We don’t have a nuke problem with Iran

We don’t have a nuke problem with Iran July 27, 2015

Rush Limbaugh, America’s Truth Detector writes:

Thousands Rally Against Iran Deal in Times Square — This was an anti-Obama-Iran nuke deal rally last night in Times Square. There are a lot of people there, but this picture is the only one I have seen.

Minor detail. The picture he links is from a 2013 rally about Trayvon Martin.

But the big issue is this: Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, Rush. People kill people. Sin is in the heart! If Iran doesn’t get a nuke it will just use a rock to kill–and what’s the difference? People are still just as dead. We have to stop talking about band-aid solutions like “Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of crazy terrorists” and start addressing root causes like video games and violent music and fatherlessness. When will nuke control libtards like you get that, Rush? If Iran wants a nuke it will get a nuke. There’s no point in trying to pass laws against it. When nukes are outlawed, only outlaws will have nukes.

I love applied NRA theology!

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  • Gunnar Thalweg

    That’s right, Mark. There are no distinguishing characteristics between nukes and handguns. You told them,Big Guy. Once nuclear weapons were invented, everyone said, it’s just a big handgun. In fact, it’s really just a high tech versuon of a pointy stick.we need to register pointy sticks! Because bombs and guns arethe same thing!

    I love applied mark shea theology.

    For the record, part of the issue with iran getting nukes is their irresponsibility. They are like a kidnapper and convicted serial killer trying to make his own dynamite. The rest of us have concerns.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      The hilarity of the Annihalators of Hiroshima and Nagasaki calling the victims of their allie’s chemical weapons attacks ‘irresponsible’ is the most depressing kind of laughter.

      • Guest

        Not sure what the crimes of my grandfather’s generation have to do with whether I should take a government’s openly announced evil intentions at face value.

        • Dave G.

          To some, there is never a difference. See the number of people who imagine that if you’ve seen one monotheistic religion, you’ve seen them all.

    • chezami

      Amazing how the Gun Cult labors to ignore the obvious fallacies in its logic by means of more fallacious thinking.

      • Pete the Greek

        I think here you’re confusing “gun culture” with what seems more like a garden variety of neoconism.

      • Gunnar Thalweg

        With all due respect, you’re off the deep end on this, Mark. You are making category errors … and you are ranting and raving and generally losing it.

        Private gun ownership is still allowed under the catechism, although there is apparently a goal of eliminating handgun ownership. In the meantime, there are plenty of gun control laws and many of the attacks have come from states and cities where there are very strict gun control laws. See DC, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many of the attacks have also come in areas subject to feel-good but impractical legislation, such as gun-free zones.

        The NRA promotes responsible gun use and gun safety. There are NRA members in rod & gun clubs throughout the country where people learn gun safety. Heck, they used to teach it in schools.

        Nuclear weapons are bombs. Bombs are not guns. Guns are not bombs. They are treated differently under the law, and for good reason.

        Finally, as you like to remind people, I will remind you: There’s not only a fifth commandment, but an eighth, too.

  • Pete the Greek

    “But the big issue is this: Nuclear weapons don’t kill people, Rush. People kill people. ”
    – Well, I think he would probably agree with that. He would go on a long rant about it which would boil down simply to ‘we can’t let those towel heads have nukes, because that would totally threaten Israel (whom we’re actually ok with having nukes).”

    So, yeah, bad argument, but one he’d agree with. I don’t think he’s a nuclear abolitionist.

    • Guest

      It’s a complete strawman. Nobody advocates letting a person buy a gun who announced in public that he intended to march through a school shooting everyone in sight or showed other clear indicators that he would do so. Iran’s government has said many times that among their national goals is the eradication of Israel. There are also a lot of firearms, the process to manufacture them is relatively simple, and they don’t require special materials to manufacture. Nuclear weapons, on the other hand, require a large amount of money, knowledge, and special equipment to build and they also require a very high purity of special material.
      There are hundreds of millions of privately-owned firearms in this country alone. Anti-nuke group Ploughshares estimates there are ~15,700 nuclear weapons worldwide. The stream of illicit nukes is a little drier than the stream of illicit firearms.
      There’s simply no comparison.

  • Guest

    So Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapons, therefore America should have gun control? Is that the argument?

    • Pete the Greek

      Actually, I think his argument is that, if you take the NRA’s argument about firearms and apply it to nuclear weapons (yeah, that doesn’t work at all, but let’s go with it anyway) than we should let the Iranians have them because nukes aren’t bad in and of themselves, only people are bad.

      The argument doesn’t work because: 1. you are talking about things of a very different nature, 2. The application of the NRA argument here (even though it’s faulty) works just fine for Limbaugh because he looks upon Iranians the same way gun people look upon convicted violent felons: no, they don’t want them to have weapons, because they are evil people who have shown they can’t be trusted and therefore have had their rights taken away.

      Accepting Mark’s point, in short, proves far too much.

      • Guest

        I’m not sure if that’s a better argument than “Someone bought a gun in Alabama, therefore Louisiana needs gun control,” but at least it makes more sense than my summary.

        • Pete the Greek

          It’s not. He’s just raving at this point.

      • The two categories are generally called arms (which guns generally fall into) and munitions (which is the general category for bombs of all types) and the distinction dates back to the beginning of the country.

      • kenofken

        Within the NRA’s logic, nuclear weapons and small arms are entirely comparable. Iran’s aspirations to nuclear weapons and the gun lobby’s absolutist position on firearm regulation both boil down to claims of a natural right to possess whatever level of weaponry one feels necessary to protect oneself against existential threats.

        That’s the primary point of conflict in the U.S. gun law debate. Virtually all of the energy and passion on both sides of the traditional pro and anti-gun establishments is about semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic military caliber rifles. It’s not about hunting or target shooting. Both classes of weapons have a presence in those fields, but neither is integral or indispensable to those sports. They are, according to the NRA end of the gun culture, absolutely necessary for individual defense needs.

        In the case of handguns, those needs primarily revolve around concerns of street crime/home invasion. Those are the reasons they insist everyone must have the unfettered right to carry in all public and private venues with no restrictions and minimal regulation. In the case of semi-auto high capacity rifles, the gun culture has drawn a hard line around their AR and AK-style weapons for a different reason: They believe it’s both possible and necessary for individuals to possess an armed deterrence to their own government. They believe their rifles and 30+-round mags individually and collectively are the only real safeguards against more or less imminent tyranny by their own government.

        Whatever we may think of their fear and proposed solution, they have asserted that people have an inherent right to defend their lives and sovereignty against nation states which would take those things from them. That right is meaningless without the physical means to defend it.

        This is exactly the argument advanced by Iran in it’s nuclear quest. They have reason to fear our intentions and capabilities, much more plausible reasons than do American “patriots.” Chuck Norris’s fears aside, the U.S. military has not threatened to invade Texas or to crush its government. It has not sponsored neighboring states to wage war upon Texas or tacitly provided them with chemical weapons or made other overtures of “regime change.” We have done all of those things with Iran, and more.

        For all of their bluster and threats (made largely to divert attention to domestic failures), Iran doesn’t want to commit a nation-scale suicide bombing. It doesn’t even really want a nuclear bomb. It wants the deterrent effect of the one weapon which will stop our military in its tracks. Whatever their levels of hostility, nations simply don’t invade nuclear states. For any state actor which is not actively seeking to destroy itself (and no ruling elite ever is), a nuclear weapon has absolutely no other use beyond pure self defense.

        To recast the issue in terms of the NRA’s construction of gun rights, there is simply no valid reason to deny Iran the bomb. There is no legal mechanism by which to declare an entire nation or its government as mentally unfit. Were there a “background check” in force for nuclear weapon acquisition and ownership, we would be the only nation at risk of failing the check based on a record of aggressive and potentially criminal misuse of the weapons in question.

        • Pete the Greek

          “This is exactly the argument advanced by Iran in it’s nuclear quest.”
          – Wait…. Please tell me you’re not one of those NeoCon morons that actually thinks Iran has a working nuclear weapon program, because despite what the warmongers say, they actually don’t.

          “Whatever we may think of their fear and proposed solution, they have asserted that people have an inherent right to defend their lives and sovereignty against nation states which would take those things from them.”
          – And here is where I’m probably going to get savaged by all the neoconservatives around here. See, the thing is, for well over 50 years, the United States treated Iran in the same way a drunk quarterback treats a roofied prom date. Let’s just be honest, yes, we did. We destroyed their government because we didn’t like it, installed a puppet that horrifically brutalized the people, and then slapped sanctions on them and had our other vassal, Iraq, start a war with them when they had the guts to overthrow the dictator we put in power over them. We then surround them with bases and weapons, threaten them with destruction at every turn, and allow Israel to do pretty much whatever it wants against them. So yeah, I can understand why they may see us as a major enemy.

          “This is exactly the argument advanced by Iran in it’s nuclear quest.”
          – Their quest for… atomic power. Not weapons. Power. I for one see no reason to stand in the way of them having that. It’s not our concern. It would go a long way to repairing the damage we’ve done in relations.

          “(made largely to divert attention to domestic failures)”
          – Yup, the effects of their embrace of keynesian economics took hold a lot faster and harder than it will with us due to other circumstances.

          “It wants the deterrent effect of the one weapon which will stop our military in its tracks.”
          – No, I think what it wants more than anything right now is just to get reliable power and to get their economy going again. Iran isn’t dumb, they know we aren’t going to be the big guy calling the shots for much longer. All they have to do is outlast our bluster, which I think they will.

          “To recast the issue in terms of the NRA’s construction of gun rights, there is simply no valid reason to deny Iran the bomb.”

          – Uhm, no, there actually is. It’s the same argument to deny atomic weapons to anyone: they are of a totally different nature than any other weapons system, even the USCCB acknowledges that. If you wanted to make an argument that was more in keeping with the NRA narrative, it would be debating on whether to allow Iran to have a navy, or an armored corp in addition to a standard infantry army.

          The only truly moral reason to have an kind of nuclear arsenal I could see would be, and I think I have TM Lutas to thank for reminding me of this, is for possible removal of threats of falling bodies from the rest of the solar system.

          I actually want to go back to another point you brought up:

          “the U.S. military has not threatened to invade Texas or to crush its government.”
          – Mark also derisively talks about pudgy Arizonians fending off the 101st Airborne, as if the US military would ever attack its own citizens. (you may not realize this, but the same NRA that Mark has such irrational hatred for has the support of most all of the rank and file of the military. The federal government couldn’t ever turn the military on the citizenry, because the military is on OUR side. And they know that.

          I really don’t think people understand how pathetically weak the Federal government is. Weed is still illegal at a federal level, but how many states have now legalized it, not caring what protests the Federal government raises. I think we may eventually see a large amount of states simply ignoring diktats from Washington with impunity, particularly in the Southwest, but that’s another topic.

          • Iran is not a follower of keynesian economics. There are significant differences between islamic economics and keynesianism. Both are problematic but in different ways. Calling them keynesian is to try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

            As for the 1953 coup, there seems to be a plan to pair that with the 1979 embassy invasion in a joint statement:


            As for Iran’s nuclear program, if it’s not a weapons program, it’s the most ineptly designed power program on the planet. Iran could, like dozens of other countries, work with nuclear materials in ways that don’t draw down enhanced scrutiny from the IAEA. They have declined to act normally in this arena.

    • chezami

      Therefore the Gun Cult should stop repeating the idiotic fallacies a five year old can see through.

      • Guest

        Or maybe you could recognize the rather obvious category errors you have made:
        1) Nuclear weapons are like small arms only in that they are both weapons. There is almost no legitimate use for a nuclear weapon; there are many legitimate uses for small arms.
        2) The government of Iran, which openly and frequently announces its intention to annihilate one of its regional neighbors, is rather different from the average US citizen, who shows no intent to do anything other than exercise his right to and duty of defense of self and others.

      • virago

        Five year olds have no understanding of human nature, yet, bless their hearts.

      • iamlucky13

        I haven’t looked into the details on the Iran nuclear deal yet in enough detail to have an opinion on it, but speaking of logical fallacies, the comparison to gun rights is invalid simply
        based on the fact that Iran is a nation with it’s own laws, not an individual protected by the individual rights of the US Constitution, and the US has no sovereign authority over Iran to directly infringe with. The deal is based on the US right to decide whether or not to conduct relations, most notably trade, with its peers. Iran’s recent behavior doesn’t make them a country I see a good reason to do business with. If they’re willing to commit to and follow through with cleaning up their behavior, then the picture changes.

        In a similar manner, I know of parents who refuse to let their children be friends with children whose parents own guns. Even though in that case I think they’re clearly over-reacting, where as the US refusal to trade with Iran is based on and proportionate to the concerns over Iran’s stability and questionable intentions for possessing nuclear weapons, I do recognize they have that right to decide what affiliations are allowed for their children.

        On the other hand, you could have raised the comparison of decreasingly regulated trade with China, also favored by Republicans (and Obama), which is not much better behaved than Iran, and arguably worse in some regards, and I’d have much more difficulty finding flaws in your comparison.

  • Guest

    Perhaps more important than the specific – but quite valid – objections to this series of posts is that you have yet to offer – as far as I know – an idea about what specific failure is causing the symptoms you lament, a single specific “something” to do about them, or any evidence of knowledge of our “gun culture” or our firearms regulatory schemes whatsoever. All I have seen you do is wave the bloody shirt, call millions of people names, accuse those same millions of objectively grave sins, and talk as if there is no such thing as a bad gun control measure.
    I’m open to change. I’ve changed a lot since my conversion began a year and a half ago; many of those changes were painful, but I still managed to come along. But you’ve given me no reason whatsoever to change on this topic yet.

    • Stu

      He has nothing. Every once in awhile he will champion so-called “smart guns” but when confronted by those with actual experience with fireaems on the shortcomings of such a cure-all, he responds with accusations that such people are just naysayers.

      And you are clearly part of the gun cult.

      • sez

        True, but the point isn’t that he has a better answer, but that the gun cult has repeatedly refused to discuss the possibility of any answers at all.

        • Guest

          Others here have shown repeatedly that the mainstream members of the “gun cult” that Shea identifies do in fact discuss regulatory measures. They even accept some and have developed some of their own. This idea of a hyper-obstructionist NRA is a phantom.

          • Andy

            Your comment about many of the mainstream members of the NRA is accurate, however, the front men for the NRA dismiss any regulations. It is the front men for the NRA that can be seen as obstructionist.
            By the way I own several guns, enjoy hunting and used to shoot skeet until shoulder surgery. I favor gun ownership, but recognize we need some sort of controls – this includes examining mental health issues immediately.

            • Guest

              Then explain to me how libertarian gun bloggers can be constantly lamenting the NRA’s “caving in” on those issues.

              • chezami

                Crazy and Crazierer.

              • Andy

                I have no idea what you are referring to.

          • kenofken

            The NRA has effectively outlawed federal research on gun violence as a public health issue. When you ban scientific inquiry for political reasons, there is no other way to spin that into anything other than obstructionism.

        • Stu

          He has no answers and routinely cannot engage those who already support the myriad sensible precautions already in place.

        • Pete the Greek

          “but that the gun cult has repeatedly refused to discuss the possibility of any answers at all.”
          – No, that’s incorrect and simply asserted by anti-gun people. It’s false and I’m pretty sure you know that. What Mark means by ‘discussion’ in this case is “shut up, sit there and let me rave about how evil you are and do whatever I want to you to do.”

          Note that in previous gun related topics on this blog, that when people responded to Mark, the whole stereotype of “from my cold dead hands!!” didn’t really show up. Lots of people, including myself, posted things like “Here is why your idea won’t work or isn’t the best way, or… Here is something better…” only to be shouted at (not having objections answered, just shouted at) because we dared to question his assertions.

          That’s not really a discussion, is it?

          And that is why anti 2nd Amendment people like Mark are losing, and continue to lose in this debate, and those who favor responsible protection and use or rights will win. We’re not the ones yelling. We’re the ones debating and convincing people.

          • kenofken

            Mark isn’t losing the debate. The 32,000 dead and tens of thousands wounded are losing the debate. The taxpayers who fork over more than $200 billion a year to pay for it all are losing.

            • Pete the Greek

              Considering that nothing he proposes would have any effect on that, your attempt at a clever rhetorical trick falls flat.

              You and he should go learn something about the topic if you expect to be taken seriously.

            • SteveP

              My owning a firearm has NO EFFECT on your firearm non-ownership you bigot.

              • kenofken

                This is especially true inasmuch as I am not a firearm non-owner.

            • Joseph

              Hey, I’m all for disarming the police. That would more than halve the number of people killed by guns each year. In Ireland, only in rare cases do the Gardai carry firearms. It’s illegal for a private citizen to own a handgun and there are pretty stiff restrictions on owning rifles/shotguns (that doesn’t stop practically a shooting a day in Dublin or Limerick though… that’s right, the criminals still find a way to get handguns). However, because the police aren’t former high school hall monitors with a vengeance who think that everyone is an enemy and military target and don’t carry firearms that they are carefully trained to shoot at civilians with, there is nary an incident with police killing citizens here and there is *no fear* of the police. So, even a criminal is reluctant to pull a weapon on a cop, even if he has one… so a the police doesn’t have to approach every criminal like an enemy combatant. Methinks that it’s the police that escalate the issue. Start by disarming them, you’ll see the culture change. There are a plethora of sound gun laws that can be promoted that will eventually cure the problem of mass shootings. But because the issue is so politicised, the US suffers from paralysis. They simply lob one-liners over the fence at each other. It might be worthy to note, in rural Ireland, more citizens own guns than police (farmers have shotguns/rifles… the Gardai in rural areas don’t have any firearms). You want peace? Disarm the disgraceful police in the US and make them behave like humans in the service of the people again instead of wannabe paramilitaries.

      • Guest

        Clearly I am.

        Never mind that I sold all my firearms when I moved in order to comply with my new local laws. Never mind that those weapons were stored in a safe before I sold them. Never mind that the “gun culture” I knew lived by Cooper’s rules more reliably than they did by the Ten Commandments. It’s clearly the people like me – who comprise the vast majority of the actual gun culture – who are to blame every time someone kills himself or a criminal murders another criminal with a firearm.

        There’s no way Mark Shea has been suckered in by media hype. He’s way too smart for that – look at how deftly he takes down media hype about the Church. If such a thing were possible, there ought to be a term for that phenomenon…

        • Stu

          Well, sure. That’s all fine and good but Mark has been skeet shooting before.

  • virago

    There is a difference between arming a person and helping, via tax money, to arm our enemy.
    Degrees, results, consequences.

  • Na

    don’t worry…..dems already solved this problem….just make more “nuclear free” safe zones and an equal number of bumper stickers…. place a sticker on every building and bingo!….the bad guys will leave you alone.

  • AquinasMan

    Suffice to say, a nuclear Iran greatly increases the likelihood that “Laudato Si” is going to need some extensive rewrites in a few years or so.

    But, air conditioning, yo.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Heh, well played.

  • (Apologies to the author this slogan who applied it to guns): “When nuclear weapons are outlawed, only outlaws will have nuclear weapons!” Keep the possession of nuclear weapons legal! No restrictions on the right to possess them!

  • john chill

    I watched Mike Huckabee defend his comments about the Holocaust last night on the O’Reilly Factor, and I was struck by a glaring flaw in his “logic” (one that the host of the No Spin Zone failed to point out, of course): Huckabee says he believes that Iran’s leaders are deranged and suicidal enough to nuke Israel knowing that such an act will guarantee their own deaths and the destruction of their country. For this reason, he opposed Obama’s deal with them. When asked if he favored a war with Iran instead, Huckabee insisted that he wanted to avoid a war and only wanted economic sanction to remain in place. Ponder this- Huckabee wants us to believe that he believes that a regime willing to accept its own destruction for nuking God’s Country is also capable of being deterred from doing so by some trade restrictions. Bull. Huckabee and his ilk want U.S.-led regime change in Iran, a project that will make the Iraq War look like a game of bocci ball by comparison. Anyone mindlessly jumping on the “No Deal with Teh Mullahz!!!!!” partisan bandwagon better understand what they’re committing themselves to.