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Cap Pistols, Gun Control, and Ethics

Written by Gary North on February 8, 2013

Gary North’s Reality Check

It never ceases to amaze me how many articles that we can find on Wikipedia. Rare is the case when I search for a topic, type in wiki, and the first article that my search engine discovers is not a Wikipedia article on exactly that topic.

I searched for “cap pistol” recently. I got an article “cap gun.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_gun)

I was curious about the history of the toy. I grew up in the era of the cap pistol. I can only remember one time when I got a holster and cap pistol combination. I was probably seven years old. I played with it for a long time. As with the few toys of our youth that we actually remember, I wish I had saved the set. It would no doubt be worth a lot of money if it was in good shape.

I had long thought that the government intervened to prohibit shiny steel toy pistols because of the possibility that the toys would be used to commit crimes. According to Wikipedia, I was wrong.

Today, cap guns and other toy guns in the United States must be manufactured with a bright orange, red, or yellow tip placed over the “muzzle” of the cap gun, or with the entire gun made in these or other bright colors. Laws requiring these markings were made because of incidents where civilians – usually children or teenagers – were killed by police officers when the officers thought they saw real guns. While these incidents were rare, lawmakers decided that toy guns must be marked so they cannot be mistaken for real guns.

Here we have a situation in which the government is trying to protect innocent people from the government. I keep wondering: “Who would be so stupid as to pull a toy pistol on a policeman who was pointing a real pistol at him?” Is this sort of thing so common that the anti-gun voting bloc took action to kill toy pistols? I doubt it. But it makes a good excuse. The war against guns is a comprehensive cultural war.

The article said that the era of the toy pistol was from 1945 to 1965. After 1965, the popularity of television Westerns began to decline.

I grew up on TV Westerns. Anyone born after 1900 grew up on movie Westerns. Low-budget B-Westerns were the staple of Saturday matinees. They were popular with kids of all ages. The first dramatic moving picture, The Great Train Robbery, was a Western. But they faded in popularity after 1965. Why was that?


I think the heart of the Western’s popularity was this. The classic Western has clearly identifiable moral agents and moral choices. There were good guys and bad guys. We like to say that the good guys wore white hats, and the bad guys wore black hats. That was easy to say when most low-budget Westerns were in black and white. Colored hats all looked black. There were a few good guys who were dressed in black, such as Lash LaRue, but not that many. The most famous good guy who wore all black was Hopalong Cassidy, the white-haired, two-gun geezer. He became the first TV cowboy to create a national mania in the late 1940s. We all wanted to be Hoppy. (As Steve Gillette has said, we never intended to look like him.)

After 1965, entertainment became less and less black and white ethically and more and more gray. The moral choices were not so clearly contrasted. The heroes of the silver screen were bad guys. There had been some of this in the gangster films of the 1930s, but the bad guys always came to a bad end. But there was a major problem with gangster films. Outlaws armed with machine guns could be handled only by government agents: G-men. The state was seen as the ultimate protector. Why? Because the federal government outlawed machine guns. Then only gangsters and G-men had machine guns. The public was caught in the crossfire.

That is what gun control advocates prefer: the public caught in the crossfire.

The kind of moral universe in which I grew up, in which good guys were armed and dangerous, became politically and culturally incorrect after 1965. Maybe good guys carried a badge. Maybe they didn’t. But they carried a gun, the preposterous Destry excepted.

I remember talking with James Arness about this change. This was probably sometime around 1983. I was lecturing at a conference, and he was in attendance. He had been the most famous cowboy television personality, because Gunsmoke ran for 20 years, 1955-1975, the longest-running dramatic series of the era. He said that when he first started out, he was allowed to shoot the bad guys. By the end, he said, “I was only allowed to threaten them with my special decoder ring.”

The opening scene of Gunsmoke was a shootout.

(To see the video clip, click the link.)

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69 thoughts on “Cap Pistols, Gun Control, and Ethics

  1. Never waste a crisis – Sandy Hook.

    Who are these people. I guess your average imbecile really thinks that the police will save you in a bad situation.

    Most people forget about things real fast – Katrina – except those who experienced it.

  2. The cops are too busy chasing one of their own to protect us b

  3. Public Outrage says:

    The notion of good vs. evil has "lost popularity" just as you say. How do we bring it back? Morality and Ethics seem to be for the one percent.

  4. Steve Rhinehart says:

    I had toy guns, played cops and robers, War, and cowboys and indians. I have broken laws, (never cought) (bet you have to) I now own guns, but have not shot anyone sence Viet Nam (and I was not even mad at him) under orders from the same mob of pollitions who are now afread if I have a gun I might shoot sombody.

  5. "The war against guns is a comprehensive cultural war." Indeed! A war between what Yahweh (God of the Bible) requires of us versus what man has and wants to make illegal. It's also the difference between constitutional recognized "rights" and Biblical responsibilities:

    "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8)

    After providing for his family’s spiritual safety, a Christian man’s next priority should be providing for his family’s physical protection. Food, clothing, and shelter are of little benefit if you are unprepared or unwilling to defend your family against thieves, rapists, and murderers. It is not unchristian to practice self-defense – it is unchristian if you do not.

    For more, see blog article "Rights, Rights, Everyone Wants Theirs Rights" at http://www.constitutionmythbusters.org/rights-rig…. See also blog article "You Can't Win Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight."

  6. 2WarAbnVet says:

    It is worth noting that prior to 1970 there is no record of a student going into a high school to shoot his fellow students. Since that time there have been many.
    What has changed? We’ve always had guns; they are only inanimate tools. We haven’t had spree shooters. Removing guns from the equation won’t solve our problems. Also, pointing fingers at violent movies and video games is too simple.
    Is it fair for me to place more blame for current events on the debased culture, the moral decline, the public corruption, the lack of personal responsibility, the decline of the family unit, and the ”anything goes” promiscuity preached by the current arbiters of society?
    When you create a Godless society; you must be prepared to live in a lawless world.

  7. Maybe we should just paint the ends of our guns orange. Add an advantage?

  8. Peter Anderson says:

    I have written a couple of books, one of which was called The War for More. Like it or not, it is a world at war, everywhere, and the gun culture in the US is only one sign of it. Incidents like school shootings and the like are only another symptom of something that must be traced to the root, and it isn’t about being Godless. We can go on fooling ourselves about democracy and freedom and the like, but the truth is we are all prisoners of the madness that has been created. The truth also is that we possess the ability to change it. But equipping ourselves for further war will not do it. A gun lying in a drawer or hanging on a wall, or something being used for target practice isn’t going to bother anyone. A culture that is armed for war certainly is. It is about discarding old belief systems and realizing what is REAL.

  9. What we need is to bring back the good old west , where the cowboy was the HERO fighting for truth ,justice and the American way,, and shooting the bad guys was the right thing to do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Like the title to your book your post is ambiguous. Not sure if you are saying that the "gun culture" (whatever that is) is a sign of the fact that our government is waging multiple wars for a faux democracy and freedom or that our culture is pro-war because we have a high rate of firearms ownership. Heck, I don't even know what a belief system is, but I know how to use logic and facts to determine what is REAL. WAR is POLITICS by other means. There must be propaganda and deceit to incite the population to war. Perhaps that is what you are saying.

  11. drink2boop says:

    we, as a collective society, create what is REAL. we decide collectively what is outdated; just as we decide what to value. we CREATE these things, and they're all subjective. just as you have subjectively labeled the conservative belief system old, others believe it is the only salvation this country has left. however, that doesn't mean you can't apply logic, empirical data, and common sense. i agree that gun control will only be treating a symptom of a larger disease; however, i strongly disagree with disarming the people. we've created an environment where excessive diversity is not only being pushed and held above all else, but it's being created wherever possible to create further tensions. under these conditions, there is no unity, no unifying culture of anything. society is well on its way, if its not already there, to an anomic state…it's sick so to speak. under these conditions, it will crumble unless some sort of balance is restored or there is some solidarity within society. citizens not having guns will only make it that much easier for government to do what it wants because we won't be able to protect ourselves.

  12. Back around 1985, the Washington Post Magazine ran a story by a feminist who wouldn't let her two sons play with toy guns. She gave them dolls and tinker toys.The boys made toy guns with the tinker toys and shot the dolls.

  13. Which is why the entire concept of making it impossible to mistake toy guns for real guns is absurd. It is too easy to modify one to appear as the other.

    Note: I can't prove it, but I believe this is YET ANOTHER example of Wikipedia being the digital equivalent of 'I heard', aka a less than reliable source. I heard, an equally unreliable source, that the laws resulted from criminals getting around armed robbery charges by using toy guns, so they were not technically armed.

  14. Love, by necessity requires hate to all who would work to destroy it… when a thug or a group of them invades a home, how loving is it for the man to sit and do nothing while his wife and children are raped in front of him… after that even would his wife truly think he love them with is whole heart?

  15. Assault is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware.

    I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6

    He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. – Luke 22.36

    ”God grants Liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” ~Daniel Webster

    Gun control defined: The theory that people who are willing to ignore laws against rape, torture, kidnapping, theft, and murder will obey a law which prohibits them from owning a firearm.

    Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.

    Guns can equip men to be able to defend themselves against ungodly oppression in the proper hands.
    In the wrong hand they equip a moral depraved individual to cause harm to others unjustly.

    A woman is equipped to provide love and compassion & help meet for her husband or she can be equipped for prostitution – both lie in her hearts moral compass to determine.

    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.

    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

    "One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."

    Do you support a moral high ground? The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound is absurd.

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.

    ”The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest possible limits. … and [when] the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

    A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

    Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

    Self defense is a primary law of nature, which no subsequent law of society can abolish; the immediate gift of the Creator, obliges everyone to resist the first approaches of tyranny.

    We should not blame a gun itself for any crime or any acts of violence, any more than we can blame a pen for misspelling a word.

    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.

    “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The Communist Party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” – Chairman Mao

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

    “The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams

    It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.

    No law ever prevented a crime.

    ” … the right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.” – Martin Luther King

    When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away.

    “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” ~Plato

    An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.

    Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

    The philosophy of gun control: Teenagers are roaring through town at 90MPH, where the speed limit is 25. Your solution is to lower the speed limit to 20.

    If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation.

    "A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie." – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.

    Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.

    Gun control is not about guns, it's about CONTROL.

    Gun bans don't disarm criminals they ATTRACT THEM.

    One man with a gun can control 100 who have none.

  16. Anybody with commonsense would get the point you are making. Unfortunaly that trait has all but disappeared!

  17. snakearbusto says:

    What about a Jewish, Muslim, Hinduist, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, or Shintoist, etc. man? Doesn't he have a duty to his family too?

  18. That's true. I have heard that coffee and donut shop profits have plummeted.

  19. Actually you are off a few years. Back in June 8, 1867 in New York City, New York, a13-year old boy at Public School No. 18, brought a loaded pistol, without the knowledge of his parents or school-teachers, and shot and injured a classmate.

    A little later on December 22, 1868 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, A boy who refused to be whipped left school then returned with his brother and a friend, the next day, to seek revenge on his teacher. Not finding the teacher at the school, they continued to his house, where a gun battle rang out, leaving three dead. Only the brother survived.

    There are other incidents but the Main Stream Media of the time recognized them as local aberrations and didn't whip them up into media circuses and creating a rash of copy cat incidents where kids, usually with self esteem problems, wanted their 15 minutes of fame and knew the media would give it to them.

    If Congress REALLY wants to do something to decrease the amount of school and other mass killings they would rein in the MSM which is a driving force behind the school and mall violence. The First Amendment does not allow the freedom of inciting violence through speech (shouting fire in a theater for instance) and the media should be held accountable for their actions in CREATING NEWS rather than reporting it.

    The first mass killing of students in a school in the US was the Enoch Brown school massacre. but the killers were not other students.

  20. You need to get off your high horse and come into the REAL WORLD for a while.

    You are advocating pacifism and we all know what happens to those pacifists who aren't protected by those who are not pacifists — they are called "the LATE pacifist …"

    I would like to see you stand in front of someone who has had to use that firearm that was "lying in a drawer" or "hanging on a wall" or "standing in a closet" or "used for target practice" for defense of themselves or others that theirs is an "old belief system" and they don't need to defend themselves. After you got back up they would likely knock you down again.

    YOU are welcome to your own belief system but you are not welcome to belittle anyone else's belief system, especially when it is obvious that theirs is based on reality and yours is based on a utopian dream, (and there are several much abused chemicals that bring on such dreams in otherwise normal people).

  21. What we really need is to bring back the code duello. Those were more polite times and "progressives" knew better than to voice their idiocy in public where it could offend. That included idiots in Congress who were not exempt as they are now from having to be truthful and honest and of impeccable integrity (today's Congress Critters and School Teachers (to a large degree are the extreme opposite of those qualities).

  22. OK that works for me !!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Quis Percusit says:

    What we have here is NWO Lackey gummamit cretins legislating nonsense inorder to make it more dificult for overzealous incompetent police officers to get a way with murder.

  24. Peter Anderson says:

    To WJ: What I’m saying is that REAL is about KNOWing, not about believing. We grow up with our heads being filled with the beliefs of other people, and for most it’s a life of discarding what they are REALly all about to assume an ego identity, a false identity, which is what most of this world is about. You don’t KNOW if you only BELIEVE. It is the old belief systems, most of them being derived from our tribal roots, that create Jihad, religious cults, gun cultures, and sadly our illustrious governments. Those who operate from these belief systems are functioning from a prison, even as they preach freedom. One reply stated that I was speaking from a high horse, and decided that I was a pacifist. Both statements speak of ego, the “us and them” that we have created in society to justify old belief systems and the ongoing feeding of ego. Neither speaks of what is REAL. If it is truly freedom that you seek, it begins within, not in the serving of old ego beliefs.

  25. Were they created by Yahweh?

  26. Cliffystones says:

    Sorry, but "we, as a collective society" are pretty much unable to "decide collectively" what color black is. With all of this airy-fairy, group hug nonsense being the most ill thought-out concepts that proves it. Even John Lennon knew your ideals, while worth contemplating, were imaginary.

  27. Cliffystones says:


    You overlooked one thing that caused the decline of the western after 1965. September 1966! That's when Star Trek premiered, in the middle of the space race. I was only seven years old at the time. I watched both Star Trek and Lost In Space. Even at seven, I thought Lost In Space was cheesy. But Star Trek told stories that had very strong morals, the venue just changed from the old west to outer space. I actually found the later iterations of Star Trek to be a little too politically correct at times.

  28. snakearbusto says:

    Is Yahweh the one true God?

  29. Texas Chris says:

    Add to that those who saw the Hook shooting as a good time to buy gun-builder stocks, then saber-rattle about banning guns.

    Ask yourself, why does George Soros own PDMS, Remington, Winchester, Bushmaster, and Marlin? The guy's an NWO Progressive, but he owns gun factories?

  30. Texas Chris says:

    Bullet proof vests for surfers and little Asian ladies are on the up-tic, tho.

  31. Texas Chris says:

    Life is too easy for most people to worry about morality. Let life get a little harder, a little more simple (say, after a governemnt collapse), and morality will re-emerge as a mainstay.

  32. Texas Chris says:

    Steve, they're afraid you might shoot THEM, not just "somebody."

  33. What were the years of Have Gun will Travel, in which the hero Paladin wore all black if I remember correctly? That was another good old Western. In those days of all the Westerns on TV the main problems in the high schools, or at least those I attended, was kids chewing gum in class, smoking in the boy's room, and running in the halls. No need for police patrols, metal detectors, drug sniffing dogs, girls who got pregnant went to "visit a distant aunt" for about a year, and if a girl even had a reputation for "petting" she was shunned and called a slut by the other girls. My, have times changed. I did get sent to the principal's office at least twice for reading library books during class though. Back in the mid 60s that was a punishable offense.

  34. Texas Chris says:

    If government really wanted to end school violence it would simply get out of the education business. Let parents choose, pay, and police their own kids.

    I know, I know, how can we trust parents to know what's best for their own children, right?

  35. Texas Chris says:

    Sounds like another trigger-happy cop situation, much like the Chris Dorner non-look-alikes in LA.

  36. Texas Chris says:

    As long as there are men, there are men who are willing to use violence to advance themselves. Guns are the necessary tool for equalizing the inevitable fight between peaceful existence and violent rule.

  37. Texas Chris says:

    Yes, individuals "decide", not the collective. "We" can decide to get rid of all guns, but the individuals who decide otherwise will not. And those of us who give up guns will be ruled by those who refused to disarm.

    If history teaches us anything, it is that disarmament precedes tyranny and slaughter.

  38. Texas Chris says:

    Well said.

  39. Texas Chris says:

    Look up and read what Col Davy Crockett said in Congress. Notice the polite nature of his speech, how he refuses to offend, and yet he gets a point across that is impossible to miss.

    Where are the statesmen?

  40. Texas Chris says:

    Not hate. Hate is not the opposite of love. That is apathy.

    Defending one's family does not require hatred for one's attacker. Only a desire for self-preservation. The gazelle does not the the lion, nor the lion the gazelle. But a predator seeks to devour its prey, and the prey seeks to defend its life from the predator.

  41. Dark Patriot says:

    Every one of us who wasted our time reading this drivel have lowered our collective IQ. When it comes right down to it, I would have a hard time letting a pervert kill somebody innocent even if they are liberal. Yes they DO have the right to be shot because they want me to be unarmed. I don't think that I could stand by and let it happen anyway. I would probably save them and regret it for the rest of my life.

  42. Texas Chris says:

    A wonderful compilation!

  43. Dark Patriot says:

    That is because Roddenberry left the program. Same with "The Equalizer". Liberals always wreck a good show.

  44. Texas Chris says:

    What a load of horse sh!t.

    The next time a thug points a gun at you try your KNOWING and BELIEVING what is REAL and see how far that gets you.

    In the real "REAL" worlkd you'll get your ass shot.

  45. Yes, we already know that government is necessary for running the educational system (need to dumb down the whole country, not just the liberal urban areas) and it is past discussion that parents have no right to decide what they want in the way of education or anything else for their own children (just ask Pelosi, Reid, Obama (B or M), or their handlers such as Soros).

    If we didn't have a federal department of education several thousand more unproductive but employed consumers of the tax payer's dollar would be unemployed (and likely unemployable).

    "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State." –James Madison, Federalist No. 45

    "[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore…never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market." –Thomas Jefferson

  46. Read what YOU wrote and if you can't see the pacifist moaning and groaning in the words YOU wrote, you are LYING to yourself.

    The real world is right out there and it isn't a nice place. The REAL WORLD is not a scripted "reality" show as you appear to think it is, in the REAL WORLD the weak must have the power and capability to defend themselves against those who feel they have the power and authority to force the weak to their bidding.

    If you were aware of what you are actually saying you would notice as the rest of us have that your ID is proving the words of the ancients and often paraphrased by Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln – Proverbs 17:28 — "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (That is commonly used to warn people like you that you have already managed to remove all doubts about you and your pipe dreams concerning reality.)

    Dream on Alice, you might make it to wonderland (and in the meantime we woll try to keep you protected and free to think as you will).

  47. Public_Citizen says:

    The most recent example of the public being caught in the crossfire comes from a Los Angeles suburb where two women, a 71 year old grandmother [shot twice in the back] and her daughter [wounded in a finger] were, fortunately, not killed in the hail of gunfire that erupted when jittery police officers guarding the residence of a police official named in the manifesto of Chris­toph­er Dorner mistook their early morning newspaper delivery activities in a different make and model and color pickup truck for an attack on the neighborhood they were "protecting".
    Fortunately the cops couldn't shoot straight as the truck these unfortunate ladies were in now has at least 30 bullet holes in it.
    The point? Nervous cops will see what they fear even if a calm and rational observer would easily discern the error in their perception. There were almost none of these occurrences when the likelihood that a mistake in identification coupled with a too fast trigger finger could result in return fire. The more the restriction on honest citizens legally carrying the greater the occurrences of mis-identification resulting in civilian casualties. It doesn't matter what color the tip of the toy is, with todays hysteria driven perceptions a cop on adrenalin overload will see an orange plastic cap as some sort of silencer/flash suppressor.

  48. June 8th and Dec. 22nd?? Sounds like those shootings could have been avoided if the schools had just been closed like they should've been for summer and Christmas break! 🙂

  49. Case in point re the usefulness of the duel: Alexander Hamilton.

  50. These days the teacher would be so shocked to find one of his/her students actually READING that the kid would get a commendation.

  51. Jeanne Stotler says:

    I went to an all girls catholic school, we played cops an robbers, cowboys etc. most didn't have cap guns so we used sticks, we saw westerns in the movies, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Buffalo Bill, etc all had a moral behind each movie and later TV shows. We also were taught the 10 commandments, got spanked, then hugged, we were made aware that our actions had consequences, our choice good or bad.

  52. "… the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

  53. snakearbusto says:

    So were all men and women created by Yahweh? Your answer doesn't make that clear…

  54. 🙂 Smart kids. Beautiful defeat of someone even her own kids recognized (whether they knew it or not) as a raging nut.

  55. Peter Anderson says:

    To: Dark Patriot, Texas Chris, edodaniel:

    Sorry that you don’t get what I’m trying to say. As is usually the case with people who operate from ego and only ego, your reaction is defensive and only that. Too bad. Living in denial is a terrible prison. A closed mind is a wasted mind.

    My wife and I started coming down to the US for the winter around 2005. We rented a car the first time we were here and had to fill it up with gas. We stopped at a gas station, and I got out to do the job. I hadn’t used any gas pumps here for a long time and started trying to make it work. It wouldn’t. The guy at the next pump realized I was puzzled and came over to give a hand. I told him that I couldn’t get it to work and he studied what I was doing for a sec and then said: “You have to go inside and pay first before pumping.” OK. Duh!!! I didn’t know that and there were no signs telling me to do so. My answer was: “We’re from Canada and back home we pump first and THEN pay. That’s what I’m used to doing.” His answer: “Oh well. You people are still honest up there.” And so it goes.

    The definition of insanity is: trying to effect change while doing the same things over and over. Yes it is a tough world, but it doesn’t have to be. But I wonder if you can ask yourself how it is going to change with the attitude you guys project. Pacifist? Well maybe from your point of view. I started studying kung fu at age nine, eventually became a senior instructor and have had to use my knowledge a couple of times on the street. I was also in the Air Force and witnessed some of the “fun” that went on. But that did not turn me into a paranoid, nor did it change my KNOWing that we are the ones who created the mess the world is in and we are the only ones who can change it. Your country is in decline, very serious decline, but you will continue to sit in the quicksand and scream: “Yeaaa quicksand!!!!” To that I can only say: Bon voyage and bonne chance.

  56. snakearbusto says:

    Wait a minute. Pacifists aren't against the legitimate use of violence, including firearms. But they are against militarism. And militarism is at the core of the violence that's eating away at our society. It's destructive, it's draining the life-blood of the country, and the damage can be expressed very concretely, both in dollar and in moral terms. Being a pacifist has nothing to do with Utopian dreams.

  57. I waited that minute then decided YOU hadn't actually read what he had written — "Like it or not, it is a world at war, everywhere, and the gun culture in the US is only one sign of it. Incidents like school shootings and the like are only another symptom of something that must be traced to the root, and it isn't about being Godless. We can go on fooling ourselves about democracy and freedom and the like, but the truth is we are all prisoners of the madness that has been created. The truth also is that we possess the ability to change it. But equipping ourselves for further war will not do it. A gun lying in a drawer or hanging on a wall, or something being used for target practice isn't going to bother anyone." — That can ONLY be read as pacifism, NOTHING else.

    Militarism is NOT what is "at the core of the violence that is eating away at our society", a lack or MORAL VALUES and "politically correct" government mandated "education" that tends to erode the moral values taught the children by their parents augments and exacerbates that lack.

    The politically correct "undocumented immigrants" for instance are ILLEGAL ALIENS and the euphamism is MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE as it teaches out children that ignoring the laws you don't personally like or approve of is OK. Teaching little kids that it is right and proper for Mary to have two mommys and Tommy to have two daddies is MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE as it is supportive of DEVIANT behavior and the actual causative factor of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Laws being passed mandating that teachers ask their students about firearms in their homes coupled with the laws being passed regarding the mandatory informing of school authorities if you have firearms if you have your children in their schools are MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE as they teach that it is OK to spy and inform on others minding their own business.

    It is NOT militarism but a lack of moral values (many of which were instilled in this society by the "flower children" who grew up physically but not mentally and who sadly to say became teachers of our children and that takes us back to lack of moral values being a core component of the pacifism as well as the utopian dreams he represents as opposed to the pacifism represented by some religious groups such as Quakers.

  58. I notice the smile. If we still sent our kids to school to LEARN rather than to sit through classes waiting for the next government mandated vacation or holiday as was done back then it is highly probable that the kids wouldn't have the low esteem problems nor the time to get bored and wonder how it would be for the world to take note of them.

    Also of note, back then teachers had the right and duty to discipline their students with corporal punishments such as spankings which today would likely result in many more shootings and bombings because kids are not used to being punished for their misdeeds (and that can be traced back to a Doctor who wrote a couple of books about child raising and spanking being bad — he should have stayed on that Starship The Enterprise 😉

  59. From this latest effort it is apparent that your refusal to visit the REAL WORLD stems from your own ego difficulties.

    The world isn't going to change by means of you coming up with your own strange definition of insanity. "trying to effect change while doing the same things over and over" is indicative of only one rather minor form of mental instability but not of mental instability in general.

    Work your way through that and we are here to help you as you pass through the REAL WORLD. Your own story of the "difficulties" with the gas pump followed by your insanity definition cause one to murmur AHA!

  60. snakearbusto says:

    You're way off base. A lack of moral values is a component of pacifism? The lack of moral values you are decrying is not the fault of pacifists. Pacifists have the highest of moral values – respect and reverence for life. The erosion of moral values comes from living under a system that provides us with a small measure of prosperity in exchange for the violent imposition of our economic system on other nations, exploiting their resources, including cheap labor, so that the many suffer for the prosperity of a few. Living under and benefiting from a militarist-imperialist system is what has eroded moral values.

  61. Off base? I don't think so as I clarified the pacifism I spoke of and that Peter Anderson and possibly YOU (although you have so far demonstrated only that you look at the words but don't bother reading them rather than a pacifism such as he demonstrates) are devoted to.

    I spoke to the erosion of moral values by PACIFISTS clarified here – "It is NOT militarism but a lack of moral values (many of which were instilled in this society by the "flower children" who grew up physically but not mentally and who sadly to say became teachers of our children and that takes us back to lack of moral values being a core component of the pacifism as well as the utopian dreams he represents as opposed to the pacifism represented by some religious groups such as Quakers. "

    Flower children with their "free love" and drugs and communal living and opposition to gainful employment and disruptive demonstrations that aided our enemies and encouraged them to hold on when they were ready to surrender definitely are not pacifists like the Quakers i mention who actually do fit your definition of – "Pacifists have the highest of moral values – respect and reverence for life".

    Those flower children grew up to become the liberals and "progressives" responsible for declining moral values in all they come in contact with.

    There is no "militarist-imperialist system" to berate but if you actually managed to say or think that with a straight face my hat is off to you for your vivid albeit childish imagination.

  62. Bob Marshall says:

    whistleblower february 2013 publication.TYRANNY OR STUPIDITY? The total irrationality of the new gun control movement. DIRE WARNING FROM EUROPE/An in-depth look at how UK gun control efforts have totally backfired Page 24. WND.COM Ron White said, "you can't fix stupid." Maybe,he is right. You can fix ignorance. the real problem the government doesn't like being brought up is the number of people who commit violent acts with guns that are on prescription drugs and anti-depressants. Goggle SSRI Stories/ Anti-depressant Stories Question? Why does Homeland Security need 1.2 billion rounds of ammunition? it get worse because there is along list of government agencies purchasing assault rifles and ammo. Could this be the army Obama mentioned when he said we need a civilian force just as powerful and just as well funded as our military? Maybe the word (civilian) meant something different from what America thought it meant.

  63. snakearbusto says:

    So there are two kinds of pacifism, and one holds strong moral values and the other doesn't… I think you are confusing "pacifism" with opposition to the Vietnam war (and other wars), which you associate with a specific generation of people from a specific socio-economic background and specific life habits whom you dislike. Pacifism is opposition to war as a solution to problems – period. All the lifestyle issues may or may not be associated with a pacifist view, and you may or may not agree with the lifestyle of one or another pacifist. That does not make pacifism in any form responsible for the erosion of moral values.

    As for "our enemies", who are you referring to? The people of Vietnam? The French took over Vietnam by force and colonized it, and after the Vietnamese people kicked the French out, the US went in and tried to help the French get Vietnam back. You can talk about "fighting Communism" all you want, but those are the basic facts. Taking over another country and exploiting its resources, whatever the justification might be (religion is often used, or "democracy" or just "civilization"), is called imperialism. Imperialism is made possible by the existence of overwhelmingly strong armed forces in the imperialist nation. The problem is that the military apparatus begins to take over the economy of the imperialist nation. And that means that all the citizens of that country depend on the use of violence or the threat of violence against smaller nations for the natural resources they need (such as oil, uranium, rare metals, but also cheap labor in countries where the imperialist nation controls the government – example: Honduras). The US is basically on a war economy and has been since 1940. The US is the center of a worldwide empire, with over 700 military bases in just about every country in the world, whose purpose is to ensure the flow of natural resources the US needs to maintain its lifestyle. You and I benefit from that system to the extent that we live that lifestyle. You can call that system whatever you want – maybe you call it "making the world safe for democracy"? -, but it is a militarist-imperialist system and it is the reason for the erosion of moral values you talk about. For how can you say that you live by God's precepts if you depend for your lifestyle on wresting the resources of other countries from them by violence? Examples of that moral degradation: The United States of America now tortures prisoners just like the "totalitarian" regimes it preached against during the Cold War. It now imprisons indefinitely, and even murders its own citizens without benefit of trial, in the name of "security". That's moral degradation.

  64. Peter Anderson says:

    To edodaniel:

    The definition of insanity that I posted is the common definition used by psychiatrists and psychologists in the world. In doing the research for the three books that I’ve written and in the counseling that I do, I’ve run into many people like you, and what you have said here translates into one word and one word only: fear. You reek of it my friend. You are loud and long in your denunciation of others but all that I see in you is reactions, and reactions are ego defenses. What are you really defending against? In each and every posting here, you have taken sides, quite aggressively, what seems to be a need of your ego to define itself. Like it or not, you are at war, even if only in your mind, denial notwithstanding. Just keep in mind that ego is a FALSE identity and look into the mirror.

    My hope is that the United States can once again assume the role of leader of the world, but from what I see going on here, including talking to many people, the process of decline seems irreversible. One commentator on CNN summed it up quite nicely: “The country is split down the middle.” A friend from Boston, that I had dinner with in Florida stated: “When you drive down from Canada and approach the southern states, keep in mind that the Civil War, for many, has not ended.” The military behavior of the government, the growing police state in the country, and people like you who, whether you realize it or not, are at war all the time, even in the simple battles that you fight on a posting site like this, are indicative of what I said about war, no matter how you deny it. If your country is to recover from the mess that it is in, it is going to take sane and logical decisions, and a population that has come to terms with the insanity that is present and is growing.

    Each election that takes place here is a war, a dirty war, whether fought with military weapons or not, and it only speaks of division, not a country that is together and dedicated. The United States was formed by the actions of war, and in the Civil War over 750,000 people were killed, and yet what was resolved? There have been many wars since, and wars in the streets, wars in the schools, and in fact many many of the TV shows presented contain the word WAR. It is a sign of the basic mentality that is running the country, a paranoia that is feeding on itself and pushing the country to the edge of the precipice. That you seem to be unable to see this, and instead continue fighting for the status quo and what you describe as “moral values,” tells me that you have not come to terms with your personal issues, and you project this quite aggressively onto others.

    Your country is unlikely to recover from what is in place now, based on its present course. Each politician speaks of change, but they are all bullshitters, to say the least. What is REAL change is in the people, and the realization of the insanity. Going on with these battles, wars, or whatever you want to call them, will not do it. I am not a pacifist, but a REAList. What you describe as real is insanity. I see it every day in my practice.

  65. Peter Anderson says:

    To snakearbusto: I can only say: hear hear.

  66. Having lived through it I am confusing nothing. The "flower children" were pacifists as opposed to the draft dodgers who were anti-war (mostly through a far that they would have to go rather than any actual opposition to war in general) — YOU might be confusing the two.

    As for why we went into Vietnam you need to hit the books and avoid the revisionist history. The French were long gone from Vietnam before the legitimate Vietnamese government of South Vietnam asked the US for advisors and Eisenhower sent some advisors. Truman had some OBSERVERS in Vietnam while the French were still there and fighting the Viet Ming led by Father Ho but that is all they did, observe and keep our government informed. Truman also provided some financial and military aid to the French and to the Vietnamese forces (lots of M1 and M2 carbines and M1 Garands starting around 1950 but no military forces.

    Eisenhower, in 1955, sent some additional military aid and military forces in the form of advisors to train the Vietnamese. Kennedy continued and increased the number of advisors but we didn't have many actual troops in the field until Johnson and that was LONG after France was gone and the country was divided and our presence was a direct result of invasion from the North with Communist China support and manpower and South Vietnam ASKED for a presence we did not actually want to provide. There was nothing even remotely like "Imperialism" involved.

    You might want to check who was the head of MAAG (the Military assistance Advisory Group) during that time period as I had lots of talks with the man before I ever got to Vietnam and had then and now a much better knowledge of the actual facts as opposed to the suppositions and unsupported claims such as you have put forth.

    As for "The United States of America now tortures prisoners just like the "totalitarian" regimes it preached against during the Cold War. " that is pure BS and I am sure you know it. At times we authorize, on a case by case basis, what the liberals and the MSM like to call "torture" but none of what is allowed, INCLUDING WATERBOARDING, meets the UN's own definition of torture and our own Senate.

    The U.S. in fact ratified the torture convention in 1994, and it accepted the "no exceptional circumstances" clause quoted above. However, the Senate, as is its prerogative, noted that its "consent" was "subject" to acceptance of its own definition of "torture," which includes the following:

    " . . . the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from: the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; the threat of imminent death; or the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality . . . "
    For full text of the Declarations, Reservations and Objections of the US and other participating nations here you go: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src

    You need to listen less to the MSM and liberal educators and research the sources yourself.

  67. I am glad you have run into people like me – learn from us. The fear you see is your own and you are presently entertaining us by showing us your personal escape mechanism.

    The definition of insanity you offered is NOT in use by respected psychiatrists or psychologists excepting, as I previously stated, for a minor form of mental disorder (anxiety and OCD in specific). To help you out, your statement is NOT a definition of insanity but a SYMPTOM of a type of insanity. If you are really writing books and counseling it might be a good idea to do a bit of RESEARCH (if you want a definition of a medical term for instance look it up in a medical dictionary , a legal definition in a legal dictionary, and so forth).

    You might want to do some checking on what the medical profession has to say about those who rashly claim that war solves nothing as you have done here. Check also on your fixation on war and it is good to talk out your fears – we aren't laughing at you but some of your comments have certainly produce a few chuckles..

  68. Peter Anderson says:

    To edodaniel:
    In fact I am a practicing psychiatrist. I am also a member of a professionals group which comprises over a thousand psychiatrists and psychologists. This definition of insanity has been agreed upon by all as a measure of the actions of humanity, whether clinical or otherwise, regardless of any statement in any book of reference. Somehow it seems to be the most logical of any presented.
    In examining the history of humanity one is impressed with the fact that we have certainly improved our toys, but have little evolved from our tribal roots. One of the major behavior patterns, for example, is the formation of tribes in order to “be strong against the enemy.” But who is the enemy? Is the enemy real, or is the enemy merely the projection of each mind, the creation of each mind? Another is the statement: “I do, therefore I am.” The clinics are filled with people suffering from this one, but society continues to promote it as real, and the necessary way of life. That is what The War for More is about.
    There are doubters to what I say, however there is an article today in the Tea Party Economist that provides another clue to the reality of it. It’s about the military exercises which are taking place in US cities. Perhaps this may seem harmless to you, however we must examine the intent, just as we must examine the intent of the people who are running the various countries in the world, not to mention that of the people who live in them. If what I have said here has provided a few chuckles to “we” then so be it. There was a famous comedian named Groucho Marx who summed it up quite nicely: “Take yer cherce.” In the final analysis the only way humanity is going to evolve is through awareness, and if they don’t “take yer cherce” then they will be consumed by The War for More. It is something that is taking place now, and my advice to all of you is to open your eyes, become aware. The various countries of the world are populated by people who are asleep with eyes open, which is one of the reasons why the US is in the state that it is today. If you do not see what I say today, you will most certainly see it in the future. Open your mind, not just your eyes. The modus operandi in place is a dwindling spiral based on insanity, without any purpose or thought of resolution. That you would continue to fight for it tells me quite clearly that you are one of its robots. It is this that you describe as “real,” when in fact it is only a measure of illness, a cancer that presents itself with the various sores and pimples in the form of guns, battles and the rest of it. Remember that cancer consumes absolutely and it has progressed quite nicely in our society. It is eating you up as you write your replies, but that is the state of your awareness. Take yer cherce.
    Your government, as have many in the world, has decided that it will spend its way out of debt. And it has decided that it will fight for peace. Like it or not, a war, however and wherever it is conducted, whether on a field of battle, or in the streets, or wherever, is just a war. The peace that it supposedly creates is an illusion. That this philosophy is being presented as gospel speaks loudly of the insanity, the ego control, and the denial of the truth of reality, and I am not speaking of ego reality, which seems to be your domain. Ego is a false god and it will invariably steer you “wrong.”

  69. Peter Anderson says:

    The opposite of REAL love is fear, not hate. Hate is an ego behavior based on anger which results from pain.