Skip to comments.Angry Gun Control Debate Does Collateral Damage
Posted on 01/30/2013 7:59:19 AM PST by Kaslin
The Great Gun Debate shows American political discourse at its irrational worst; with both left and right promoting panic and hysteria that distracts attention from the nations truly menacing problems. Instead of addressing crushing deficits, economic stagnation, political gridlock, and the erosion of middle-class security, politicians and pundits obsess over gun violenceone of the few challenges where the United States has made dramatic progress in recent years.
How can the president and his supporters work themselves into a self-righteous lather over minor regulatory adjustments that have been tried before with no measurable impact on the rate of firearms crime?
And how can conservatives work themselves into a paranoid lather over minor regulatory adjustments that have been tried before with no significant impact on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms?
Theres no logical reason to believe that a bureaucratic ban on assault riflesweapons that are currently associated with less than 2 percent of overall murderswill bring about a magnificent, harmonious new day of enhanced public safety or, for that matter, usher in a Fascist nightmare of jack-booted feds stripping law-abiding citizens of their right to self-protection. Enhanced background checks for gun purchasers? They mayor may notconstitute a worthwhile reform, but this modest proposal hardly dictates a sweeping, significant change in American life, for good or for ill.
Why, then, all the passionon both sidesover an issue that in no way counts as a crisis? And why the ferocious polarization and doomsday rhetoric concerning potential changes with trivial real-world consequences?
In part, the craziness stems from appalling media malfeasance: in particular, the saturation coverage of the horrifying massacre at Newtown, with no effort at placing the incident in historical context. Inevitably, the thought of 20 slaughtered children provokes a wrenchingly emotional response, but the numbers indicate that young kids and all other Americans are significantly safer from deadly violence than they were 10 or even 30 years ago. Official statistics from the Department of Justice show the murder rate cut by more than half between 1980 and 2011, and the rate of all violent crimes reduced nearly as sharply. Very few economic or educational figures display decisive movement in a positive direction since Barack Obama first took the oath of office, but the rate of violent crime has declined dramatically under his watch: down a full 13.2 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Rather than celebrating this progress, the president and his allies seem determined to generate a sense of crisis and to persuade the nation that a (nonexistent) rising tide of gun crime requires emergency action. To conservatives, this represents one of the most loathsome habits of liberal elites: exaggerating or inventing threats to the publics well-being in order to justify relentless expansion of government power.
This tactic usually accompanies another tendency that right-wingers actively despise, with progressive do-gooders outspokenly determined to protect ordinary people from their own bad decisions or irresponsible preferences. President Obama, who once derided blue-collar Americans for clinging so stubbornly to their religion and their guns, clearly views the decision to bring firearms into a home with suspicion and disapproval.
Despite their occasional assurances to the contrary, advocates of gun control clearly seek to reduce overall levels of firearms ownership, not just to limit the distribution of certain weapons, or to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazies. How else to explain their enthusiastic embrace of gun buy-back programs where, typically, churches and other neighborhood organizations sponsor campaigns giving cash or gift cards to respectable citizens who wait patiently in line to turn in their firearms for destruction? Its hard to imagine this sort of program disarming violent thugs or dangerous lunatics.
Moreover, when the White House selected four children to appear with the president as visual aids when he signed his executive orders on gun control, their precocious letters (chosen from among millions) made it clear that these special kids hoped for a total firearms ban and not just minor restrictions. Eight-year-old Hinna Zeejah concluded her correspondence to the president with the sentiments: I love my country and I want everyone to be happy and safe. No guns! No guns! No guns! No guns! Julia Stokes, 11-years-old, also implored the president: I know that laws have to be passed by Congress, but I beg you to try very hard to make guns not allowed.
This visceral hatred of firearms doesnt so much reflect profound distrust of guns as it reflects profound distrust of any neighbors who might choose to buy guns. Firearms, after all, are inanimate objects, incapable of inflicting harm on their own initiative.
People who hate all weapons, or who say they merely despise so-called assault weapons, remain perfectly free to maintain their homes as gun-free zones. But the fact that they want to impose their distaste for guns on the family next door, shows a lack of respect for those neighborsan attitude that helps to drive conservatives wild. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City inspired enraged indignation with his ban on sugary drinks of more than 16 ounces, displaying a nanny-state instinct to save people from themselves. He displays that same instinct even more passionately when it comes to guns, suggesting that he knows better on what a law-abiding family should do to insure its own protection.
Conservatives react so angrily to officious gun-grabbers because they display the classic liberal impulse to impose the judgment of officials and experts above the choices of everyday citizens on how to invest the money that you earn, how to educate your kids, what insurance policy you can buy, and how to make yourself safer at home.
On the other side, when liberals hear the fury on the right denouncing the president as a tyrant, or a new Hitler with a secret scheme to disarm all opposition, they conclude that the emotional people who shout the loudest about gun rights are exactly the people who shouldnt have guns at all. Conservatives who demonstrate on behalf of the Second Amendment see themselves as successors to the Founding Fathers and the original Minutemen, but progressives view them as latter-day reflections of the Ku Klux Klan and white-supremacist militias.
The same way that the right sees the push for gun control as an expression of the liberal instinct to impose elite judgments on ordinary people, the left sees the push for gun rights as an expression of the conservative ideal of radical individualism, with people looking out for the defense of their own families but wanting to make no contribution to society at large. President Obama regularly caricatures the conservative message as telling the public Youre on your own; to Obama supporters, the strong rightist insistence on citizens defending themselves seems to confirm that message.
In other words, the gun debate becomes explosive and impassioned because each side feels ridiculed and abused for attitudes and actions they view as positive and admirable. Conservatives acquire firearms to defend their neighborhoods from bad guys, but get stigmatized by liberals as a source of danger. And progressives feel proud of their efforts to uplift and enlighten the most vulnerable members of society, but find themselves derided for meddlesome interference that threatens privacy and self-reliance.
Theres no way to split the difference between the two extremes, but President Obama could have defused the most polarizing aspects of the debate by focusing more specifically on a few small areas of potential cooperation. All parties agree that it should become more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to get firearms and that enhancements in school safety are necessary and appropriate. Before framing his own multifaceted program as a noble crusade and suggesting that any disagreement counted as immoral and demagogic, the president could have reached bipartisan consensus on a few practical, uncontroversial changes to reassure the public.
Instead, he rushed to use the firearms issue as one more tool to bludgeon and discredit his Republican opposition. His moral fervor on gun control looks suspect at best, given his refusal to even address the issue during his first four yearswhen statistics showed violent crime rates looking considerably worse than they do today. In the current battle, the rage from all sides has already led to soaring sales of guns and ammunition. The angry charges and counter-charges will ultimately do nothing to bring further reductions in violence but have already made a major contribution to perpetuating the polarization, puerile posturing, and stalemate from federal leaders of every faction.
This column appeared first in THE DAILY BEAST.
Obama and his handlers are the very folks the Founders knew would need to be counseled by the existence of an armed public.
I don’t know if Medved is just plain dumb or he’s just being provocative but his attempts at moral relativism between grabbers and keepers is disingenuous at best.
Medved’s wrong right out of the gate. Only the left is promoting panic and hysteria.
Because this statemnt is absolutely false. Gun bans significantly impact our right to keep and bear arms by making it impossible to have entire classes of arms. Universal background checks otherwise know as universal gun owner registration is the last step necessary prior to confiscation. Medved is a fool if he believes what he says here and a liar if he doesn't.
With thanks to Thulsa Doom.
The Riddle of the GUN.
The Gun unheld is weak.
Flesh is STRONG.
What is the GUN when compared to the hand that wields it?
The gun unheld is a heavy paperweight.
The gun wielded by the evil hand is terror.
The gun sadly used by the defensive hand is LIFE.
To answer Medveds question of why no one saw an infringement after the first assault weapons ban in 1994? Because Mr. Medved, the federal government was still acting under the misguided theory that second amendment was a collective right of the government and NOT an individual protected right of each American! Now that the US Supreme Court has made it clear that the second amendment stands for the protection of an individual right to keep and bear arms. With that being said, now the socialist are once again pushing for prohibition, confiscation, and registration of honest Americans firearms, clearly, NOT reasonable under any suggestion of the word. With the socialist out right declaring they want to disarm the American people, with a prohibition of ownership except for the government and its police force!
Wake up Medved, stopping acting like a bleeding heart RINO!
Medved can kiss my ass. Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Nothing to debate it’s a right for a reasson.
Yeah, we never have seen governments deny the right to self-protection or incrementalism towards total gun bans /sarcasm.
Medved is a clueless dolt.
“And how can conservatives work themselves into a paranoid lather over minor regulatory adjustments that have been tried before with no significant impact on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms?”
Because their stated goal is to deprive us of our Second Amendment rights. And it’s not paranoia if thet really are out to get you. History also teaches what follows the gun grab. I prefer to be a citizen to either being a slave or ashes.
It's not an act.
I hesitate to say this, but look for an attack on a government facility by an armed group of militant right wing extremists. Or a pro-gun rally suddenly going bad with armed clashes with a government police agency. The seeds have been planted.
Everyone should become familiar with “Operation Gladio”. In a nutshell it was a shadow para-military organization that used terror to change public opinion in friendly NATO nations. It was funded by western intelligence agencies. Terrorist events were blamed on various “known” terror groups, “Red Army Faction” being one, to forward a political agenda that was favorable to the actors involved. This incuded bombings and high level assinations. All of this has been admitted by the CIA btw.
Right now public opinion is being softly manipulated. However, based on a large number of resisting citizens an event will have to take place IMO. See Waco or ruby ridge or dare I say, the OK city bombing.
The use of tin foil on your cranium is optional.
Is that because he bought off so many with EBT cards, or is it because they can't afford enough gas to do a drive-by?
Okay, seriously, I think it is the long term effect of the proliferation of concealed carry permits.
With more people legally armed than ever before, being a criminal is getting progressively riskier as a profession. Hence property crime would be expected to increase, with the perp(s) seeking to avoid confrontation, which might prove fatal.
I respectfully disagree with Mr. Medved concerning the importance of the gun debate. Protecting our natural right to defend ourselves is the common denominator to resolving all the issues that the country is dealing with, the main issue being corrupt federal government imo.
Medved jumped the shark long ago. He is untrustworthy on conservtive issues.
* Chaparral Arms [Shelton]
* Charter Arms and subsidiary Chaparral Arms [Shelton]
* Colt [Hartford]
* Connecticut Shotgun [New Britain]
* Marlin Firearms [New Haven]
* PTR 91, Inc[Unionville]
* United States Fire Arms [Hartford]
* Mossberg & Sons Inc. [North Haven]
* Ruger [Southport]
* Seecamp [Milford]
* Stag Arms [New Britain]
* Auto-Ordnance [Worcester]
* S&W [Springfield]
* Savage [Westfield]
* Kahr (Saeilo) [Worcester]
* NEF [Gardner]
* ZM weapons [Bernardston]
* Troy Industries [Lee]
* Yankee Hill Machine Co, Inc. [Florence]
* Samson Manufacturing Corp. [Whately]
* Remsport [Ludlow]
* Smith & Wesson (Walther pistols) [Houlton]
* Bushmaster [Windham]
* Advanced Cartridge Company LLC [Manchester]
* Gonic Arms [Gonic] are they gone-ic?
* Lusa USA [Hookset/Webster]
* Sig Arms [Exeter]
* Thompson Center [Rochester]
* Competitor Corporation, Inc. [Jaffrey]
* Century [Fairfax, VT]
* Robbins and Lawrence [Windsor]
He supports gun control. He’s trying to ‘bipartisan’ his nasty self. He’s playing the “smart” moderate. I give no ground to gun grabbers because I know their game of boiling frogs into total disarmament like they did to the serfs in Europe. Their intention is to disarm us and to punish us for self defense. It’s hard to abuse the slaves if they are not docile farm animals.
Being armed is a constitutional right and the constitution is still the law of this land whether globalist regressives like it or not.