Stirring up some controversy by discussing vitriol as applied to faces

Stirring up some controversy, Alarm Rider ATL wrote:

‘Now comparing Sulfuric acid to firearms, let’s look at two hypothetical intimidation statements below and compare them:
#1 “If you try and take my guns, I will shoot you” (we’ve all heard variations on this one)
#2 “If you try and take my guns, maybe you’ll get them and maybe you wont. I won’t risk my life then and there to stop you.  But if you do manage to get any of my guns, I promise you that I will track you down afterwards and I WILL throw Sulphuric acid in your face.”
Which statement is more likely to give a would-be gun grabber pause?’

A commenter replied:

‘Let me make something clear, as well. Tarring and feathering is a terrorist tactic. Tar melts at up to and beyond 250 degrees fahrenheit. That’s above the boiling point for water. It creates horrible burns which become infected. The tactic killed people before and during the Revolutionary War. It wasn’t merely a tactic used to humiliate people. It was used to deliberately strike terror into other potential political (read: violent) opponents. Had they wanted to merely humiliate them, they would have used raw pine or spruce sap and feathers. It was a terrorist tactic, and one the Revolutionaries used. Shooting someone is a purely defensive tactic. Tarring and feathering is not designed to directly defend anyone, but to strike fear into hearts. It was very a very “effective,” way, as you use the word, to try to change minds through violence. (I consider THAT to be terrorism.)
I’m starting to think a lot of folks are getting the idea that sulphuric acid mutilation could be the modern day tarring and feathering. I’m starting to think you’re promoting it.
“Now this is the type of application that appears to be the most effective. It’s hard to argue against the deterrent effect the acid-in-face attack.
First, the results are horrific, something to be avoided.”
Knock it off. You’re making the entire liberty movement look like a bunch of sadistic, terrorist thugs.’

I was somewhat surprised to see some commenters as GG regarded this as horrifying. Somehow, I seem to have gotten atrocity fatigue. Things that should be horrifying strike me as typical abuses of power – not surprising, not entertaining, not novel.

I don’t regard this as a problem to me, because I can appeal to Jefferson’s Enlightenment principles. Almost every country on this planet pays some lip service to the Enlightenment. Thinkers like Montesquieu, Locke, Bastiat, Mill, Jefferson, etc. punch above their weight. Even if the USA Constitution were entirely discredited around the globe – even if Jefferson, Madison, Washington were forgotten – Montesquieu, Locke, Bastiat, Mill, and may others would still be important.

At the moment I can call myself a Jeffersonian without provoking a scandal. I rather doubt that current events will force me to hedge and call myself a Lockean, in order to distance myself from Jeffersonian ruffians – but time will tell.

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