Saturday, January 26, 2013

True Believers in a Firearms Fantasy

 Philly Burbs
Apart from religion, more Americans appear to be nuts on the subject of guns than all other topics. The National Rifle Association has raised and spent millions in recent years peddling scare stories about President Obama’s secret plan to abolish the Second Amendment, confiscate everybody’s deer rifles and set up a gun-free dictatorship.

Newtown conspiracy theories are only incrementally madder spinoffs of the NRA’s master narrative. Yet its leaders are treated as VIPs in newsrooms and TV studios. Why?

To believers, guns have become fetish objects in American popular culture, having magical potency. Witness Bushmaster Firearms’ advertising its .223 caliber AR-15 --Newtown killer Adam Lanza’s weapon — with the slogan: “Consider your Man Card reissued.”

Viagra ads are more subtle.

Hence conversations with gun cultists tend to be conducted in the dualistic, all-or-nothing terms of fundamentalist theology. Although polls have shown that large majorities of gun owners favor measures such as improved background checks to make it harder for criminals and severely mentally ill people to acquire deadly weapons, cultists see all such legislation in apocalyptic terms. Any regulation amounts to total confiscation.

20 comments:

  1. This article is a good illustration of the dangers that my side has been pointing out for a long time. When you sacrifice rights for some hipster ideology, nothing is sacred anymore. The writer here sees religion as the chief subject of insanity in this country, with guns coming in second.

    But, of course, were we to propose limits on political ideas that can be expressed in newspapers and on-line, he'd likely foam at the mouth at the outrage against his rights.

    The irony here is that while he wants to infringe on my rights, I defend his--all of his.

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    1. You're exaggerating (lying) again, Greg. You don't support his right to own a rocket launcher or to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, do you?

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    2. Why do I have to keep telling you that rocket launchers are a different class of weapon? The Second Amendment didn't have rockets in mind. And don't tell me that such things didn't exist at the time of writing--unless you've forgotten the lyrics to our national anthem. If so, look up rockets on the battlefield.

      With regard to yelling fire, I'll accept the same limitations on guns as on speech: I bring my tongue into the theater, along with my thoughts, but I keep them contained unless there's a reason to let them out.

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    3. "But, of course, were we to propose limits on political ideas that can be expressed in newspapers and on-line, he'd likely foam at the mouth at the outrage against his rights."

      Greg, there are limits. Are you kidding? All rights are restricted.

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    4. But you want too many restrictions. I just illustrated how I'd accept a limit on guns as I accept it on speech. When I go to a theater to watch a movie, I'm obliged not to talk. That doesn't mean that I leave my ability to speak or my thoughts at the door.

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  2. Your assertions smack of desperation. We gun owners simply HAVE to be from the dark side.. do you seek escape from an inferiority complex?

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  3. Consider that many of those in positions of leadership in the gun control movement have expressed a desire for ever greater disarmament. Regardless of the gun under discussion the desire to ban guns is pretty much a matter of record:

    "We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns [to ban]"
    -- Jose Cerda, Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 1997

    "The second article of amendment (Second Amendment) to the Constitution of the United States is repealed."
    -- U.S. House Joint Resolution 438 introduced 11 March 1992 by Congressman Owens, D-NY

    "If it were up to me we'd ban them all [firearms]."
    -- Mel Reynolds, U.S. Congressman, CNN Crossfire, 9 Dec 93

    "We're going to have to take this one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily - given the political realities - going to be very modest. Right now, though, we'd be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal - total control of all guns- is going to take time ... The final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition - except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs and licensed gun collectors - totally illegal."
    -- Nelson T. Shields III, Founder of Handgun Control, Inc., New Yorker Magazine, p. 57-58, 26 Jul 1976

    "We must reverse this psychology (of needing guns for home defense). WE can do it by passing a law that says anyone found in possession a handgun except a legitimate officer of the law goes to jail-period!"
    -- Carl Rowan, Washington DC Syndicated Columnist, 1981 article

    Senator Dianne Feinstein: "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out-right ban, picking up every one of them... 'Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in,' I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here." CBS-TV's "60 Minutes", February 5, 1995

    "The only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes."
    --- Sarah Brady, Jackson, Keeping the Battle Alive, Tampa Trib., Oct. 21, 1993

    The U.S. government argued in federal court (U.S. v. Emerson) that there is absolutely no right of an individual to own firearms!

    Judge Garwood: "You are saying that the Second Amendment is consistent with a position that you can take guns away from the public? You can restrict ownership of rifles, pistols and shotguns from all people? Is that the position of the United States?"

    Meteja (attorney for the government): "Yes"

    Garwood: "Is it the position of the United States that persons who are not in the National Guard are afforded no protections under the Second Amendment?"

    Meteja: "Exactly."

    Meteja then noted that membership in the National Guard wouldn't be sufficient to protect the private ownership of a firearm. It wouldn't protect the guns owned at the home of someone in the National Guard.

    Garwood: "Membership in the National Guard isn't enough? What else is needed?"

    Meteja: "The weapon in question must be used IN the National Guard."
    (Excerpt of oral arguments in U.S. v. Emerson, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, June 13, 2000)


    I've pointed this out to many gun control supporters over the years and I've always received a limited number of responses. I've been told I'm lying (even though I cite verifiable sources), I've been told the person didn't really mean what they so clearly said and I've had the person with whom I'm talking just ignore the quotes altogether as though that will make them and the reality they represent simply go away. Really, when you think about it, the last choice is the best one they have. The others are so patently false as to be rejected by almost anyone who hears them. So, instead, when these and many other quotes are produced, they are ignored, much like a child who will not listen to reason but instead insists on getting his or her way regardless of the facts.

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    1. Wow, that's quite a list. I'll bet those same people have qualified those statements but of course you're not including those quotes because they don't fit your story of the poor persecuted gun owners. You guys really see yourselves as the 21st century Rosa Parks. It's funny.

      About repealing the 2A being tantamount to total gun bans for civilians, I don't buy it. You'd still have your guns but it would be easier for us to argue for sensible gun control without having to continually hear about your "rights." That's all.

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    2. Tyranny is always easier when the tyrant doesn't have to listen to any discussion of rights. Look at Britain. No constitutional provision to protect gun ownership and carry, and now, the latter is impossible, while the former is so restricted as to be almost a ban.

      We don't trust you. We never will. Sensible gun control to your side means making ownership exceedingly difficult and carry just about illegal. Of course, criminals will ignore the whole thing and do as they wish.

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    3. You use the word tyranny much too loosely.

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    4. RT, you really want to present as evidence for this position of yours quotes that are from as far back 1976 and 1981?

      As you said in another comment, your assertion stands.

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    5. In this Internet Age, no sin will be forgotten.

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  4. Then show me the qualifying clarifications. You casually accuse people liars when make these assertions. Now, prove them.

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    1. NO, I won't take the time to do it. Are you saying that you didn't cherry pick those quotes to maintain your story? Are you saying those quotes are representative of each person's position?

      I doubt that.

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    2. No. I did not cherry pick those quotes. Nor have I seen any clarifying comments from them. I'd be glad to learn I have misunderstood the position these quotes seem to indicate. However, I do find it interesting, to say the least, that no one, including you, has ever produced such clarifying information. In the absence of such,,my assertion stands.

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  5. Typo....accuse people of being liars

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  6. RM, it's a hopeless case. Whenever you bring up "on the record" statements like these from elected officials, all you hear from the gun control side is...Crickets.

    As you said, they aren't able to refute these very public statements so they ignore them.

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    1. I know. Most of the time, these days, I do it just to validate my impressions.

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    2. Yes, I believe it. Your impressions need a lot of validation, as wild as they are.

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    3. Please, Mike. Either refute the argument with countering evidence or sound logic. Using the equivalent of "Oh yeah? Well, you're stupid!" is neither.

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