This is going to be rambling, possibly disjointed, maybe even long, post. It’s supposed to have a theme, but as I start to type I’m not even sure of what that is. It is as a comic once described his material, “Stream of Unconsciousness”.
People tend to live in bubbles, or as some refer to them, echo chambers. We surround ourselves for the most part with people who think as we do. That reinforces our world view and validates our opinions. It’s a comfort zone thing, I think. Some few don’t do that and I count some of them among my close friends. Still other close friends live in their own bubbles and we often disagree, especially when I burst theirs or they mine.
In the week since the Newtown murders, I’ve seen a lot of that. Along with pandering, panic, and political opportunism.
The anti gun forces, or “gun grabbers” as the NRA refers to them, are opportunistically and cynically seizing this opportunity to advance their agenda. They have mislead people, or at least attempted to, who don’t know much about guns. Or don’t know anything. A ends justify the means approach. You don’t have to believe me, and I’m sure that some of my readers won’t, but the goal of this faction is not to prevent the repetition of this tragedy, but rather to restrict access to firearms by exactly the people who don’t commit this kind of crime. Or any crime for that matter. I am not going to attempt to delve into the roots of the murderer’s sickness, although I have some ideas. There are plenty of people who pretend to know that sort of thing who are already pontificating at length. Frankly, I think most of them are full of shit and just grabbing for a few minutes of notoriety. The hell with them.
President Obama is more cynical than most as his Attorney General may well have been responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of weapons moving to Mexico and being used in hundreds of murders in Mexico and a smaller number in the US. Not that the complicit media will talk about that. The President has gone on TV to tell us that the crisis is upon us and we MUST ACT NOW! Just as the financial crisis was upon us and we had to act immediately, no time for deliberation, we had to pass the stimulus. We know how that worked out. Solyndra anyone? Or we had to pass Obamacare because there was a crisis and no time to waste debating and dissecting a law that was going to take over 1/6 of US economy. Starting on January 1, we are going to see how well that will work out for us. Or the Fiscal Cliff, as it’s called. We need to pass a bill that will raise taxes RIGHT NOW, because the crisis is upon us.
So it is with this. We have to pass “reasonable” restrictions right now, or as soon as we can after the first of the year. VP Joe Biden will lead a special commission made up of allies of the President to come up with a bill that we will no doubt have to pass “RIGHT NOW” because the crisis is upon us. No sense in letting a good crisis go to wasted when we can use it to advance our agenda. Which has nothing to do with the crisis at hand.
Why he did this has no relation to gun control. A sufficiently motivated criminal will always find a way to commit a crime. Having a firearm made it easier, but not possible. The implement used doesn’t matter, the real weapon is the mind of the criminal. Which is why bans on things never have and never will reduce crime. As a nation we tried that approach back with the Volstead Act. All that succeeded in doing is funding organized crime to an extent never before seen. It allowed them power and influence that last to this day. Oh, it also turned otherwise completely law abiding citizens. The same can be said of the current version of prohibition, The War on (some) Drugs. A ban on guns, especially those in common use today, will do the same thing.
Gun owners are often their own worst enemies. After last Fridays events, gun owners are now in full panic mode. Gun stores are selling everything they have, because a large faction of gun owners are running like scared rabbits confident that the FEMA concentration camps will soon be full of conservatives and libertarians taken into custody by the UN Peace Keepers set to land on our shores any minute now. You think I’m kidding? Go read some of the firearms forums and then come back and tell me I’m crazy. Those that aren’t hunkering down in their bunkers are engaging in a buying frenzy far worse than any previous ones. Then complaining about people “gouging” on prices and want the government to step in. I guess libertarianism and free markets end where their wallets begin. Maybe if they hadn’t engaged in panic buying, prices wouldn’t have spiked. Duh.
Then there are the gun owners of the “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!!!!!!!!” variety. They don’t want any restrictions on guns. Not that I’m a big fan of any restrictions that don’t meet the Supreme Court’s “strict scrutiny” standard, but some restrictions are necessary. Note that I am not saying I think further restrictions are good, because they are not. Neither good nor necessary.
Oh, those are many of the same people who think that the NRA is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The bubble those people live in is one where there is no licensing of firearms owners, no such thing as a “prohibited person”, no restrictions on any firearms types or capacities. While I’m inclined to agree with them, I also have read and think I understand Heller and McDonald. These people live in their own bubble where gun ownership is the pivotal issue in America and no politician or organization is pure enough for them. They don’t seem to understand that most people don’t own guns and don’t care about guns. That’s just way to outside their bubble. Interestingly, a lot of these people thought that if only the Republicans had nominated Ron Paul, he’d have won in a landslide.
Then there is the NRA. I understand that Wayne LaPierre gave a speech earlier this morning. I didn’t hear it, I was tied up with something else. I’ve read the transcript and it’s a good speech. Good enough that the media is attacking it and him with unusual vigor. Sadly, embedded in his speech were comments once again pointing the finger of blame. Violent video games, music videos, TV shows and movies are partially to blame. Just as Rock and Roll was to blame for teen age decadence in the 1950s. Or was it the 1960s? Once again someone is attempting to blame and control things, not actions for a horrendous crime. It’s just the flip side of blaming high capacity magazines, semi automatic rifles, and “easy to buy” hand guns. Mr. LaPierre should know better. Sadly, all too many people are ready to jump on this band wagon. If we only censor movies and video games and prosecute the parents of kids who play them, all will be right as rain quickly. Another simple solution that won’t work.
I have to wonder how many kids play video games. A lot I’d guess. Probably more than legally own firearms. How many of those kids commit heinous crimes? Not many. How many gun owners commit crimes? Not many. I see a parallel here, how about you?
Many of these mass murderers seem to be into the Goth lifestyle. Maybe we should ban black rain coats, black boots, tattoos, and piercings.
Some of the killers are Asian. In fact, at a rage slightly higher than the representation in the general population. Maybe we shouldn’t allow Asians to own guns, play video games, or be Goths.
I can carry this on to even more ridiculous levels, but you probably get the point.
In a frantic effort to DO SOMETHING many groups are casting about for a simple solution to a complex problem.
Interestingly, no one seems to be interested in talking about the connection many of these people have to psychiatric issues, the chronic lack of treatment options for that, how hard it is to institutionalize or compel potentially violent people to take their medications. No, can’t do any of that because its”s a violation of their “rights” and besides it costs more than ignoring the problem. Except for veterans, who Janet Napolitano wants to classify veterans with PTSD as potentially violent and strip them of their Second Amendment Rights forever. What was that about not letting a crisis go to waste?
Finally, and maybe the worst of all is the mass media. All of them. I watched the early coverage of this tragedy on Fox News. Until I couldn’t stand the blatant guessing, making stuff up, and blather from so called experts who clearly had no idea of what was unfolding and yet smugly assured us they knew why it was happening. I then moved to CNN, where it was much the same, only with different commercials. Then to various news websites, which had the sole virtue of being behind the cable news networks solely because they couldn’t be updated quickly enough.
We soon learned that only a few people were shot and that the shooter had killed himself. That he had used handguns and left his rifle in his car. That his mother was a teacher at the school and he went there to kill her and her entire class. That there two shooters, the second one being the brother of the first shooter. That he had Asbergers. The last being a libel which is particularly odious as it further stigmatizes a group of people who are already stigmatized.
As more “facts” came in, the story changed and at no point did anyone that I saw say “We were wrong before, we apologize.” They just blithely nattered on with the new set of facts, and mostly the same non illuminating video.
I warned you that this would be a long and rambling post, didn’t I?
Maybe I should call this post “Hobby Horses” as everyone seems to be riding theirs this week.
Too bad none of those horses are named “Looking for real solutions”, since no one seems to be interested in finding one.
If I’ve missed insulting any group, please let me know. I’d hate not to offend any contingent.
Oh, lest I forget, those mono-synaptic cretins from the Westboro Baptist Church are intent on exercising their First Amendment Right to be complete morons by protesting at the funerals. I wonder if what they do constitutes “common fighting words” per the Supreme Court? I think one thing we can all agree on is that this group of jackwads would benefit from a good ass kicking. At least I’d feel better if that happened.
Well, that’s enough of my blathering. Feel free to comment. Just keep is civil because I know where the “Trash it” button is and I’m not afraid to use it.