Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

The Second Amendment was created so that the newborn United States could avoid creating a hateful standing army and instead turn domestic security over to militias. The amendment had little to do with the unhindered gun rights of an individual (lots of gun control existed back in the late 18th century, just as it does now, as every literate person knows). And yet today, a Fox News host brought us full circle, demanding we create a standing army of ex-military people in public places to thwart mass shooters so we won’t have to challenge the imagined right of rageaholics to possess mass murder weapons (or the gun industry’s right to sell them). So we are now using the amendment as an excuse to enact the very thing it was meant to avoid … so we can protect the misinterpretation of those who can’t read the entire sentence.

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Gun rights advocates say there are 2.5 million defensive gun uses a year. That’s 6,849 times a day. That’s how they justify ignoring the mass shootings of children.

To give their numbers context, let’s look at crime statistics:

In 2016, the FBI recorded 95,730 rapes. That’s 262 rapes a day.

The bureau recorded 17,250 murders. That’s about 47 murders per day.

There were 332,198 robberies nationwide in 2016. That’s 910 per day.

There were 803,007 aggravated assaults in 2016. That’s 2,200 per day.

If you add all these up, gun owners claimed to have stopped almost twice as many of the biggest crimes the FBI recorded actually happening in 2016. And if you consider that only about a third of American households have guns, you must come to the conclusion that the overwhelming amount of U.S. crime is actually being perpetuated against gun owners–in such vast amounts that if I were them, I would be afraid to leave the house.

There’s an easy way to avoid that paradox: They can admit their numbers are fraudulent. They are, in fact, 20 years old and based on a phone survey of Floridians whose stories were not externally validated by the study’s author. The reason gun owners tout these figures is a miscible concoction of fear, folk wisdom, peer approval and inherent trust in family members. In other words, the same qualities Bernie Madoff preyed upon.

If this were an insurance scam, it would work the same way: The unethical salesperson exaggerates the risk of failure, sells you a product that is actually riskier, then tells you to share that risk with others by telling them to buy it too. The problem with gun rights advocates, even if their hearts are in the right place, is that they have asked non-gun-owning two thirds of Americans to share risk that the unethical salesperson has laden them with (the heightened risk of getting shot), and help them participate in a demonstrable fraud.

Incidentally, there is a real number of defensive gun uses, and there’s little reason to believe it’s much higher than toddlers shooting themselves. It is easily canceled out by murders many times over. There are common sense physics reasons that guns are very limited as defensive weapons, but if you can’t understand that, I doubt you read this far. And if that’s the case, you’ll never know that the monster at the end of this story was you.

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Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent.

At a time of great fear in America when the nation seems in many ways to be grappling with profound questions about its identity and values, one question has repeatedly haunted the discourse: “Is rocker Ted Nugent going to kill me?”

This is a tough question, one especially hard to discuss with children, as Ted Nugent’s great passion about things related to weaponry, archery and dead animals has made them wonder if they might themselves ever be at the receiving end of Nugent’s wrathful judgment of all things not him.

“It’s a slippery slope question,” says Tennessee State University criminologist Ben Harper. “We know that Ted Nugent is a powerful advocate for guns. A really loud, forceful, inflammatory advocate for guns. But we just have no proof he is going to kill us.”

Nugent, who was known for wild 1970s hits like “Cat Scratch Fever,” a mildly frightening song by today’s standards, has upped the fear factor manyfold with a pure gun rights stance. He has stayed true to his conviction after many, many, many, many national gun tragedies, which some pundits might applaud as a true example of principle were it not for the fact that Ted Nugent seems to want to kill us.

“The gun imagery. The dead deer. The seeming indifference to suffering …” notes criminologist Kay Stephens. “I mean, Ted is too functional to be called mentally deranged. But I think we have to thank God or providence that he really stops just short of the DSM manual.”

“Three hundred million American guns were not misused again this week,” Nugent boldly proclaimed on his Twitter page shortly after a national tragedy involving lots of innocent gun victims, the stance of an empathy-lacking person who some psychologists might say really wants to kill us.

“The thing is, Ted’s a libertarian,” says Fox News pundit Bill Richardson. “We have to remember that his ideology, like those of other libertarians, lives entirely in pure abstraction. So it’s wrong to say that Ted might have homicidal ideation and might want to kill us. We just have to assume that his world of pure principles devoid of real life ramifications will remain so, barring the mutilating of animals, and thus would not otherwise somehow turn into direct action that ends our lives.”

Richardson concedes, however, that Nugent’s inability to synthesize other perspectives, along with all his gun pictures “makes me wet the bed sometimes.”

This is all just silly talk says Nugent friend Arthur Bronstein. “Ted is passionate about the individual and the idea that power truly resides in the people in the form of gun ownership as an underpinning of our freedom in nature. Obviously, as Ted has demonstrated over and over to those who don’t understand, man must have the ability to fight back against that nature, which can be cruel, violent, animalistic, chaotic, sadistic, inhumane, nihilistic …

“Anarchistic, bloody, hebephrenic, echolalic, grinding, perverted, angry, lacerating …”

“Apocalyptic, terrifying, diseased and filled with zombie-men covered in festering buboes. Also, he thinks we should lower marginal tax rates.”

Child psychologists, noting his propensity for illegal hunting and killing endangered species, have kept open hotlines for parents wondering what to tell their children about whether Ted Nugent might kill them.

“We have to stress that Ted Nugent is just stating his opinions, forcefully,” says psychologist Blaine Thompkins. “Just because he brandishes weapons all the time in a very Phil Spectorish way, seems to enjoy the thought of what he would do to criminals that exist only in his imagination, and finally, seems greatly to enjoy ending the lives of elk does not mean in any way that he would ever harm others. Just because he often promotes the idea that some groups are superior to others does not mean he would take their lives. Just because he can threaten the president with oral gun rape and not be punished doesn’t mean murder of other humans is the end game. The chances are very small. I mean, statistically it’s just not likely. I mean, he would have done it by now, right?”

Nugent’s friends and acquaintances agree: He does not compromise.

“That makes him a hero to many people,” says Denver gun store owner Dave Stevens, who sells Gold Tip Ted Nugent arrows for hunting. “A man who doesn’t compromise will always stand up for his principles. He will not be diluted. He will not hear the other side or seem to be able to emotionally process what other people need or want from him. He will not feedback other people’s affect or be able to read their body language to make any kind of judgment about whether they are, say, hemorrhaging. If they hurt or are bleeding from the eyes and mouth, he will not be distracted by that. One word: Hero.”

When Stevens heard Nugent was coming, he dived under a counter.

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A new Yahoo story today shows that gun sales have spiked after last week’s shooting massacre in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater.

I’m sure I don’t have to state the obvious … well, yes I do. Lots of gun nuts out have over the past couple of years scrounged up the counterintuitive argument that massacres like these could be prevented if more people were armed. That means, if tons of guns were dropped in a crime-ridden inner-city area like Detroit, crime rates would drop. It would mean that if guns were airlifted to a war zone like Syria and dropped down to both sides, violence would stop.

We’ve already been through this obscenely stupid argument before. When Gabrielle Giffords was shot, along with several others, in a Tucson, Ariz. parking lot early last year, one of the people to rush to the scene was the armed Joe Zamudio. He came with his gun drawn to the scene with the safety off and caught sight of a man with another gun. This was not the shooter. But Zamudio didn’t figure that out immediately and pushed the man up against the wall. Luckily he had the presence of mind not to shoot, but things could have spun out of control. He also knew, according to Slate, that if he pulled his gun out he might be confused as the shooter.

Common sense tells us that when everybody is armed, situations easily defused could turn into life and death emergencies. People who feel threatened are oftentimes mistaken, or even if they aren’t, they aren’t likely to judge whether they are really in mortal danger. Guns give people a false sense of power, when the power they won’t really ever have–unless they are criminals–is that of surprise. And that is always left to a hostile person with a weapon. For this person, the right wing is willing to fight tooth and nail, because a schizophrenic’s access to firepower as a key assumption of their own liberty, a supposed bedrock of their own Rousseauian natural rights.

This is one of those diminishing return arguments–it goes nowhere, but gun fanatics will argue it because they know you are too afraid to fight it to its dead end–nonsense.

The more untenable their arguments, and the more grisly statistics about gun deaths give them the lie, gun rights advocates grow more ruddy faced and extreme about their conviction and engage in the most childish forms of projection: It’s not guns that are bad. It’s got to be anything else. Everything else.

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What are we blaming the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting on, other than lax gun laws:

–*The Batman movie

–*Tough Ph.D. programs

–*Lax prescription drug laws

–*Poor parenting

–*The right to peaceably assemble

–*Red hair dye

–*People’s lack of access to full body armor

–*Tear gas

–*Too-long movie ads

–*Liberals. Because just saying that word makes certain neanderthals pee blood.

–*Government control of our grammar structure

–*Government control of Social Security

–*Government control of the post office

–*Government control of reserve currency

–*Yo Gabba Gabba went off the air

–*The health care bill

–*Abortion rights

–*Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, I tell you

–*Mexican immigrants taking all the jobs

–*Anything other than guns because we have a Second Amendment people and that means if you restrict schizophrenics from acquiring assault rifles, you’re limiting my personal freedom.

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