Christopher Swindell is a professor of Journalism at Marshall University in West Virginia. He writes this in the Charleston Gazette (May 30, 2013):
Watching the celebration at the NRA [National Rifle Association] convention over the defeat of background checks was the most nauseating experience of the day.
I am not a New York gun control liberal, either. I support a shotgun for home defense, a handgun for limited conceal/carry, and an assortment of hunting rifles to balance West Virginia’s exploding deer population (as evidenced by hourly collisions with cars). So, I am hardly out of the mainstream.
But, the gun safety debate is B.S. This foaming at the mouth, Obamar is coming for the guns, Nanny Bloomberg is a bad billionaire, and most despicable of all, those survivors and victims are pawns in the liberal agenda is knuckle-dragging Cretan talk.
Is Obama not coming for the guns? Is Bloomberg not behaving like a nanny when he rules on how much soda people may buy in one cup “for their own good”? Are all Americans not pawns in the liberal – ie Obama administration’s – agenda?
And no matter how many times Sen. Joe Manchin tries to explain his compromise (a decent attempt thwarted by extremists), the hard right lies and foams. The repeated lies now seem like the truth, what with the likes of Sen. Kelly Ayotte telling them.
Apparently he only has to say the name of Senator Kelly Ayotte (for whose position on gun control see here) to conjure up a set of connotations at which his fellow liberals (though not those of the “New York gun control” type who are apparently too extreme for Mr Swindell) to nod in harmonious disdain.
Probably the most serious miscalculation opponents make is the guest list for the NRA speaker’s podium. To let the half-wit half-term quitter Sarah Palin have a microphone is to alienate the very people Republicans need to work with on future legislation. To say nothing of the other speakers.
Sarah Palin is an extraordinary (and beautiful) woman. She hunts and fishes to put food on her family’s table. She and her husband built their own house. She was an able governor of Alaska. Chosen by the lackluster John McCain to be his running-mate for the presidency in 2008, she energized his campaign and drew the eyes of the nation to her as the star she is. When Obamacare was no more than a dark nebulous menace, she spotted that it would inevitably set up the “death panels” which it does. But because they do not agree with her; because she did not go to an ivy-league university; because she is not one of that class of intellectual snobs aptly called by Thomas Sowell the “self-anointed”, she is treated by them not only with most illiberal scorn, but is actively persecuted, bullied, maligned, libeled. The snobs have even sunk so low as to malign and libel her children. Every brave, moral, decent thing she does – such as deciding not to have an abortion when she knew her child would be born with Down Syndrome – is mocked and spat upon by those arbiters and models of good taste, refined sensibility, superior breeding and costly education. They confuse intelligence with the acquisition of university degrees. She did not go to Harvard, so she is a “half-wit”. As for her being a quitter – meaning that she left the governorship because a campaign of frivolous and cruel litigation was mounted against her – the critics should consider how little time Barack Obama devoted to anything in his life before he became president.
And how does choosing a white, rich old man with an offensive degrading speech about the war of “Northern Aggression” as NRA president forward a sense of reasonableness? History lesson: It was an awful Civil War won decisively some 150 years ago. Over slavery. The Confederacy wanted to keep African-Americans in chains and President Lincoln didn’t.
Ah yes, to be white is eternally unforgiveable (unless you are on the Left). To be rich is so nasty it ought to be criminalized (unless you are on the Left – or believe in nanny government like billionaire Mayor Bloomberg).
The Civil War was indeed “awful”. Some 620,000 people lost their lives in it. It was fought to keep the Union together. Whether rightly or wrongly is still a subject of dispute, while nobody now supports slavery except Islam.
Sure, there were states’ rights issues, but nullification, secession, and treason were settled at Appomattox Courthouse. Sure, Reconstruction left a bad taste. But, resurrecting these same things, the way South Carolina is as we speak, is to invite a return to the whole concept of a Union.
Here it is. The NRA advocates armed rebellion against the duly elected government of the United States of America.
We did not hear and have not found NRA speeches advocating “armed rebellion against the duly elected government”. But if they were made, we doubt that the speakers meant now. If they meant that one of the reasons citizens should freely own guns is to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, they were surely right. And the trend of the Obama government is ever more towards dictatorship and tyranny.
That’s treason, and it’s worthy of the firing squad. The B.S. needs a serious gut check. We are not a tin pot banana republic where machine gun toting rebel groups storm the palace and depose the dictator.
We put the president in the White House.
A part of the electorate put this one there, making the biggest mistake in US history.
To support the new NRA president’s agenda of arming the populace for confrontation with the government is bloody treason. And many invite it gladly as if the African-American president we voted for is somehow infringing on their Constitutional rights.
There we go. Mentioning that he is “African-American” is the hint that all who are against him are motivated by race prejudice.
And that is followed by a threat of overwhelming fire-power in defense of their immaculate values:
Normally, I am a peaceable man, but in this case, I am willing to answer the call to defend the country. From them.
To turn the song lyric they so love to quote [?] back on them, “We’ll put a boot in your —, it’s the American way.”
Except it won’t be a boot. It’ll be an M1A Abrams tank, supported by an F22 Raptor squadron with Hellfire missiles. Try treason on for size. See how that suits. And their assault arsenal and RPGs won’t do them any good.
So, to return to reality, all of us. Let’s make common sense gun safety a deciding issue for 2014 and beyond. The NRA certainly has. Let’s push back. We the People. The 85 percent who support more robust background checks. And when the next domestic terrorist with an assault rifle comes along, we can blame the leaders and fringe of the NRA for arming them.
So this whole rant was over less or more “robust background checks”. And whether less or more, if a mass murderer comes along with an assault rifle, the great thing is that the Left can blame the NRA for arming him. You only get reasoning like that among the brilliant self-anointed.
Determined violent killers who cannot get guns will not refrain from killing; they’ll use less efficient weapons, such as knives or clubs, and so in all probability make the killing slower and more painful.
The answer to anti-gun fever is that it isn’t the gun that kills but the person who shoots with it.
Here the case is well argued by Daniel Greenfield writing at his website Sultan Knish:
Every day another one of the stories comes in. A teacher panicked by a plastic gun, an army man on a cupcake, a t-shirt, a pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun or a finger gun hits the panic button. Supensions and lectures quickly follow as the latest threat to the gun-free zone, usually in the form of a little boy, is tackled to the ground and lectured to within an inch of his life.
There are some very stupid people in charge of schools!
Tellingly these incidents rarely take place in the inner city schools where teenage gang members walk through metal detectors at the start of the day. The safety officers in those schools, big weary men with eyes that look everywhere at once, don’t waste their time on toys. Not unless those toys are full-size, painted black and filed down to look like real guns.
It’s usually the schools where a shooting is wholly unlikely; where gun violence is not a daily reality, but an unlikely convergence of horror, that institutional vigilance hits an irrational peak as every school imagines that it could be the next Columbine or the next Sandy Hook.
The NRA’s initial proposal of armed school guards was met with an irrational chorus of protests. More guns aren’t the answer, was the cry. And the leading crier was the White House’s expert skeet shooter. … The problem was not the man, it was the gun. Get rid of the guns and you stop the killing. Schools across the country are banning not [only] the gun, but the idea of the gun. It is a conceptual prohibition that is meant to push away the threat of gun violence by eliminating any mention of the G word. Gun-free zones mean places where guns cannot be mentioned, depicted or even symbolized as if the refusal to concede the existence of a firearm will eliminate the threat of it being used on the premises.
This isn’t a precautionary attitude, but a pacifist one. Gun horror is not a productive emotion, but learned helplessness disguised as moral superiority. Rather than teaching children to hate killers, schools are instead teaching them to hate guns. And reducing murders to instruments rather than morals, children are left with no sense of right and wrong, only an instinctive horror of violence.
Pacifists have always demonized armies rather than invaders. … By dealing with the object rather than the subject, they are able to avoid the question of moral responsibility. Rather than hold the Nazis, Communists or Islamists accountable for their actions, they extended a blanket condemnation over the weapons-wielders. …
While the left likes to indulge in stereotypes of gun-toting rednecks and bomb-brandishing generals, the only people who judge the worth of a man by his weapon are the pacifists, the gun-fearers and gun-hiders who mythologize weapons as black agents of evil.
To believe that there is no such thing as constructive violence is to reject free will. Without accepting the necessity of constructive violence, there is no good and evil, only armed men and unarmed men. Without constructive violence, two boys playing cops and robbers in the schoolyard are not acting out a childish morality play, they are becoming desensitized to murder …
If there is no such thing as constructive violence, then the police officer is not the solution to crime, he is part of the cycle of violence. And if that cycle of violence does not begin with a man choosing to use a gun for good or evil, then it must begin with the gun. The man becomes the object and the gun becomes the subject. American ICBMs become just as bad as Russian ballistic missiles. An Israeli soldier killing a suicide bomber is just as bad as the terrorist. There are no good guys with guns. To have a gun is to be the bad guy.
For decades the gun-control lobby has brandished assault rifles at press conferences and spent more time describing their killing power than their manufacturers have. The rifle has been upgraded to the assault rifle and now, in the latest Orwellian vernacular used by the White House and the entire media pyramid beneath it, weapons of war. …
Shootings in America are not caused by guns, they are caused by crime. Guns really do not walk off store shelves and go on killing sprees. That’s what criminals are for. But the trouble with that discussion is that it takes us into moral territory. … We have to ask the difficult question of what does kill people.
It’s a bigger question than just Adam Lanza pulling the trigger in a classroom full of children. It is a big question that encompasses the Nazi gas chambers and the Soviet gulags, the Rape of Nanking and September 11. It is a question as big as all of human history.
Pacifists once used to be able to address such questions, but they have become obsessed with the technology of violence … ,[which] is largely beside the point. Guns do not motivate people to kill. …
Some of history’s worst massacres happened long before firearms became useful for more than scaring off peasants. The heavily armed Americans of the 50s had lower per capita murder rates than medieval London. It isn’t the gun that makes the killer. It’s not the hand that kills, but the mind.
The gun-free society has little interest in individuals. Its technocratic philosopher-kings want big and comprehensive solutions. Their answer to gun violence is to feed a horror of guns. Their answer to obesity is to ban sodas. Their solutions invariably miss the point by treating people like objects and objects like people.
In the Middle Ages, rats were put on trial for eating crops. Today we put guns on trial for killing people.
The left has tried to reduce people to economics, to class and then race, gender and sexual orientation. It has done its best to reduce people to the sum of their parts and then to tinker with those parts and it has failed badly. The best testimony of its … failure is that the worst pockets of gun violence are in urban areas that have been under the influence of their sociologists, urban planners, psychologists, social justice activists, community organizers and political rope-pullers for generations. And what have those areas brought forth except malaise, despair, blight and murder?
Banning guns will do as much for those areas as banning drugs did. …
The gun-control activists drew the wrong lesson from [the murder of children at Sandy Hook school in] Newtown as they drew the wrong lessons from WW2 and September 11. The lesson is not that weapons are bad, the lesson is that people in the grip of evil ideas are capable of unimaginable horrors regardless of the tools at their disposal. A single man can kill a classroom full of children with a gun and a few men can kill thousands with a few box cutters. It isn’t the tool that matters. It’s the man.
Unwishing the gun brings us back to the sword. Unwishing the sword brings us back to the spear. Unwishing the spear brings us back to the stone club. And what then? When every weapon that ever existed or will exist is undone, all that remains is the deadliest weapon of all. The mind of man.
The gun, the sword, the spear and the club took countless lives and saved countless lives. Civilization has always balanced on a future made possible by little boys playing cops and robbers and playing with little green army men. They can either grow up to be the protectors of the future or the frightened men who will stand aside and do nothing when they hear the screams begin to come because they have been told that all violence is evil.
CNN television host Piers Morgan accuses one of his interviewees, in this debate on gun possession, of stupidity. But it is his own stupidity – and self-righteous arrogance – that emerges in the video.
From an article (find it all here) in Front Page Magazine:
The Obama administration has turned the Mexican government’s gun-violence problem into a “blame-America-first” crisis in order to advance a gun-control campaign that will be spearheaded by the likes of Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton. The gun-control lobby fully understands this and consequently has lauded Obama’s quest to prevent civilians from obtaining so-called “assault weapons” (which, as noted above, are often nothing more than semi-automatic shotguns). American citizens at large also understand this instinctively, as evidenced by the frenetic pace at which they have been purchasing guns and ammunition ever since Obama was elected President last November.
When Hillary Clinton laments that America’s “incapacity” to limit gun access has “unfair[ly]” led people to hold “the Mexican government and people responsible” for the violence of its drug cartels, she is merely laying the groundwork for further encroachment on Americans’ right to bear arms. Her modus operandi is to depict the U.S. as the cause of gun violence in Mexico, and to characterize her mission as a pure-hearted quest to save innocent lives.
But in reality, the Clinton-Obama approach will have a number of undesirable consequences. It will hurt the United States by imposing ever-stricter gun-control laws, thereby making it increasingly difficult for law-abiding Americans to protect themselves. It will be ineffective in curbing the violence of the Mexican drug cartels, who clearly can obtain the guns they desire from a host of sources. And, ultimately, it will hurt Mexico by failing to pressure the Mexican government to acknowledge the real cause of its problems and to institute meaningful reform.