . Next is DEFINE “Nut Job” so We All know EXACTLY what You want the LEO’s to ENFORCE .. No “Background Check” would have Stopped ANY of the Butchery You claim to want to stop. Nor would the Total eradication of All firearms stop Suicides, . As evidenced by the Suicide Rates in Japan, for example
        The second Claim is Pure LIE, and Completely DISHONEST, especially if You take out the Suicides, and the Justifiable Homicides ( See Lawful defence of one’s Self), or are you SO Loony that you think no one has the right to defend themselves?
        The best i can explain it to folks of your Ilk is. MY Rights Don’t have a single thing to Do with YOUR “Feelings”. And I honestly could care less how YOU FEEL.
        I FEEL like You should be Requires to protect Myself, My Family, and My Property. The cost of your Failure to Do so would be Your Execution-Publicly. So What?
        My “Solution” is to Make SURE I Defend myself and My Own Family from Neo- Fascists Like You, who Always Know what’s Right for Others, but haven’t the Testicular Fortitude to Do the job yourself, and Snivel about those of Us who Can and WILL..
        You Are entitled to “Feel” whatever YOU Like, but to think I have to abide by Your Feelings is tantamount to Slavery,
        To prevent Slavery of Any kind I Served as an Infantryman in Viet Nam, Took an Oath to Defend the Constitution against All Enemies, Foriegn &Domestic, and will NEVER Surrender My GOD GIVEN RIGHTS To the likes of You. If It’s a Matter of Dying on My Feet, or Living on my Knees, Guess which it WILL Be.
        Only when the 2nd Amendment is “Constitutionally Repealed” will i willingly give up THAT Right. That is why you try to Destroy My Rights by Fiat. Not gonna Happen, Snowflake.
        YOU’ve got a Problem. And your proposals are putting Your “Head in the sand” so You can FEEL Better, but Solve Nothing. 100% Pure Virtue signaling.

      3. @Paracosm76:

        A paracosm is a term used to describe the phenomenon of an imaginary friend. More precisely, “A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations.Dec 16, 2011

        You just validated your position as WHOLY VOID! Muff Said! DROPPING THE MIC!

      4. Your major mistake in reasoning is to conflate auto ACCIDENTS with all firearm deaths. Firearm deaths include and are primarily suicides, criminal activity and other non-accidental incidents. There are many more times vehicle accidents than firearm accidents.

        There are 100 million+ firearms owners in the USA possessing 300 million+ firearms and Trillions of rounds of ammunition. Contrary to the propaganda of gun banners, if law-abiding gun owners were the major problem in our society, you would know about it.

        Conversely, violence-prone criminals will use any means to further their evil goals. If not guns, then blunt objects, knives, sharp tools, force of numbers, explosives, the choices are endless.

        Violence and killing have been a part of humanity’s existence since day one. The only thing that will ultimately stop criminal psychopaths or sociopaths dedicated to violence, is a greater force to counter their violence. Firearms are THE great personal equalizer, providing the weak, old, infirm or outnumbered the ability to prevail against evildoers, and thus they are the ultimate personal force for good!

        1. Amen. Cain killed Abel with a rock.

          Of course we’re the choir. We all realize the issue isn’t about guns. It’s about our rulers having total power. Our founding fathers knew the same thing

    17. If children can’t buy firearms until there 21. They should not be allowed to drive until they are 21 a vehicle is far more dangerous than a firearm. If they are not mature enough to obtain a firearm then they are to immature to vote until they are 21.

      1. Not should they be allowed to join the military! if 18 to 20 year olds are not worthy of being treated like men, then I say, NO to them defending and dying for our nation!

    18. I don’t feel,I think,I may feel hot or cold,wet or dry however everything else I think.

      Control them ( or remove some) things will
      get better real quick ! I’ve never seen a gun
      drive drunk and hit people ! I’ve never seen a gun
      beat their better half nearly or to death ! Guns don’t
      smuggle drugs into the country that kill people !
      SO ! Leave the POOR Gun Alone ! They Didn’t do it !

      1. While I can feel for Marc comments, it’s just not so simplistic. I too am a disabled Veteran and a staunch 2nd Amendment advocate, but a license to drive and the unfettered access to a 30 round magazine AR-15 by a young person who neuroscience has firmly identified does NOT reason as an adult until at least 21 years of age, in many cases older, is NOT the same thing at all. Were these young people the same people we grew up with in the 60’s/70’s, who had a moral compass and a general respect for authority, then I’d say YES, but we’re NOT talking about the same group at all. We’re talking about a generation of self absorbed, misogynistic, overly sensitive malcontents who have been spoon-feed their entire young life that they poop golden turds and can do no wrong. Then they reach “adulthood” and find out Mommy and Daddy lied to them, life is hard and it can SUCK, and they just can’t deal with it. Then they again want and need the same undivided attention they got from Mommy & Daddy, didn’t get it, so let’s go kill someone for I have no idea what human life is valued at these days anyway. Yes, you’re right Guns aren’t really the problem, people are, however until we get not only a better class of young people, but more importantly, a better class of Politician, then we have to at least consider raising the Gun purchase age limit to 21 unless they have a DD214 in their hand. We have a national database already, the problem is overworked and understaffed local LEOs who don’t input info on local problem children into the database as they should, then “Little Johnny” can go to Walmart and buy an AR-15, a couple 30 rnd. magazines and box os .223 ammo and kill 17 people they’ve never met at a high school they were kicked out of. I do empathize (going with the above story) with Marc, but to take that stance is the exact reason why Liberal nut cases are calling conservative, gun-owning Veterans “Child Killers”. You need to adjust your tone, not your beliefs.

        1. Baloney, pure and unadulterated. So, you say all that’s needed is to raise the age limit? Hmm, well then, how about we just make it illegal to commit murder before you’re 21? If we do that the rest of the 19 year olds and younger who ARE law abiding could then continue to hunt with their parents! The 19 year old woman, who moves out on her own would be able to buy a firearm to prevent being raped and/or murdered.

          Your entire premise is based on a Liberal philosophy that states “we need just one more law” and everything will be Disneyland. Of course that’s how we wound up with more than 22,000 gun laws. No, the solution is to repeal laws that duplicate existing State and Federal Law and only impact the law abiding citizen not the criminal. Gee, that would be ALL gun laws!

          YOU need to adjust your thinking to the following: inanimate objects do not commit crimes. Firearms are the ONLY inanimate object where we FORCE law abiding citizens to prove they are not criminals befor they can own them, why is that? We don’t do it for knives, machetes, rental trucks, pressure cookers or any other object, why this?

          YOU have fallen into the false narrative not the rest of us. YOUR attempt at reasonableness is the height of being unreasonable because it denies a basic human Right.

        2. @GrumpyMsgt
          I am not for More gun Laws !
          I stated we already had them !
          The other part Nut job !
          No sane person would randomly
          kill people for no reason,
          Hence nut job !
          The signs were there for that kid !
          Mental health is a problem and it
          got missed on him. The DVA Flags
          Vets with PTSD on NICS so they can’t
          buy a gun. As far as 21yrs old to buy a
          gun, I agee with you (dd214)
          Look ! I turned 17 and Enlisted in the Corps.
          spent time in S.E.A. like you so I do get ya.
          I do believe something got twisted in type.

        3. @MSG, If the government could take away a Constitutional Civil Right, until one is twenty-one, then the government could take away any or all of your Constitutional Civil Rights until you are ninety-five. Oh, and
          .223? You mean 5.56, right?
          Nor will I cave because a so called liberals calls me a bad name. I’d be more upset if one of the rats in the hay barn called me a bad name. Oh, and thank you for your service.

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