Checking Sitemeter’s referral log the other day, I came across a link to a piece at CommonDreams about guns in America. What a fascinating look into what passes for the minds of the really, really far Left. The piece itself has the normal talking-points and clichés:
Guns, and the violence their possessors inflict, have never been more prevalent in America. Gun crime has risen steeply over the past three years.
After declining precipitously for the previous ten. Note that no actual numbers are cited, and there are no links to any supporting data.
Since the killing of John F Kennedy in 1963, more Americans have died by American gunfire than perished on foreign battlefields in the whole of the 20th century.
Stipulating that this is accurate, I would note that it’s far, far less than the number of people killed by their own governments during the latter half of the 20th century.
The piece goes on, quoting Kellermann “statistics” and referencing Michael Bellisiles’ discredited “truthiness” from his book Arming America: Origins of a National Gun Culture – without, of course, actually citing them. At the end, however, the piece does make a bit of a concession:
In the meantime, the gun culture is so firmly entrenched and society so full of guns that there is little prospect of it retreating. Even those who advocate much tighter laws have long accepted defeat of the ideal of creating a society where guns are rare in public life, or even completely absent. ‘That notion is absurd. There is no way to de-gun America,’ said (University of Toledo Professor Brian Anse) Patrick.
Not that the fact that it’s absurd will actually stop people from trying.
But what I found was most interesting was the comments to the piece, some of which I’ll excerpt for your reading… enjoyment. (Yeah, that’s it. Enjoyment.)
The US gun culture is a terrible tragedy. Yet it seems to me that gun-toting Americans are more passionate over this issue than EVERY other issue we as a society must face. I have tried to speak peacefully with them, but have had to hold my tongue because they get very angry when their ownership is questioned, lest I become another of these frightening statistics. I give up. I do not know how to stem this tide. Like everything else, most gun-toting Americans have been brainwashed into thinking it provides them security (from criminals and the Government), when the reverse is true.
I should point out, however, that I own a gun, as I live and hike in a remote area with mountain lions and feral dogs. I pray that I never need to use it for I wish to never harm any creature. – “WTF”
So… guns don’t provide security, but this clown carries one… for security? Just not against criminals or the government. Right.
A country that was founded on and credited with violence will never give it up. This is a country where people LOVE to watch and experience violence from children watching violent cartoons and playing violent video games to adults watching violent shows and even the wars for oil. And what about all those toy weapons that happily get advertised in those sleazy commercials? And what about all those “get tough or get lost” attitudes teenagers end up growing with? We cannot blame just the guns but instead must learn to take control of our urge to be violent if we’re really going to be safer ever again. – “maxpayne”
Here’s an example of cranial-rectal inversion if I’ve ever seen one. It’s not our urge to be violent that makes us unsafe. As Trefor Thomas put it on Usenet so long ago, “To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated.” Here’s another case of someone unable to distinguish between “violent and predatory” and “violent, but protective.” They see only violence.
The president of NRA sums up the American societal values. He said that America takes pride in “god, gun and guts”. Most of the Republican presidential candidates were present in the function when he made this statement.
Guns takes pride of place in the American family values;
Weapons of mass destruction takes the pride of place in American foreign policy (Again America has stood first in the sales of weapons in 2006);
That means VIOLENCE takes the pride of place in the American value system;
Violence takes the pride of place in American Religion;
USA = UNITED STATES OF ARMAGEDDON – “gandhi”
But don’t question his patriotism!
People always thought I was such a twit because I would not allow my daughter’s to play with water pistols or those imitation cowboy-type pistols you load with caps. I did not want them thinking that a pretend toy, in reality, if real murders people.
I would ask parents, if my kids were going to be in their home, if they had guns in the home. Some would get very irate at this question I posed, pissed off neighbor or dead daughter, Hmmmmm, I really could not have cared less if they thought of it as an insult.
I live in a burb of Philly, my brother lives in town, and I am in town 3-4 days a week. You have to know which parts of Philadelphia has that high incidence of murder. N. Philly, certain parts of W. Philly and S. Philly past a certain block, K & A, Germantown and more. It is not the entire city of Philadelphia. I am not saying that it is okay for the increase in murders to be happening here, just have to know where to avoid. Like any other city.
Americans are gun crazy, I have never understood this phenomenon. I do not understand hunting, murdering these animals. It sickens me that the NRA weilds so much power in this country. – “Turce”
That’s because you’re a twit, Turce. You can identify the “dangerous” sections of Philly, but believe that if your daughter visits a home in which there is a gun, she’ll end up dead?
I never felt the need to own a gun or to protect myself from my neighbors. Never until until the Fascists coup. Are we safer yet? – “whatfools”
I don’t want to have to use my .22. And I don’t see why people need assault-type rifles that would stop a rhinoceros, or punch holes through armor plate. – “Moonshadow”
More misinformed ignorance and hyperbole.
You can read the whole thing yourselves, but here’s the best comment in the whole thing:
Some unpleasant facts need to be considered:
• The natural state of mankind is tribal war. The strong will always dominate the weak if they can get away with it. This is historically true, and remains true to this day unless I have missed some subtle evolutionary sea change.
• Civilization is an artifice. The society of gentle souls who people this blog live in a happy, orderly, sheltered society carefully crafted over centuries of European jurisprudence, maintained by standing armies and policemen with glocks. But the peaceable kingdom is not the default reality among our fellow hominids. In most parts of the world you’d be insane to give up your guns. Lethal power both protects and oppresses us. I don’t like this, I just think it is true in the sublunary world.
• American society, inasmuch as both cops and robbers are living out their cowboy fantasies, is a potentially very dangerous place. The fabric of our society is a card house of non-existent money which could collapse at any time, leaving us unprepared to repel the innumerable people who today have blood issues with us.
When everybody in the world throws their guns into a big pile, I’ll be there. Until then, distasteful as it may be, I’m reluctant to give up my corporate share of lethal power.
WTF: I also live in a remote place. I decided some time ago not to be afraid of animals. The last animal I killed was in 1957 and it still makes me sick to remember it. I think the official advice about mountain lions is to chat them up. I can vouch for the effectiveness and educational value of this from personal experience. – voxclamantis
It would appear that vox is, in fact, a resident of Oracle, AZ – a town about 45 minutes North of Tucson. His real name is, ironically enough, Michael Moore. He may be a “progressive,” but at least he actually looks at the real world. At least on this topic.
No, wait! HERE’s the best comment in the thread:
Absolutely no guns at home. Only military and police can carry guns. Period. – “Bolondvero”
Because we can trust the military and the police, right? Bolondvero? Meet “whatfools.” I think you two ought to get to know one another.
I thought CommonDreams.org was a progressive web site?