Sci Fi and the Second Amendment

Raised on a Science Fiction diet of Robert Heinlein and A.E. van Vogt and E.E. Doc Smith, I was caught by surprise the first time I went to a science fiction convention, and found that the modern science fiction readership and writership (if I may coin that word) are overwhelmingly left-of-center, and a high number of them are partisans favoring disarming the population.

Heinlein in RED PLANET gave his opinion of the Sullivan Act: ‘"Sir, it is not the natural limitations of this globe that I object to; it is the pantywaist nincompoops who rule it- these ridiculous regulations offend me. That a free citizen should have to go before a committee, hat in hand, and pray for permission to bear arms – fantastic! Arm your daughter, sir, and pay no attention to petty bureaucrats." A.E. van Vogt in THE WEAPON SHOP made the gunsmiths of the future the check against a complex imperial bureaucracy: “The Right to Buy Weapons is the Right to Be Free.”

Such themes run throughout the science fiction stories of the Campbellian Golden Age.

The writers from the opposite camp did not make so obvious a point of it to come to my attention. I don’t know what Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarke thought about disarming the common man, because the topic did not surface in FANTASTIC VOYAGE, or THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES or AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT.

For authors born near the turn of the century, the Western Frontier days were still within living memory of their grandfathers: the admiration of Robert Heinlein and Poul Andersen for the character and grit of the pioneers runs throughout their work. In general, science fiction authors of the time treated the raygun the way a Western treated a six-shooter: the idea of having the government register or forbid them was as fantastic and absurd, at that time, as getting a license to have a baby would have been. The idea of an unarmed frontiersman is merely comical.

Frankly, I wonder if it is a matter of experience: the World War II generation did not indulge in any feckless notions about there always being an alternative to violence.

The coddled and untested next generation, perhaps jealous of the moral courage of their fathers, wanted to be involved in a struggle as world shaking, but, finding none to hand, invented a number of imaginary foes to overcome (the fictional conspiracies of international bankers, fictional dangers to the environment, and so on) dangers that conveniently do not require personal courage. But neither are the Baby Boom babies pacifists: few or none express disapproval or disgust with the violence done by whatever particular riot-mongers, folk heroes, cop-killers, or Marxist revolutionaries appear on their T shirts that week.

It is merely the common people, the poor people, weaklings, the women and blacks, they want disarmed and helpless.

When my sister discovered that I had joined the NRA, she declared that I must be insane. I asked her how a granny might defend herself if she were mugged by three men twice her size: my sister replied that the granny could know martial arts, and judo-chop them. I assume her evidence at to my lack of mental competence was that I did not regard ninja granny as a viable option in the grim situation of someone faced with a violent crime.

For an article on the relative merits between martial arts and fire arms, see this:

Julia Cochrane is quoted here:

I’m 5’2" and after taking martial arts for 3 years (after being raped, as a way of preventing it happening again) I learned that a 5’2" female martial artist is no match for a 6’2" male martial artist, and other assorted real limitations of martial arts. So I got a gun and learned to shoot and got my concealed carry permit. And was damned glad to have that gun when a thug tried to follow me up the stairs into my apartment one afternoon when, due to a holiday, I was home early and the place was otherwise deserted. I didn’t have to actually draw on him, confronting him verbally got him to go away, but I was 7 months pregnant and it was a very near thing and as a result of my "delicate condition" martial arts wouldn’t have done me a damned bit of good.

I’m "attracted to guns" because for a little tiny woman like me, my having a gun can mean the difference between my being raped and murdered, or my surviving an attack unscathed to go home to my family that night.

My comment: What does being anti-gun mean? I am not asking what you think it means; I am asking you what it actually means, independent of your viewpoint. It does not matter what you think it means. What does it really mean?

Nature does not lie, but neither does she shout. You have to actually go investigate. You have to find the facts. Once you’ve found them, the facts speak for themselves. Studies by (among others) John Lott, Bill Landes, Gary Kleck, James Wright, Peter Rossi, Taylor Buckner, David Kopel, Don Kates, Gary Mauser, Colin Greenwood, and Joyce Malcolm have gathered these facts for anyone who cares to look. Estimates range around two million crimes a year prevented by gun ownership.

Being anti-gun means being pro-rapist.