The curious case of Elizabeth Mandelman…For those who may be new to discussions of and by Ms. Mandelman, a bit of preamble may be necessary.
If you were an American proponent of gun control and idealistic graduate student looking for an audience of ready supporters who shared your revolutionary zeal, where would you go? To the American public? No, the Second Amendment guarantees not only freedom from state tyranny, but also a tough battle. But, hey, why not Canada? The country has no property rights for its citizens and is full of gun control idealogues. As such it represents fertile ground for the flogging of arguments as to why the nanny state needs to regulate and control those who have done no wrong; never mind punishing them criminally for the misdeeds of others. Yes, Canada is the obvious choice. And this is where Ms. Mandelman enters the picture.
Connected to IANSA and the Advocacy Project, Ms. Mandelman has come to Canada for work on her Master’s degree. Now, what people choose to work on in graduate studies is entirely up to them, and she has taken to working on violence against women, albeit with a single minded focus on gun control. Her slant in terms of pro-gun control is so blatant that in one of her posts she laments about rape in war zones. Specifically that firearms cause soldiers to commit rape(however, when taken to task by commentators that the individuals she was referring to as “soldiers” are really nothing more than armed thugs involved in internecine struggles, Mandelman was forced to somewhat “clarify” her position).
This “clarification” is an interesting point. In her blog entries, Mandelman has on more than one occasion stated that she welcomes open debate on the subject at hand. Further, she indicated that she would do so with those who were her intellectual equal. Despite her bold words welcoming debate and discussion, Mandelman has consistently stifled it. One of the (few) supporting commentators to her blog recommended she visit the site http://www.canadiangunnutz.com to get a peek into the collective mind of her detractors. Visiting that site, one can quickly see that she is the subject of much discussion. Unfortunately for her, none of it is good.
The problem it would seem is that Mandelman speaks volumes about being open to debate, out of one side of her mouth, while at the same time quashing debate by saying “The comment period for this entry is now closed” with the other, while not responding to counterpoints. There are a large number of rebuttals, comments, requests for “clarification” (aha–there it is again) and counterpoints conducive to open discussion that Mandelman simply ignores, or deletes from her blog. That’s all fair and well if you choose to edit replies to your blog as you see fit, but it should not be characteristic of a blog which the owner professes to be open for intellectual criticism and debate. Further to this, by the evidence presented (screen captures, for example, that show the time and date of comments to her blog, or which constitute proof of removing posts that contradict her ideology) there are many instances of Mandelman refusing to post counterpoints or engage in any discussion with those who disagree with her views.
In one such case, a commentator has challenged her several times on the orthodoxy of the long gun registry being a necessity in Canada. Despite being informed of a conversation the individual had with RCMP national headquarters that pointed to the inaccuracy of the above dogma, Mandelman simply deleted that individual’s comments and to this point has still refused to reply or engage in any constructive discussion of that subject. Others have openly extended invitations to meet in public forums, such as a guest speaker role in an appropriate class at The University of Western Ontario. That invitation was extended in the hopes of having a public debate. Mandelman snidely dismissed the invitation to speak and debate at the university, citing fears for her safety, while maintaining that she would do so, but only with those who were her intellectual equal(!). Now, in fairness, Mandelman’s comments also indicated that debate would only be entertained with those who did not consider themselves intellectually superior…however, one would think that invitation to open, public debate should be indicative of similar intellectual stature amongst the participants.
Throughout her writings, Mandelman keeps trying to make the case that the long gun registry and the whole Canadian gun control regime is necessary to ensure a safe society. In her statements and interviews, she continually confuses licensing with registration. What’s worse, she consistently misconstrues and twists opposition to registration as being the same as opposition to licensing. In a very facile fashion, Mandelman, in one of her rare responses to commentary, dismisses her critics in this area as being ill-informed: she has read the Firearms Act extensively.
It is her contention that she has a far better grasp of the Firearms Act and gun control in Canada than those who have lived under its yoke for the past 15 years. Well, I have read extensively about the Second World War, but would never have the gall to presume that I know more about what it was like than someone who actually lived it.
In her arrogance, Mandelman is at least consistent in her refusal to accept any arguments that differ from her own preconceived notions. She steadfastly ignores statistical evidence that contradicts her own views. For example, she insists that the long gun registry is essential in reducing suicides. However, by looking at the suicide rate in Canada (check the Statistics Canada website and reference the suicide tables), it can readily be seen that while firearms suicides have declined in recent years, those by hanging have gone up; effectively negating each other and rendering the suicide rate as constant and unchanging since the registry’s inception. Proof that the suicide rate has declined thanks to gun control? Hardly. Yet Mandelman continues to say that it does, and comments are closed, thank you very much. So much for engaging in discussion to arrive at the truth. And yes, Ms. Mandelman, should you read this, your comments are welcome here on this blog, but I would like it if mine were on yours.
A guest contributor had drafted it some time ago and it got lost in the shuffle. I also didn’t see the PENDING marker. That is my fault and I apologize. cgnn