A sympathetic Hannity told NRA President Wayne LaPierre, “You’re about to be Mitt Romney-ed . . . They’re [the Obama administration] now running a political campaign against you and your organization.” Said LaPierre, “The American public is going to stand and fight for their freedom and the NRA is going to stand and fight with ‘em.”
The term “gun rights,” in itself, is a misnomer. Most of us believe in the 2nd Amendment; most of us believe that the right to bear arms is a Constitutional right; most of us agree that citizens who qualify should be able to own and operate a gun. But those of us who, like Supreme Court Justice Scalia, believe that there are limits to 2nd Amendment rights (as there are to the 1st Amendment) are becoming increasingly sickened by the mantra that somehow denying people the right to own assault weapons and high capacity clips is trampling on 2nd Amendment rights.
And there are some scary people out there promoting that argument. Fact is, some people have wanted to violently revolt since President Obama was elected in 2008; they’ve latched on to the “gun rights” v. “gun regulation” debate as the excuse. Despite the fact that President Obama’s 23 executive orders in no way impede any responsible, law-abiding person’s right to own a weapon, the right-wing of this country, led by Sean Hannity and Wayne LaPierre and others, have manufactured a crisis to which the effect has been to gin up even more rabid aggression against the President.
Tactical Response “CEO”, James Yeager, offered this up to the fringe crazies: ”I’m telling you that if that happens [banning assault weapons by Executive Order] it’s gonna spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot…I am not letting my country be ruled by a dictator, I’m not letting anybody take my guns. If it goes one inch further, I’m gonna start killing people.”
“Oathkeeper 151,” a New Jersey cop [does New Jersey know one of its own is embarking on an anti-law-and-order movement?] and part of the gun lunatic group, the Oathkeepers, implored fellow law enforcement officers to ignore federal orders, saying in a video, “There might be a time in the near future, for instance, if this…Feinstein bill gets through, and what if she doesn’t has the votes, and now it gets passed up to the president, and he signs it by executive fiat? What are you gonna do? It’s a law now. What are you gonna do?”
Stewart Rhodes, the Oathkeeper founder, ginned up the potential for violence by contending ”that our semi-automatic, military pattern rifles are the single most important kind of arm we can own . . . [I will] refuse compliance with any and all laws that attempt to strip me and my children of those arms, the full capacity magazines needed to load and fire them, or the parts and ammunition needed to keep them firing…We will not disarm, we will not comply, and we will resist.”
Right-wing lawmakers and lobbyists and governors and the head of the RNC have all been hammering the idea that Democrats and the President and liberals everywhere want to go house to house confiscating weapons and strip away all gun rights.
Just. Shut. Up.
We don’t need to arm people in schools; it’s been proven to be eminently ineffective, as demonstrated by an ABC News experiment in 2009, “where they demonstrated that you could arm people, train them to use their weapon, put them in a school, warn them that there would be an attack on their school, and they would still massively fail to stop the armed assailant that they knew was going to arrive.” Columbine had armed guards – look how that worked out.
Putting more guns on the street – even in the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens – does not eliminate crime or reduce gun violence; in fact, study after study has shown the opposite. Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Period.
Fred Rivara, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington: “There is no data supporting his argument that the further arming of citizens will lessen the death toll in massacres like the one this week in Connecticut. There are in fact rigorous scientific data showing that having a gun in the home INCREASES the risk of violent death in the home.”
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University: “The most consistent finding across studies which correct for these flaws is that RTC laws are associated with an increase in aggravated assaults,” which they estimated to increase by about 1-9%.
Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research: “It’s hard to make the case, as some have done, that right-to-carry laws will lead to an enormous increase in violence. That does not appear to be the case. But it also does not appear to be the case that there is any beneficial effect . . . So if you want to argue that the reason we have so many mass shootings, the reason that the United States has a homicide rate about seven times higher than other developed countries, is because we don’t allow enough concealed carry of firearms, the data just don’t bear that out. And the thought experiment that you do is almost laughable.”
Colin Goddard, an advocate with the Brady Campaign (who was shot at the Virginia Tech shooting): “If more guns would lead to less crime, then why is America not the safest place in the world, with 300 million guns?”
Anytime/anywhere/any type gun advocates point to John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime,” to bolster their arguments that arming everyone will serve to minimize gun deaths. Except Lott’s methodology has been proven to be faulty, at best, and his motives have also been questioned: His salary was indirectly paid by the gun industry; he ignored important statistics in urban areas; he was unable to produce any records to support his surveys; he fraudulently created an internet “alter ego” to lend him support; and, following his “study,” the National Academy of Sciences denied the accuracy of Lott’s work, and found “no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime“. Nobody should be shocked to learn that Lott is now a Fox News contributor.
Drug dealers bury their drugs under their pit bulls’ doghouses in the back yard; I’m sure, as we speak, gun nuts are doing the same with their assault weapons and high-capacity clips.
We don’t want to come for all of your guns. But it seems that the people screaming loudest about their right to keep assault weapons loaded with 100-round clips are the exact people who shouldn’t have them.
The gun debate is turning out, potentially, to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for the gun crusaders: The more the crazy assholes come slithering out to defend their right to own and operate lethal weapons, the more we want to ban them. With good reason.
Even young people – like my son, Chicago rapper Mpulse, who’s spent a fair amount of time in not so great Chicago neighborhoods – said, “Unless the Taliban is coming to your house, what’s the reason for anyone to own an assault weapon? Why does a middle-class woman, like Adam Lanza’s mother, need a collection of guns like that?”
Out of the mouths of babes.
Smoking Hot Politics
Monday, 21 January 2013