I almost got sucked back in . . .

. . . but I’m going to stop here, with this post. It’s pretty clear to me — much like with religion — I’ll never have a reasonable conversation about guns.

Frankly, that’s pretty sad. If you — the avid anti-gunner — can’t discuss things with me, can’t convince me with sounds arguments and data (as opposed to emotions and calls to utopian ideals and accusations of having the blood of children on my hands) then you have zero chance of ever convincing the majority of people who own guns. 

Sad, I am, and a little surprised. I can see me arguing forever the pro-choice/pro-life argument because I know I’m dealing with people who have no wiggle room. The current interpretation of their chosen holy book denies them the choice (despite the Bible having instructions on how to induce an abortion; directly from god, no less). 

I just don’t see the gun debate as dogmatic but more and more I stand corrected in my view. It is just as dogmatic; perhaps more so because there are so few centrists. For me, the two issues are closely related. I’m talking about individual freedom, responsibility, and choice. 

But, like I said, I’m done. I said it once before and for the most part, I’m not really back in it (although I did have a run-in on a separate blog; I think I nipped it in the bud and as a bonus, I may have made an enemy of what appears to me as an unstable and excitable person). 

However, I’ll do something unusual. I’ll recommend the blog of a sociologist: https://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/about/

As a way of introduction, I can point you to a couple of recent posts that might be of interest.

The latest post is his contribution to an English publication (the country, not the language, although it’s both):

Another post lists his published articles:

There’s also a published paper freely available:

He also has a series reviewing the Pew Center 2017 survey on guns:



(the above points to a number seldom discussed; roughly 17M Americans cite using a gun for defensive purposes)


This post shares results that will surprise no one:

There are plenty of interesting posts that deal with the sociology of guns in America. Many of the ones I linked above just deal with data and have no particular slant (at least, none I saw). 

The only reason I’m posting this is to further the conversation and understanding without bringing my own views and my abrasive and increasingly short patience into the mix. This is data; it should interest everyone but I bet the majority will gloss right over it. 

I’ll continue responding to comments, but at this point, if you don’t understand my position on guns after my voluminous writings on the subject, no amount of additional discussion will make any difference to either of us. 

Honest, present me with a case, back it up with data (try and get original data like the FBI crime statistics and not some cherry-picked portion of it), and I guarantee that a rational argument could change my mind. Why, I once believed I should be able to own an atomic bomb if I so desired, but I’ve since backed off from that. I’ll settle for one of THESE. Oh, I want one of THESE, as well. If you’ve ever had groundhogs eat all your flowers, you’ll understand why.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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40 Responses to I almost got sucked back in . . .

  1. disperser says:

    I almost forgot . . . I came across a few things that I found interesting. One is more irony than humor . . .

    . . . but this next one is strictly humor:


  2. Well, it seems to me to be a completely pointless debate between two irreconcilable points of view.
    I have only ever had one encounter with a gun in Cortez, Colorado. This is how I recorded the incident in a blog post…

    After evening meal we sat in a busy bar and were joined at our table by a couple from the reservation visiting town for a Sunday big night out. He was already drunk and his objective was clearly to become completely and thoroughly paralytic. He was amiable enough and we enjoyed a few minutes of conversation, although this was mainly with his wife who remained lucid throughout, and we talked about our holiday and they were most interested to know about England and specifically London.

    As he became more inebriated his volume control broke and although she worked hard not to get him too excited he started to become a bit of a nuisance. When the waitress came by he insisted on buying us all a drink and then the subject turned to firearms, ‘What sort of a gun have you got?’ he asked and we explained to him that we don’t generally carry six shooters in England (unless you live in Nottingham) and he seemed genuinely surprised, ‘I’ve got a gun!’ he proudly announced and drew back his immaculate buckskin jacket to reveal a colt 45 sitting snugly in a holster under his arm. OMG! The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened and I was all rendered completely speechless. It was all a bit surreal and scary, we were sitting with a pissed up Indian warrior with a loaded pistol. I don’t know if he was supposed to be on the loose in town with a sidearm, I suspect not, because very shortly after this his wife bundled him away and out of the door and I for one was glad that he had gone!

    Liked by 2 people

    • disperser says:

      Well, he broke the law and would have had his weapon confiscated and spent some time in jail if the cops would have been called (which they should have been). If he had a concealed weapons permit, he would have lost it. You’re not supposed to carry while under the influence. Not only that, what he did is called brandishing and is also illegal except in specific cases of self-defense (difficult to prove).

      It’s illegal to carry a gun and drink everywhere I know of in Colorado (and I lived in Colorado) and in all the states I know of as it is illegal to enter an establishment where the primary income is the serving of booze (a bar but also some restaurants).

      I’m also sure Indians don’t get a pass. I don’t know what to tell you besides that.

      Now, as an aside, you can also use this incident as an argument against alcohol consumption.

      Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I also don’t agree it’s pointless. Granted, it will become pointless to me after I answer the last comment on these posts, but it seems to matter to a lot of people.

      What is pointless is holding one’s breath until things turn out the way one’s wants, especially when what one wants doesn’t reflect the realities of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eddy Winko says:

      I had a very similar experience in Boston where the group we were drinking with took out respective guns in a show of, I’m not sure what, but an array of hardware was on show.
      It just so happened that we were accompanied by an off duty cop, who actually joined in with this macho bullshit display. So much for the law, or maybe its different in Boston.
      I think the British and I’d say the most part of Europe, find the gun culture of the US very hard to grasp.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes we do, and best I think that we don’t stick our noses into a debate that doesn’t concern us!

        Liked by 1 person

        • disperser says:

          No offense, but every British person (and other European national) I’ve ever met made it a point to tell me all about the difference between the US and their home countries when it comes to guns.

          . . . it never came across as a favorable comparison . . . Not that I ever took offense.


        • I guarantee that I wouldn’t mention it!


        • Eddy Winko says:

          Believe me when I say I didn’t mean to!

          Liked by 1 person

        • disperser says:

          Again, I take no offense and I’m as mystified with the continent’s willingness to cede their right to self-defense and put it in the hands of others as you guys are with my desire to retain what I consider both a right and a duty.

          I don’t actually mind debating foreign nationals about guns. Or, not even debating. I’ve had others just e-mail me to ask me questions. We might not agree, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it.

          But yes, we are at an impasse on the whole self-defense thing.


      • disperser says:

        In thirty years that I’ve been around people who owned guns, I’ve never experienced anyone taking guns out in public or even bragging about them. The only time I’ve ever seen anyone discuss – not brag – guns and have them out for examination by others was either at the range or at someone’s house, and the latter only for hunting guns.

        What you described is not any gun culture (or cops) I’m familiar with.

        Safety and rules were always number one priority. I don’t doubt it by your experiences are well off the norm from anyone I’ve ever known.

        Maybe I don’t know the right kind of people.


      • disperser says:

        As for the “gun culture” if interested, the above links might be useful.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. GP Cox says:

    People are set in their ways and often debates on such a high volatile subject only cause more trouble. Your first added picture for instance – that 19 year old isn’t a pampered college kid still being supported by mom and dad. There is also England to look at – no guns. BUT they now have a rise in knife and explosives used in crime. Can ANY of us win? If there’s a way to calm this world down – I’d love to hear it.


    • disperser says:

      It not a single simple answer, but yes, that may be a contributor.

      One of the things I hear (I just heard it on a podcast) is “what kind of message are we sending kids when they have to walk through metal detectors and armed guards?”

      My flippant answer is “we’re keeping you safe”.

      But, there’s a more measured answer as well.

      By all metrics, life has gotten better. Seriously. Read “The Better Angels of Our Nature”.

      But, while that may be a trend, it’s not an absolute. You can read stories of people who remember living in the 50s and never locking their doors. Now, they lock their doors. people think nothing of locking their doors. It doesn’t cause emotional angst; it’s just something we do. And why have we changed?

      Crime spiked between 1960 and peaked in 1990 and has been falling since (we’ve had a slight uptick in the last two years).

      It’s interesting reading, but if I want to be really hardcore about it . . . it’s the baby boomers.
      The crime increase and subsequent decline tracks pretty good the Boomer’s transition from teens, to their 20s, 30s, and so on.

      We had another spike in the birth rate in the early to middle 90s and it will be interesting to know if this latest uptick in crime will follow that same trend (so far, it seems to).

      However, the birth rate was much higher before the Baby Boomers, but violent crime was lower. So, there are other factors at play. Some say declining moral values, but that doesn’t seem to track very well. What does seem to track is drug use, alcohol use, and urbanization (concentrations of people and larger cities).

      It will be interesting to see the full effect of the opioid crisis, not just in terms of direct effects, but of children born from parents who are users.

      We can read about this:

      Then read about this:

      And then wonder if many of the “disorders” we see in people have a direct correlation to epidemics of substance abuse (drugs or alcohol).

      In that respect, the availability of guns is a concern, but when people say limit access to mentally unstable individuals, they just don’t realize the inherent difficulty in that statement.

      It’s true that we need to do something, but it’s not productive when someone points to one or two vague ideas and that’s all they want to look at.


      • GP Cox says:

        Each generation wanted to make things easier for their kids, and now it’s generated down to a bunch of self-centered babies who want everything without the effort to earn it. Could you imagine a Millennial in the Great Depression?


  4. hinterlanded says:

    I think GP Cox has a point. It’s not the guns or the knives or the explosives…it’s us and the way we treat each other. If every weapon vanished overnight we could knock each over in our cars and if they went we could bash each other with sticks and stones. How do we calm this world down – we can only start with ourselves can’t we, then there might be one more decent human on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      What many people fail to do when debating gun policies is to look at violence and specifically, the history of violent crime in the US (it’s not dissimilar to other countries, but they can look at their own).

      My biggest gripe with people who would ask me to forego having a gun is that they seem perfectly willing to get beat up, robbed, and/or stabbed for the sake of their principles.

      Fine, but I don’t want to get beat up, robbed, and/or stabbed for the sake of their principles.

      Fundamentally, I don’t trust people to not get violent. Not everyone, of course, and I’ll do my part to avoid violence, but if it comes my way, I want more than principles on my side keeping me and mine from getting hurt.


      • hinterlanded says:

        No gripe with anything you do. Just known too much violence. I get it that it’s different for men particularly when the responsibility to protect loved ones is at play. The thing is I don’t want to live in fear, or worse, have to become like those that would attack us. I know my take is idealistic and I think it would take a few generations to turn things around but we have to start somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • disperser says:

        We can hope (although I’m pessimistic) for the better future, but we still have to deal with the present. The refusal to admit certain current realities even as we work toward a better future is what I find short-sighted and dangerous. Thanks for your comment.


  5. mvschulze says:

    Am following these posts and comments with interest, an engaging subject in these increasingly contentious times. At this point, I’m surprised this conversation’s relative omission of NRA influence. And additional thoughts: Mr. Trump’s current solution of arming teachers conforms nicely with the NRA posture of “stability via weapons vs. weapons.” Roy Moore, I’m sure a fine NRA contributor, is proud to show off his gun. Maybe the subject of the NRA if off center a bit on these discussions….but, then again, I’m not sure about influence peddling. M

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Here’s a link of the open contributions:

      However, like with any organization, I’ll caution against looking at the NRA as a block. The NRA is made up of people (and no, I no longer belong and haven’t for many years).

      Especially, I resist the narrative they buy influence. If money were the only issue, all it would take is for Gates or Oprah or any other well-off proponent of liberal values to part with a few of their many billions and buy the lot. Literally, buy each and every senator and congressman.

      But, it doesn’t work like that. The money has to buy votes and those votes come from gun owners. The power of the NRA comes from the voters.

      The current NRA is very extreme in its views and while I won’t defend it, I can explain why.

      The members of the once “moderate” NRA felt they got taken advantage of. The NRA used to support gun control, but they essentially got taken advantage of. Specifically, by the AWB (assault weapons ban which was and still is a joke; a piece of feel-good legislation that did nothing to curb gun violence and just pissed off lawful gun owners). You can read various accounts, and some will differ in the details, but I can tell you what many members (and non-members) currently believe and why they are so uncompromising.

      Actually, read this:

      When (mostly) liberal proponents of gun control say: guns are evil and should be abolished and the Second Amendment has outlived its usefulness, you can bet gun owners believe them. Heck, I believe them. We just don’t agree.

      Gun owners don’t see the compromise on the other side which hardens them against any compromise in their own position. To be fair, I’ve also personally heard it; namely, someone tells me they see no reason why I should be able to own a gun and that guns are evil and should be banished from society. Period. End of story. I still hear it.

      That’s an opinion I don’t happen to share. I have legitimate reasons for my views which the anti-gun crowd doesn’t want to hear, and the conversation stops when I’m accused of having the blood of children on my hand.

      Side note: people don’t like it when I point out they have the blood of countless deaths and misery on the hand that’s holding their beer or glass of booze. But, that’s another story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvschulze says:

        I looked at a few of the links in your original post, and responses – and much of it is… deep! There is a lot of material, a lot of information, some of which in itself could be intentionally or unintentionally biased one way or another, to a little or greater degree, and much of which yields pertinent and accurate data – but in the end, it all is subject to individual interpretation.
        Interesting, and thought-provoking post. M :-)


      • disperser says:

        Most data can be double-checked at the source. If you don’t agree with how it’s interpreted (by either side), you can process your own raw numbers.

        As for biased views . . . every view about every important and complicated subject is biased one way or the other. The only bias you need to be aware of is your own; namely, try — as best you can — to assess an argument fairly.

        Not saying it can be done all the time, but that’s the only way we can go through life, and it applies to everything. If someone tells me cider vinegar is good for my sore throat, I’m going to check that out, I’ll apply my own experiences, and perhaps use some common sense before chugging a glass of cider vinegar. That process in spades when it comes to even more important and far-reaching subjects.

        I’ve written about it before: yes, I’m biased. But, the arguments thrown my way bear no resemblance to reality I can see, read about, and have experienced. If someone gives me a good argument, I’ll stand by their side and hold up the sign they’re waving.


        • disperser says:

          I respect you, so I’m not going to be snarky or insulting or dismissive.

          I’ll just quote a passage:
          “To constitute sound, life-preserving legislation, restrictions on the availability of guns and ammunition needn’t prevent all gun-related carnage.”

          I agree. Gun owners agree.

          I’m tired of repeating it, but sure, ban “assault weapons”. Limit magazine capacity. But when I ask you what you intend on doing in the aftermath of the next attack, what’s your answer?

          At this point, I would support banning certain weapons (even though I think it’s stupid; pick any number of them) and limit magazines (even though I think it’s stupid) and raising the age limit (even though that’s ultra stupid) IF — and this is a big IF — we agree to put measures in place to secure schools and give the means for people in those schools to counteract active threats as they happen.

          I could add that we enforce existing guns laws and prosecute people who use a gun in a crime under federal rather than state laws and put them away forever . . . but, that’s all pie in the sky stuff. No one is pushing for that other than, you know, them evil gun owners, the ones who are lawful citizens.

          But, I have a further question . . . when the next attack does happen, what other measures are we going to talk about? Because, to get the measures you want passed, you have to both convince people they will be effective (not absolute; just make a significant improvement) AND you have to assure people who have guns, that it’s not just the first in a long chain of bans each addressing weapons used after the ban (shotguns, .22 rifles and pistols currently being at the bottom of that list and just as deadly).

          And that still leaves the question of what to do now. Not next week. Now. Not after we debate the terms of all these bans. Now. Tomorrow.

          Would you believe not one person took me up on my challenge? I doubt if even two people read all of the information on just one attack (which happens to be the spark for a series of copycats and probably more to come). Here’s the link again:


          Whether people like to admit it or not, it’s a triage situation. First, you do what you can to stop the hemorrhaging. Meanwhile, you prep the operation room, call the doctors, assemble nurses, and work to assure the operation to fix the damage will be a success. A part of that is ensuring the doctor and nurses are capable of getting the job done.

          I just had — yet again — Australia thrown in my face. See? they said. It can be done. Yes, there, without a Second Amendment and in a fairly homogeneous population of 25 million with a different culture and history.

          Look at England, they say (but, you know, forget the bombings and the fact that crime is on the rise and that many cops there favor changing the no guns policy) if they can do it, why not us? Again, no Second Amendment (or First, or Fourth, I could go on).

          To my gun-crazed mind, it’s the equivalent of having a veterinarian operate on a person because, you know, they did such a good job on that horse that was sick.

          Finally, what exactly constitutes “sound, life-preserving legislation”? Because, I got to tell you; even excluding politicians and special interests people, opinions of the experts (law enforcement, sociologists, lawyers) vary significantly and are often contradictory.

          People want data, but the very people we’re asking for data are telling us that school attacks are an anomaly and each one is unique. In fact, they will tell you that it’s useless formulating legislature based on those attacks precisely because they are anomalies.

          We can talk about the cause and read literally hundreds of studies and it won’t help predict or stop the next one.

          . . . I’m beginning to get worked up, so let me step back.

          Sure, gun control. Sure, ban weapons. You won’t stop violence and we already know that while the majority of people want gun control (including me) also are against banning all guns (also me).

          The frustration I feel is that of someone who wants to address reality but has to argue a fantasy.

          I SHOULD be able to live in my house without locks. I SHOULD be able to trust that none of my neighbors or strangers would steal from me. I SHOULD be able to trust that my neighbors or strangers would never harm me or mine. I SHOULD live in a world where the strong don’t prey on the weak, where humans are not prone to violence, where everyone — and most of all, every child — is safe.

          How long do I have to hold my breath before that world becomes reality?


  6. Emily Scott says:

    There is possibly little point in arguing with anyone about anything, as research suggests that arguing with someone who has a strongly held belief will only reinforce that belief for them. And when doing our own research, it’s very difficult not to be swayed by confirmation bias, even if you think you’re remaining neutral and objective.

    The data does suggest that most Americans have weapons for defensive reasons only. But in a way perhaps that’s irrelevant, because what matters is how the majority can be protected from the very few who turn their weapons on others. Across the world those few are almost always men and usually young men or teenagers. Why? If we as a species could get to the bottom of that and do something to change it then the world would be a safer place.

    I feel fortunate indeed to have a child sleeping safely upstairs. My heart goes out to those who have had their children taken from them. The violence is sickening.

    Liked by 2 people

    • disperser says:

      You and I have discussed this before . . . I don’t know that we can ever have clear answers.

      The depressing conclusion is that humans are inherently violent and that those violent tendencies are easily fired up by tweaking levers evolution has added to most species and especially social species. Fear of the other, distrust of people not in our own group, distrust of people who don’t look like us, competition for resources, the perceived or real disparity between groups of people, and a host of other “natural” causes for violence.

      Those levers are easily manipulated by political, religious, and social groups for various personal and/or group benefits.

      And, if that is not enough, the spectrum of human psychology encompasses everything between someone who has empathy and someone who is a sociopath/psychopath.

      And, if that is still not enough, what humans are exposed to (experience) can amplify or diminish those innate tendencies and make them more accepting of extreme behaviors (as long as they’re not directed toward themselves).

      I don’t expect any easy answers but I also worry about the immediate future because some of these levers are being purposefully pushed and some are being pushed by circumstances that show no signs of improving and add to the pressures that individuals and groups experience.

      Let’s just say I’m not optimistic. For Europe, I’m even less optimistic because of the massive migration of people with vastly different social, cultural, economic, and religious outlooks. While I believe diversity is a good thing, forced diversity over a very short period of time and with little to no regard toward assimilation . . . well, that seems (to me) a huge recipe for disaster and potential human misery that we’ve not seen in a long while.

      I hope I’m wrong.


  7. paolsoren says:

    And there is no way talking about Australia will change anything. We are different. and I haven’t anything constructive to say.
    You want irony! Try this on a million different ways

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aw — I was looking forward to more discussion on guns! Thanks for the links in this and your prior post. I have two things to do this weekend: (1) click on all of those links in your two posts (and read the articles) and (2) do my taxes. Wish me luck in getting both done!


    • disperser says:

      I tell you what . . . I’m sure I’ve come across as a raving wannabe-gun-slinging maniac in these discussions. I’ll do one more post trying less to present one side or the other, but rather, exploring what we could and could not do from strictly a legal point (understanding I’m not a lawyer).


      • [this reply is to your comment of 25 February above] Thanks for not being snarky! I have read all of your Columbine links and I have also read your gun culture links on your other post. I am now about half-way through all of your links. So far it has taken me about 5 hours. I plan to get through them all but it will probably take another day or so. That link I posted was found at the end of the CNBC article for the link that you posted. It was the first item on a list of related articles and so I read that article, too. Pardon me for being behind. I haven’t even read your latest post yet. I would like to continue this discussion after I catch up on my reading. Would you consider continuing via private email?


      • disperser says:

        Sure. I’m all for discussion and exchanges of information and opinions.

        Just so you know, I don’t mind doing it here as well. For one, it offers potentially useful information (warts and all) for all to see, but it may also draw in more people.

        That said, I absolutely don’t mind taking this offline. Not just with you, but with everyone who may feel like it.


  9. I’m not a gun lover and I’m not really equipped to join in this discussion


    • disperser says:

      Well, I can’t say I love guns in the strict sense of the word. I find them useful tools. I’m not afraid of guns. I think they have a place in my life. Love? Nope. Like? Yes. Enjoy? Yes.

      As for you not joining the discussion . . . good decision.

      Liked by 1 person

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