Category Archives: Norse mythology

Control Freak M.O.

The modus operandi of the gun control freaks is to say anything to deceive people into supporting their desire to infringe on rights. Ordinarily, I try to be more measured in how I say things, but the fact is that we are at war in this country. We always have been and always will be. Any free society is at war with the forces of tyranny. You, dear readers, will have heard the saying that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. I am reminded of this often when I watch politics.

But here’s what has drawn my ire today. A website has appeared, calling itself Walmart Shootings. The following is from that site’s About page:

The Walmart Shootings blog (which is not associated with any gun violence prevention organization) highlights cases of shootings and other gun-related crimes on Walmart property, and explores issues around Walmart’s sales of guns and ammo.

The author of the site goes by the name of Baldr Odinson. This is a violation of the Norse gods, and what they will do to him for his sacrilege can be read about in the vast body of literature from the Norse culture. But if you go here, you will see this troll’s real identity clearly established. I use the word, troll, deliberately, considering what I’ve had to say about trolls in the past. The person in question steals the names of Norse gods, then goes about advocating civilian disarmament, something that Odin specifically rejects. (See, for example, Saying 38 of the Hávamál.) Ordinarily, I wouldn’t out a blogger’s real-world identity, but here we have someone who uses both names in the pursuit of infringing on our rights, so both are fair game.

As you’ll see on the Walls of the City site, this fellow is associated with “gun violence prevention” organization. In other words, he lied.

Spend enough time around gun control freaks, and you’ll see that this is typical behavior. As my fellow blogger, Retired Mustang, said recently in a comment about the Walmart Shootings site, some people see the truth only in terms of its utility, not as something fundamental.

Remember that next time someone claims that gun control is about safety.

Fishing for the Fellow under the Bridge

In my time writing and commenting on discussion boards and weblogs, I’ve run across a disturbing word: troll. Commentors are cautioned not to feed the troll, and anyone who expresses an opinion different from the majority’s risks being given that label. The term has two possible origins:

1. In Norse mythology, “troll” is a word used as a synonym for the Jötunn, the giants who are the equals and rivals of the Æsir and the Vanir. Readers of The Hobbit know of them as the monsters that confront Bilbo and the dwarfs before being tricked into staying out past dawn and turning into stone. Trolls also show up in the Harry Potter series. Then there’s the troll who lives under the bridge and eats travellers who try to cross.

2. The French verb, troller, means “to quest.” It’s used in English to refer to dragging bait through the water in hopes of catching fish.

The second of those is probably the origin of the term in Internet usage, since the offending commentor was someone who threw out silly or unrelated remarks in hopes of derailing the discussion, but it’s come to have both meanings, as seen by the idea of avoiding feeding said creature.

What disturbs me is the notion that a discussion must only be conducted by people who already agree on the main points. I’ve seen far too many cases of dissenters being called trolls for merely offering a contrary view. Our kind of society depends on a lively debate and a respect for the right of everyone to hold individual opinions. Yes, there are obvious cases of someone whose sole interest is to disrupt the conversation, but too often, moderators or participants label opposition as disruption.

This kind of attack is akin to the ad hominem fallacy. It’s directed at the person, while ignoring the points being presented. It’s also a sign of a small mind that is unable to address outside thoughts. I’ve said before that we get the society that we deserve. We shape that society by our participation in the marketplace of ideas. It should also be remembered that some of the Jötunn–Skaði, for example–live with the gods and are their friends. Odin himself consults Mímir, the giant guardian of the Well of Highest Wisdom. We dismiss trolls lightly at our peril.