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rebuttals to "Gun Control"
"He's discovered that if he writes something obnoxious about gun owners it rewards him with massive hits," I told readers at my blog, "The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance," explaining why I wasn't going to link to the latest anti-gun Esquire screed by Lt. Col. Robert Bateman. "I'm not going to help him get them.
"The best way to shut him down is ignore him," I explained. "It's not like the hive minds that agree with him aren't already lost."
Besides, I'd already written about that character before and suspected from the way his piece was being shared with irate gun owners that he'd discovered a trick not unlike a lab chimp pressing a colored button to release a food pellet. If he's going to fling offensive materials, let him do so without an audience to continue encouraging foul output.
It may appear I'm going back on that decision with this article, but it's not Bateman's subversive attention-seeking that caught my eye this time. It's a more interesting reader comment left under the column by someone who agrees with him, and one that gives us a revealing insight into what passes for the mind of a hostile anti-gunner.
"A couple years ago, a gun nut I know was 'playfully' asking me why I didn't get a gun and do some target shooting, which he claimed was 'fun,'" Top Commenter Thomas Cleaver recalled. "I asked him 'If I get a gun, will it be OK to shoot you? Don't worry, I've shot and killed people before, and I'm way past getting upset at seeing you lying on the floor with your brains splattered on the wall. Been there long ago.'
"We have never talked about guns since. (And yes, I have shot and killed people. In Vietnam. And that's why I haven't had a gun since.)," Cleaver explained. "But there are days when I think that may turn out to be the only way we deal with these fatheaded morons."
There's certainly not much point in having that "national conversation on guns" the antis are duplicitously asking for with this guy, is there? His sentiment does raise other questions, though.
For instance, why are some anti-gunners such apparently violent head cases who fear they will lose control, and who then come up with justifications for doing so? What does that say about why they cannot, they must not trust anyone else? And isn't Cleaver's admission an argument for arming ourselves in the face of such potential homicidal maniacs walking freely among us?
But why single him out? There are plenty of deranged and ethically-impaired trolls out there. What makes him noteworthy?
"I also spent three years in the Navy in naval aviation as an enlisted sailor in the years immediately prior to and during the outbreak of that waste of 58,000 American lives and God knows how many Asian lives, Vietnam," he says in his Amazon.com bio.
He was working in the operations office for an admiral, he relates in an online recollection of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Some comment posters are not seeing a connection, and are asking Cleaver to elaborate on when and where he "shot and killed people before," but so far, he has not responded. Still, as interesting as learning that bit of personal history might be, it's his current state of mind that's most revealing, especially if he believes "there are days when I think [shooting and killing gun owners] may turn out to be the only way."
His violently-expressed and bizarre hostility appears to be a classic case of what Sarah Thompson, M.D. pointed out in her brilliant and insightful analysis, "Raging against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines the Anti-Gun Mentality."
Looked at in that context, what else would we expect from a raging "progressive" who evidently believes "Humans a cancer on the planet"? Someone who, incidentally, revealed in the bio blurb on his above-linked Navy experiences that "he does take pride that he personally raised $350,000 for Obama in 2008"...?
If it's true, as that blurb also tells us, that he "is frequently accused by his fellow lefties of not being left enough," one can only imagine what they must have in mind for any who believe in a different relationship with government than the one they demand. Although we do have history to give us some clues...
David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.