I’m sorry that I took the bait and launched into yet another no-win exchange of comments with the progressive minority here (Professor Jimmy and I are never going to agree, it is clear he has little respect for me and the feeling is mutual, I can assure you) but beyond the personalities, as always, there seems to me to be a complete lack of understanding on the left of how to solve any problem – or in this case to even discuss it rationally.
I’m apparently “extreme”, “afraid”, I have no reading comprehension, I don’t want to debate, I haven’t proposed any “new” solutions and I seem to be crazy – that is if you listen to my antagonists. I have not been very nice and I have been mocking in tone, I’ll give you that – but my patience to suffer fools is completely exhausted.
We got off on the subject of guns again yesterday due to FC’s post about the two animals who shot a mother in the leg and a child in the face while trying to rob them…and somewhat unsurprisingly, the focus immediately went to the possession of guns and the regulation of them and not to the true issue, the clear and present evil of those two sub-humans. It is as if we could just somehow take away all the tools and lock them up, everything would be OK, that somehow we could contain the evil that causes one human to devalue the life of themselves or another that they are willing to kill.
Apparently, support for the Second Amendment is equal to cheering for the murder of children…because you don’t “need” a gun.
Of course, there are those (and I am not directing this at any specific commenters on TRNL) that deny the existence of pure evil, preferring the arrogance of assuming that everything can be explained in humanistic terms, and therefore, must have a humanistic solution. Just look at the never-ending gun “control” debate that gets reignited every time the progressive left sees an emotional lever to pull – and make no mistake, that is what they see when they see a tragedy like Sandy Hook, Columbine, the Giffords shooting, etc… I’m sure that they initially feel sorrow but within the first few hours after, the thoughts of how they can use these events to push a favored agenda starts to coalesce. This is not an opinion; it is the result of deductive reasoning based on witnessing the aftermath of these events and publically available facts.
Let’s look at the 2011 FBI numbers again:
- Total murders in: 12,664
- Total using firearms: 8,583
- Total using handguns: 6,220
- Total using rifles: 323
What weapon did the “progressives” focus on?
A small subset of the 323 rifles.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 38,364 suicides in the US in 2010. The New York Times calculates that over 20,000 of these were via firearms:
The gun debate has focused on mass shootings and assault weapons since the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn., but far more Americans die by turning guns on themselves. Nearly 20,000 of the 30,000 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010 were suicides, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national suicide rate has climbed by 12 percent since 2003, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teenagers.
I can’t dispute their numbers, so I won’t but I think that it is a safe assumption that a very large percentage of these involved a handgun.
What weapon did the “progressives” focus on?
A small subset of the rifle family.
I’m not advocating for the restriction of handguns – but I do think it is craven and hypocritical for progressive politicians to create the aura of “doing something” while going after a subset of weapons that really changes nothing…and we have evidence of that fact from the data gleaned during the last “assault weapon” ban.
Apparently, all we need is just more laws to further restrict the behaviors of people who already follow the laws…but that is nothing less than magical thinking. While it does allow them to claim that the “gun nuts” are “extreme” by opposing a provision that we all can agree did nothing, our “nutty” opposition is based on the solid position that having more legal restrictions that do nothing is not better, and it is simply a reduction of liberty for no gain. None of the legislation would have stopped any of the shootings – none of them.
Looking at this process in its entirety, it is hard for a rational person to see actions of Democrat politicians like Diane Feinstein and Governor Cuomo as anything other than using raw emotion and demagoguery of a very minor subset of all firearms to drive a political wedge between popular opinion and the Constitution. This isn’t about solving any immediate problem; it is about the long game, the principle of stare decisis – building on precedent – to attain a toehold from which to drive greater restrictions in the future. The hyperbole of which is encapsulated in this statement by the CDC’s Dr. Mark Rosenberg:
“The literature suggests that having a gun in your home to protect your family is like bringing a time bomb into your house,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, an epidemiologist who helped establish the C.D.C.’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Instead of protecting you, it’s more likely to blow up.”
Is that true?
According to several data sources, there are somewhere between 300 to 350 million firearms in private hands in America. If we add the firearm related murders and suicides, we arrive at around 30,000 deaths a year – divided by 300 million guns, that is a mortality rate of 10 per 10,000 guns. In comparison, there were slightly over 32,000 automobile related deaths in 2010 with a total number of passenger vehicles in the US at around 305 million cars, busses, trucks and motorcycles – that also gives a mortality rate of around 10 people per 10,000 vehicles.
So Dr. Rosenberg has offered up a political non sequitur to win points with low information people.
No rational gun owner is for facilitating suicides or the killing of children – but there is an answer for the access issue and it isn’t some James Bond device as contemplated by Joe Nocera in a recent NYT editorial. It is as I wrote the morning of after the Sandy Hook shooting – gun owners have a responsibility to secure their weapons from those who have no business with access to them.
It would be different if the “progressives” were discussing this situation in good faith – but they are not…while they accuse us of being afraid, it is actually they who are cowering in fear and this fear simply prevents them from understanding the real problem. They don’t want to solve the problem, they just want the fear to go away.
What they are actually doing is dishonest and about as effective in reducing true gun violence as banning all Harley soft-tails would change auto accident mortality rates. It is nothing but symbolism without substance. Instead of focusing their energy on further restrictions of those of us who have agreed to abide by the social contract, we need to address the evil that causes the trigger to be pulled in the first place.
When I think about the pure illogic of this position, and unfortunately it is a position at the root of all “progressivism”, I get frustrated and soon the frustration turns to anger.
I’ve never claimed to have all the answers but what I do know is that I have never committed murder, I know that outside of war, no one in my family or circle of friends has ever shot anyone and we all have been gun owners for generations. I just have to wonder how rational it is to think that continuing to tighten restrictions (to the point of an outright ban) on people like me will stop the next Adam Lanza or Dylan Klebold.