B. Bruce-Briggs Quote

“[U]nderlying the gun control struggle is a fundamental division in our nation. The intensity of passion on this issue suggests to me that we are experiencing a sort of low grade war going on between two alternative views of what America is and ought to be. On the one side are those who take bourgeois Europe as a model of civilized society: a society just, equitable, and democratic; but well ordered, with the lines of responsibility and authority clearly drawn, and with decisions made rationally and correctly by intelligent men for the entire nation. To such people, hunting is atavistic, personal violence is shameful, and uncontrolled gun ownership is a blot on civilization. On the other side is a group of people who do not tend to be especially articulate or literate, and whose world view is rarely expressed in print. .... They ask, because they do not understand the other side, “Why do these people want to disarm us?” They consider themselves no threat to anyone; they are not criminals, not revolutionaries. But slowly, as they become politicized, they find an analysis that fits the phenomenon they experience: Someone fears their having guns, someone is afraid of their defending their families, property, and liberty. Nasty things may begin to happen if these people begin to feel that they are cornered.”

~ B. Bruce-Briggs

The Great American Gun War, 45 Pub. Interest 37, 61 (1976).

Ratings and Comments

Kimo, USA
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Kimo, USA    7/27/11


Byron, Fort Collins

I'm vehemently pro-Second Amendment. Maybe I'm misinterpreting this quotation, but it sounds amazingly condescending, "On the other side is a group of people who do not tend to be especially articulate or literate", as opposed to the Eurofags who find hunting "atavistic" (but who have no problem eating farm animals who have suffered lifelong incarceration). I will agree with the last sentence.

Byron, Fort Collins

I meant to give this quotation a thumbs-down.

J Carlton, Calgary

The quote seems to be written with a liberal bias. It is also somehat true with the exception (in my experience) of the bit about gun owners being illiterate etc... Anyone I know who is a gun owner or a hunter, is exceptionally intelligent and well read,in some cases very wealthy, and they understand their rights very well. On the the other side of the argument are the socialist bed wetters. Restore the Constitution, Restore the Republic.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Though I am not a hunter, I know several hunters who have Phd's and are pretty "articulate and literate."

J. Allen, Arlington, Va

Typical liberal describes those that believe in their 2nd amendment rights as not "especially articulate or literate". The founders who wrote the constitution were both and knew exactly what they were doing when they wrote and passed the 2nd amendment.

C. Jones, Apache Junction, AZ

Pretty well sums up the Dems philosophical view. Only in Europe have we seen such Despotism that roughly 17,000,000 people were murdered by their own governments after gun control was put in place just in the 20th century.

cal, lewisville, tx

Would they want to rid society of everything that kills folks-kitchen knives, cars, etc..

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC cal, lewisville, tx 10/19/23

Yep  just look at England today.  Since taking guns away from the people resulted in the use of knives and machetes by criminals, now kitchen knives are regulated, too.  There will be no end to the control the government will claim over the citizens to make sure they remain defenseless in every way and dependent upon the state.  Slaves are not permitted access to weapons  you know why...

Mike, Norwalk

The statist theocracy's dogma that spawns such deceitful circumvention of freedom, with its false dichotomy, has been a persuasive proselyting tool for the world's control freaks and otherwise immoral despots . The description here given to the European civilized society are but deceptive and flattering words given to keep the slaves asleep. The rest, well, not real accurate.

TheMANwithNoName, Tampa, FL

SO, to summarize: rational people favor gun control and illiterate cretins favor gun ownership ?? I certainly hope this guy is not in charge of anything that matters. Fear the government that fears your guns.

Jonesrj, Loveland

As I recall historical Europe and Britain, those "rational" and "intelligent" men were the ones who kept major tracts of land for hunting and shooting their black powder guns until the game was mostly gone and then they shot clay pigeons--certainly not as a food source...

R, Bristol
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R, Bristol    7/27/11

Europe as a model of civilized ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Waffler, Smith

Of course there is probably some truth to his psychological anaylsis of city versus country folk. But thinking folk can see through this type of simpicity. The Wild West start gun control when they required the gun toters to check their guns out side the bar or with the town sheriff. When will we get serious thinking people on the gun issue. Guns are great but like alcohol they can be abused. Let us have some balance.

Mare, Ruidoso

I agree with TheMANwithNoName and all the ones in favor of the 2nd amendment. Liberals lack good common sense and I believe Briggs falls in with the liberal bunch.

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    Publius    7/28/11

    I am not scared of heights, but I'm not going to walk on the ledge of a skyscraper. I do not fear wild animals, but I'm not going to walk into a mother-bear's den. I do not fear gangs or drug dealers but I will not enter their territory alone and especially at night. I do not fear these things because I take adequate measures to protect myself from them. The same goes with tyranny and oppression. I fear neither of them because in this country I have certain instruments to protect my children and myself from them. The gun is one of many. It should indeed be the last resort; only used when no other tool would fix the problem. But that does not make it less important. It is possibly the most important because it stands a reminder to government officials that if they should somehow cut off the civil road to liberty We the People will take it by the sword. We have "certain inalienable rights" and if any "government becomes destructive of these ends" it is our right, our duty to "alter or abolish it and establish new guards for our future security." As long as we are properly armed we have no reason to fear such a government because we have the means to do away with it.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

    This quote is just a bunch of wasteful horse baloney. There are just mentally ill with firearms and just mentally healthy without firearms who want to educate the ill into reasonable non nonviolence. That's it.

    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
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    Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 10/13/23

    Another item, we need to get rid of the another weapon coming into full fruition the evil personally owned vehicle.

    E Archer, NYC
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    E Archer, NYC Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 10/19/23

    Good lord, Fred, you must be trolling now...  I suppose you would take away every power available to the common man for independence.  Talk about mentally ill...

    warren, cook ne

    God help me I agree with Waffler.


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