Well dam the American River, two blogs in less than 24 hours! After this, I'm turning off the computer for a few days to catch up on work!

This blog post today has a longer than usual lead-in. You've been warned.

This is the result of getting into an exchange with someone I know from one of my living history groups about gun control. I like the guy. Known him for years, at least in the context of getting dressed up in the height of 13th century Anglo-Norman fashions. And I admire him, especially for sticking with doing organized first aid in a group we both belong to when I gave up on it.

Regardless, we got into an interesting exchange this morning on Facebook, and I realized in the fourth paragraph of my second reply to him that we have achieved fodder for my little blog. Yes, this does mean I will pick on my friends on my blog.

Here is the original exchange followed by responses by my friend Dex and me, the last of which is only to be found here.

The Opening FB Post:

Oh My Grahamgrackers! Somebody who actually gets it!!! (just my personal opinion, mind you). The problem is not assault weapons - it's magazines! http://www.salon.com/2013/02/06/dont_mourn_the_assault_weapons_bans_impending_demise/

Dex's First Reply:

... Aside from the fact that the writer is still an anti-gunner who wants to ban standard magazines.

My Response:

"The source of the citation is not the citation."

There is nothing in the article on banning anything other than large capacity magazines and that I can certainly live with. I don't give a rat's tuckuss if an anti-gun nut wants to write an article with content I can agree on - in fact, I like it when people like that are willing to find usable compromises. I do not need 30 rounds to go hunting with my AR-15 (yes, I own one - I like a gun that will take down a white tail or bear at extended range that doesn't knock my short self on my butt when I fire it.)

We were doing fine here until Dex replied. It is his reply that you're about to read that is the real subject of today's blog post.

Here's his last response:

Generally, for hunting, you can only use a 5-round mag in most states anyway. I don't hunt, and my 30-round mags aren't for hunting. Most of the time, they're for target shooting. If they do get used for "hunting", it won't be critters with four legs.

Whenever antis talk about "compromise", it's similar to a mugger confronting someone, and finding out to his surprise that the potential victim has means to resist:

"Gimme everything you have!"

gun drawn "NO."

"Okay, let's compromise. Give me all your money, and you can keep your jewelry. And I won't rape you."


"You're being unreasonable!"

And now my reply (not on Facebook):

Dex: In debate, your "argument" has just used what are known as the "random comment" and "subliminal message" tactics (e.g., see http://www.rinkworks.com/persuasive/http://www.rinkworks.com/persuasive/). I must respectfully object to both. One is a diversionary tactic not dealing with the matter under discussion (i.e., large capacity magazines) and the other is the appeal to emotion and a declaration of your community of affiliation in this debate. Neither is an argument based on consideration of facts. After knowing me for almost 20 years and seeing with what little patience I can have with mistakes people make on newsgroups and mailing lists we both belong to, I would hope you would know by now that I do not have time in my life for any arguments not based on evidence and facts that this scientist can sit back and consider in a rational manner. It is my personal choice not to engage in discourse on things that really matter in ways that would fail the tests of logical rigor that exist in the world of scientific research. Yes, that is a high standard but one that anyone can achieve. Anyone can argue from facts.

There is a third and fourth objection I have to your anti-compromise argument. Third objection: you are implying that identity of a disputant is more important than the basis of any dispute. You are arguing that one should never compromise with someone you have grounds to object to - simply because you have a reason not to like them and regardless of context. You are essentially saying that no mugger can be compromised with for no other reason than being a mugger. This is the same as saying there is no compromising with Alex Seitz-Wald, author of the Salon.com article that started this thread just because he is an anti-gun nut.

What you are saying by implication here is that you will not considering a compromise with someone you don't like regardless of context. I leave it to you ponder if this is reasonable.

Objection 4: your argument makes the unstated assumption that context is not important in compromise. I do not agree here. Context is important, especially in situations where compromise may be advisable. I do not accept that context is not relevant in the assessment of whether a compromise might be advisable. To formulate my rebuttal, allow me the use of your example: compromise during mugging.

A mugging is not a context where compromise of the sort you outlined is advisable. In fact, compromise of any sort is not advisable in such circumstances. It is unreasonable to compromise in that situation, not because the other party involved is a mugger and a criminal - but because I'm in the middle of being mugged! The profession of the perpetrator of the crime is secondary to the fact of the crime being committed. It is the act of the crime that matters. It is possible the mugger wasn't even a mugger before the very act of mugging me. It's the crime that matters, not the label we apply to the person committing a criminal act.

In devaluating context, you have equated a violent crime with a non-criminal political debate as platforms where one might consider compromise as reasonable responses. Sorry, it doesn't work as a supportable way to argue your case.

Personal opinion: The position of "no compromise because I hate your political stance" is a problem in our current political environment, one that evidence shows is harming this country. Please reconsider your stance in this regard - or at least formulate some better arguments. You're not an idiot, Dex. You are better than this.