Monday, April 28, 2014

Brian Leiter's Stupid Remarks on Nazis and the NRA

I really am not trying to turn this blog into a single issue site, but I just keep coming across idiotic statements which have to do with guns (and one of the tasks of philosophy is to point out such idiocy, so people won't embarrass themselves in the future).

This from Brian Leiter, who hosts the leading philosophy gossip website on the internet:

It's a good public relations gimmick, and hopefully effective, but the reality is that it is civilization vs. the NRA, adults vs. the NRA, everyone who isn't a Nazi or sociopath vs. the NRA, etc.  Readers outside the U.S., I know, find this all mystifying (how can a fringe group representing about 1.5% of the US population hold the rest of the country hostage to insanely irresponsible rules regulating guns?) and let me add it is mystifying to those of us in the United States.

Nazis or sociopaths?  Really?  My bet is that Leiter has lived in a liberal bubble for most of his life and has never had a conservative friend.  What better explanation is there for this lunatic remark?  Does he even know any conservatives in his ivory tower?  Man, this guy is thick! (How can someone who does expository history of philosophy so well be so out of touch with reality?)

Leiter asks, how can a "fringe group representing about 1.5% of the U.S. population hold the rest of the country hostage?"  Well, I shall explain:

 The NRA (that 1.5%) is made up of roughly 4 MILLION members.  1.5% of 319,000,000 = 4,785,000, so 4 MILLION is actually being conservatively low.   Of COURSE it has power, but that's because it's backed by 4 MILLLLLLLLION members.  1.5% looks like a small chunk, but what other organizations are THAT BIG??  That's at least as many members as the National [Left-Wing] Education Association!  And many NEA members are practically FORCED by the union into membership, whereas the NRA is strictly voluntary.

And that doesn't even include the 40-50% of American households THAT HAVE GUNS!  I'm not an NRA member.  I never have been.  (I do know plenty, and none, I promise, is a Nazi or sociopath).  But I darn sure support the NRA over the two biggest supporters of Democrats, trial lawyers and the NEA.  That "fringe group" made up of 4 million members represents a whole lot more people than 4 million.  Leiter would do himself well to take some time off from reading Nietzsche and do a bit of metaphysics and logic.  A group can represent more than its constituent members.

This is simple logic and simple math.  It shouldn't be that hard.  You can't "Big Tobacco-Big Corporate-Big Sugar-Big Fat-Big Soda" the NRA.  It's big all right--big with a small "b". But that's because of all the little members--little members who the communist Leiter would LOVE to render defenseless.  (If you don't know much about Leiter--like many liberal "elites"--he would take great joy in seeing the country that has afforded him his ridiculous salary in his ivory tower destroyed.)


  1. Does he do expository history of philosophy really well or are you just trying to be charitable? That is an honest question, as I've never read his work and do not intend to. His research interests aren't that interesting to me. Have you read any of his professional work?

  2. JS,

    All the articles I've read by him on Nietzsche are very clearly written, interesting, and his interpretations plausible (though I'm certainly no Nietzsche expert). I do think I recall, however, thinking that his SEP article seemed like it gave short shrift to other interpretations.