Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gun Outrage

The headline to this article in the Philly Inquirer asks, "Where's the outrage about gun violence?" I can find it pretty easily. The Brady group, Joyce Foundation, and other groups love to express their outrage.

Karen Heller, the author of the article claims that "Any fool can kill a deer." She then relates her experience with deer on the roadways. What either of these have to do with gun violence is a little beyond me, I suppose.

She then muses about "pen-raised fowl," which she thinks executives pay big bucks to hunt. Maybe out in Philly, that's all you've got, but I happen to know of quite a few areas one can hunt fowl that isn't pen-raised (and, often, the places that you pay to hunt are actually fairly affordable).

Finally, she gets off her hunting complaints for a second and claims that a "militia being necessary to the security of a free State" no longer rings true. Because the military and police are getting better arms, we should have fewer civilian arms? That's exactly the opposite of the reasoning behind having a well-armed militia. After all, tyranny from within will make use of police and military. Also, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (emphasis obviously mine). Not the right of the states, nor the nation, nor the police, but the people.

She then complains that we've exiled smokers (much of the gun crowd also fights for smokers' rights), made alcoholism a public affair (I'm not even sure what she means other than the attempts to inform people of dangers...maybe DUI enforcement), and fight trans-fats in the courts (another fight the gun crowd is largely against).

"Guns, however, reign supreme. Criticize the need for guns, the obsession with guns, and you're labeled unpatriotic, anti-Constitution or - horrors - a liberal." Unpatriotic, yeah. After all, look at some of the things the Founders of this country said. Anti-Constitution, check. See the Second Amendment. For clarification as to who "the people" are, see the Fourth Amendment. If the right to bear arms is a right of the states, the states have a right to "be secure in their persons[...]" If the citizens are protected from unwarranted search and seizure, then we must use the same definition of "people" for the Second Amendment. As for liberal, that one's pretty obvious. They are only liberals by the Dem definition. Dictionary.com has a definition that includes "favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers." Freedom isn't found in gun bans. Also, as The War on Guns noted, she forgot nazi.

She then tosses out the NRA and their supposed control over politics. Yeah, they have some power, but they don't get their message out nearly as effectively as the Joyce Foundation (see Geek with a .45's analysis).

She mentions that an author said that gun rights were only tied to civil rights only happened during the civil rights riots, which transformed America into an "armed citizenry." Look once more to the Founders. See also the Second Amendment and the human right of self-preservation.

She then tells us there were 406 murders in Philly last year, and that most of them killed poor young blacks. First, I think she meant homicides. If, in fact, they were premeditated, it does even less for her case that guns cause violence. Secondly, some of those were defensive shootings, most of the non-defensive killings were likely done with stolen guns, and the people involved aren't going to start following the law because you add one more to the books. Finally, if she's going to make generalizations, get me actual figures.

In response to firearms as a durable good: "So the gun industry keeps producing more terrorizing models that satisfy macho fantasies, outsized security fears, and haven't a thing to do with hunting quail. As if anyone cares about quail." No, they don't have anything to do with quail. The right to bear arms is not a right to hunt. As for the "more terrorizing" models, I haven't seen anything getting worse. In fact, I see more people buying the friendly-looking wood stocks than the scary black guns. As for sheer power, autos are effectively illegal (only ones that were in the country before '86 are okay, and they require some paperwork and a tax), calibers are largely stagnating (there are, of course, exceptions), and I haven't seen any guns that have any special killing features. As for macho fantasies and security fears, this is called projecting. Because the only reason the author would get a gun is to satisfy some strange fantasy or to protect against all us gun nuts, she assumes we get guns for the same reason. As for her obvious fear of newer guns, maybe we should treat all our freedoms like that. Maybe a person could only type so many words a day (these computers allow a dangerous amount of free press, you know). Perhaps we could restrict the practice of newer religions. Radio would be limited, and no shows could be syndicated. Television...that'll be limited to very local shows, which a person can only appear on for 30 minutes a week.

She then notes some crimes guns have been involved in. She doesn't mention the success of Britain or Canada's strict gun control...probably because she's aware of the level of success they've had (I'll give you a hint: it's not a level of success so much as failure). Yes, guns allow more efficient killing. Take, for example, the wheelchair-bound 84-year old I mentioned yesterday (this links to a more thorough story). He definitely needed something efficient, or he would've been the one headed to the hospital (or the morgue).

She finally cries out to PETA, celebrities, and local governments to fight guns (many examples can be given as to how those groups already do). She calls our nation a backwards nation (y'know, it's kind of funny she chooses to live here), then mentions the 406 homicides in Philly one more time.

It would be kind of funny if she weren't so sure that gun control would help. And even if it would, the right to self-preservation (and preservation of freedom) with the best means available reigns supreme. They won't take my guns in my lifetime (which, of course, may be considerably shorter if they try).

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