Monday, December 24, 2012
Having the Requested Gun Control Conversation
Here is an example of the discourse in the press regarding the supposedly desired discussion. I pick it almost at random but I believe it is representative. It's sports writer Mike Lupica's contribution on the subject. The headline (which I realize Mr. Lupica may not have written) is:
'Crazy' Wayne LaPierre or NRA continues push for guns with lies
So it starts off calling the head of the National Rifle Association both crazy and a liar. Good neutral beginning there. I was interested in hearing what Mike Lupica thought were Mr. LaPierre's lies. Alas, I couldn't find any valid allegations of lying in the body of the opinion piece.
So now Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who attacks the mental health system in this country even as he sounds like he needs to be in it, goes on “Meet the Press” and continues to double down on his notion that the only way to keep our schools safe is to put armed guards at the front door and the side door and in every home room in America and maybe on every school bus, too.See, crazy to put forth an idea for school safety different from what non-gun enthusiasts want. But Lupica resorts to a different fallacy, reductio ad absurdum, by mis-stating what was said. An armed guard or guards at a school was proposed, not at every door, nor in every classroom. And not at the front door either. Does Lupica not know about YouTube? We can listen to what Wayne LaPierre actually said. Second paragraph:
The other day there was a terrific Daily News front page calling LaPierre, the NRA’s executive director, the “craziest man on Earth,” and he was clearly referencing that Sunday morning, even as he continued to sound like just one more coward made brave and tough by a gun.So, again he's crazy to say these things which might seem fairly common sense to us Neanderthal knuckle- draggers who haven't reached the height of enlightenment the left has. Then there is more name-calling. LaPierre is coward. Oh, that's helpful. Am I being too sensitive to think that Lupica thinks everyone who likes guns is a coward too? I don't think I am. Next:
“If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,” LaPierre said. “I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe.”
Of course, that is a lie from LaPierre, who also lies when he says any new gun control measures in this country are some anti-American attack on the Second Amendment, as if any parent or politician now calling for more gun control is going after the Second Amendment with the kind of assault weapon that Adam Lanza used to shoot up a principal and teachers and 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.I'm wondering how thinking an armed guard might be helpful against a crazy guy with guns is a known falsehood? Most people would believe that. We surround people whom we believe are important, like the President, with lots of guards with guns. We protect banks and bank personnel with armed guards, because we think money is worth guarding. Why not guard our innocent children in school who are incapable of fighting back against an armed crazy person? I don't think it's any crazier than having armed guards check for guns at almost every government building. What's so precious there? The statement that armed guards could help keep our children safe is not a lie. It is an opinion about future action. Mr. LaPierre does not think it is false. I'm going to need more evidence that it's wrong even to think that armed guards might help secure something precious, when we use armed guards to protect things all the time. Lupica doesn't even try to support his name-calling. And yes, banning guns is necessarily an assault on the Second Amendment. The government does not get to chose what weapons I keep and bear. I choose. Just so the government does not get to chose what I believe about God. I choose that too. So it's not a lie to mention the Second Amendment when the Democrats are talking about banning or confiscating mean looking weapons and tall magazines. Next:
But then LaPierre is the type who lies to stay in practice, as he continues to pass himself off as the front man for responsible gun owners when he actually is a front for their lunatic fringe. To say that the NRA represents mainstream thinking for gun owners is the same as saying that the Tea Party represents mainstream thinking in the Republican Party.
LaPierre also spoke Sunday about Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California who helped write the 1994 assault weapons ban for semiautomatic weapons that would expire 10 years later. Now Feinstein is talking about introducing a similar bill for weapons like Lanza’s AR-15, a gun LaPierre seems to think every law-abiding citizen needs, perhaps because of the catastrophic damage one of its bullets does once inside the human body, including the bodies of 6- and 7-year-old children.The NRA has long been an advocate for responsible gun ownership. To Lupica, anyone who likes guns is on the lunatic fringe. So with nearly 100 Million American gun owners (and another million every month or so) that's quite a fringe. I think the Tea Party is the mainstream of the Republican party, but to lefty Lupica and his ilk, they are a dangerous, lunatic fringe.
Then the ignorance starts. The 1994 assault weapon ban did not ban semiautomatic guns, just prevented new sales of a very small subset of them, the mean looking ones. It did nothing to prevent school shootings, as Mr. LaPierre has pointed out. And as I have tried to point out repeatedly, the .223 Remington is a relatively wimpy round which does not cause catastrophic damage like the former US military rounds (.45 APC, 30.06 and .50 BMG) actually cause. Next:
LaPierre calls Feinstein’s proposed bill a “phony piece of legislation . . . built on lies.”
The phony is LaPierre, who chooses this moment in American history — one that should change the country and will change the country — to push his own agenda and his association’s agenda and expects people to believe that it is all about our children.
“The NRA is not going to let people lose the Second Amendment in this country,” LaPierre said Sunday, and at that point he does sound like an expert on what he calls the “cracked” mental health system, because that system is clearly doing nothing as he goes from his press conference Friday to national television sounding like a slobbering idiot.