Sunday, December 30, 2012

Firearms Misdirection and Rhetoric

Sadly, liberals are using a tragedy in Connecticut to try and force legislation that will continue their attempts to strip rights and liberties away from American citizens.   Unfortunately, most liberals have not bothered to check the facts on gun statistics, or they simply choose to ignore them.   Likewise, the liberal media, liberal Hollywood celebrities, and liberal politicians continue to sensationalize gun violence creating false and inaccurate perceptions of gun owners, gun technology, and gun-related crimes.  Armed with only irrational raw emotion, it is often difficult to have a reasonable conversation with liberals whose only “knowledge” about guns comes from people who are deliberately misleading them on the topic.

Most liberals are so ignorant on the topic of guns that they aren’t even using the correct terminology, which frankly eliminates all credibility on their part.  The problem is that when the liberal media and politicians continually use the wrong terminology and phrases, they confuse the issue even more and influence other unknowledgeable people with false information.  For example, during an interview with Meet the Press on 30 December 2012, President Obama said he wanted to ban “high capacity [ammo] clips.”  Really?  A clip is a simple device used to feed a magazine; it holds ammunition rounds together in a metal track so they are not loose and aids in the insertion of the cartridges into the magazine.   So literally, he said he wants to ban the clip which is essentially ammunition packaging.  Is this what he meant to say or did he mean to use the word magazine?  Maybe if he didn’t get his weapon’s knowledge from Hollywood movies, he’d actually know the right words to use.

Likewise, in a New York Post article also published on 30 December 2012, the reporter wrote that cops found “AK-47 shell casings” at the scene of a crime.  That’s an impressive trick, I’d sure like to know how they were able to narrow down the type of weapon used since AK-47’s are chambered in a variety of bullet calibers and several non-AK weapons are chambered in the same calibers the AKs use.  There is really no way the cops or the reporter would be able to determine what type of weapon was used simply based on the shell casings if the weapon was not also recovered at the scene (which it wasn’t in this case).  So why claim an AK-47 was used in this crime?  The reporter obviously picked the type of weapon that is most easily politicized to sensationalize her story.  

Frustratingly, liberals focus on crimes committed by those who have chosen to live outside the rules of society.  No law passed will stop a criminal from carrying out his crime; at best it may only serve to influence how he goes about committing it.  As my previous blog on “Defenseless Children” highlighted, in the absence of guns, Chinese criminals used knives to mass slaughter school children.  There is absolutely no logic behind the liberal argument to ban all or specific firearms because some people have used them illegally.  If that is a sound and logical argument, then why not apply it across the board to all items used illegally?  Violent crimes are carried out all the time with a wide array of tools used: knives, machetes, cars, fire, rope, wire, axes, pillows, bats, glass, hammers, water, chemicals, etc.  The tool used to commit the crime is not the point—the point is a person committed a violent crime.  A person murdered by a criminal using a gun is not a more tragic story than a victim suffocated to death with their own pillow by a criminal. 

Yet liberals only focus on firearms used in crime, they almost never highlight when firearms were used successfully to prevent crime or in defense of people or property.  In 1993, there were about 18,250 gun-related homicides in the United States, but guns were used approximately 2.1 million times that same year in self-defense according to a survey conducted by a Florida State University criminology professor.   Clearly the number of times guns are used for protection outnumbers the times guns were used to commit a crime, but the liberals won’t ever highlight that fact. 

Liberals have done a very successful job of changing the narrative on constitutionally protected gun rights to one on gun control and gun violence with little to no emphasis on why our Founding Fathers felt it was so important to write gun rights into the Constitution.  It was not happenstance that led the Founding Fathers to draft the 2nd Amendment.  The 2nd Amendment was not designed to protect recreational sport hunting.  It was put in place to protect American citizens from government tyranny.  History is littered with examples of Dictators seizing and banning all guns—it is among the first actions of such governments; with no weapons, the people can do little to fight against a dictatorship.  

During the years from 1994 through 2004, there was an assault weapons ban, which did little to stem gun violence.  During the assault weapons ban, there were 15,551 gun-related homicides in 1995, while in 2009 there were 11,493--less gun-related homicides than when the ban was in place and the population has grown.  Now Obama is looking to reinstate the assault weapons ban.  For a man who ran for president with a slogan, “Forward,” isn’t reinstating this ban “backwards?”  The facts and history just don’t support the liberal notion that a ban on certain firearms equals less murder

If we are to move “forward” on this issue, we need to address the problems in society that are contributing to violence--people.  In the same vein that prompted laws controlling the glorification of tobacco use in magazines and television advertisements available to children and teenagers, maybe we need to examine how violence is being glorified in movies, television, and video games.  Media obviously influences culture.  Families need to teach children morals, values, and respect since it’s obviously not soaking in through countless hours spent watching television and playing video games.  We also need to change how we identify and treat children and adults with mental disabilities.  It would appear that the practice of “mainstreaming” these children has not worked. The false reality that these children are “just like everyone else” crumbles when they graduate and are expected to function in society alone without their team of teacher’s aids and specialists tending to their daily needs.

If we want to actually have a serious discussion on gun control, first, enforce the laws that are already on the books before anyone writes any new ones.  Second, the current paperwork that potential firearm buyers fill out asks them to reveal if they have ever been adjudicated as mentally defective or committed to a mental institution—by a court order.  Maybe we also need to know if there is anyone in the household that fits that category as well?  Many of the high profile mass shootings in the United States have been carried out by individuals with a mental illness.  Along those same lines, maybe we should ask that people identify which prescription drugs they are using.  Many unstable people are taking medications for mental issues that should prevent them from access to firearms.  But if there are no court records of these prescribed medications for their mental disorder, then by today’s standards there is nothing legally preventing them from purchasing weapons.   As a society, we have moved away from inpatient mental treatments to outpatient medication which relies on patient responsibility.  If these medications are being used in place of inpatient treatment, that would normally disqualify a person from buying a firearm, then taking certain prescription medications should also be a disqualifier.

I’m not arguing that we don’t need laws in place that encourage responsible gun ownership and aim to prevent firearm accidents and crime.  I am arguing that there is a way to approach this issue that is not fueled by irrational emotion and rhetoric and it needs to begin with firearm education.

While I’m am saddened that liberals are so eager and willing give up their rights, abdicate responsibility, and give Obama and the Democrats control of all facets of their lives,  I am downright angry that they want to force that decision on me.  Gun ownership is not a “lifestyle,” it is a heritage. 

We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.  ~ Patrick Henry

Gun bans don't disarm criminals, gun bans attract them.  ~ Walter Mondale

To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.  ~George Mason

Monday, December 17, 2012

Defenseless Children

  • On 14 December 2012, an unstable man entered a primary school and attacked 22 children.
  • On 29 August 2011, 8 children ages 4 to 5 at a daycare center for migrant workers were attacked.
  • On 4 August 2011, a young man attacked 20 children and staff, killing 3 kids and a teacher at a kindergarten.
  •  On 18 May 2010, more than 10 men charged into a dormitory and attacked the security guard and 9 students.
  • On 12 May 2010 a man killed seven children and two adults and injured 11 others at a kindergarten before killing himself.
  • On 28 April 2010, a man attacked 16 students and a teacher at a primary school; on 29 April another man attacked 28 four-year olds, two teachers, and a security guard at a kindergarten; and on 30 April a separate man attacked five preschoolers and a teacher before dousing himself in gas and setting himself on fire.
  • On March 23, 2010, an unstable man murdered 8 children at an elementary school.

Have you heard about these attacks in the news?  Probably not, each attack I just mentioned happened in China, and these children and teachers were not gunned down by men using guns.

All of these attackers used knives, not guns.

Do I have your attention now?

That’s right, the same exact day the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut were going through their own private hell, 22 children in China were being attacked by a knife-wielding maniac.

While the left and their liberal media friends couldn’t wait for the poor families in Newtown, CT to bury their loved ones before they began politicizing the tragedy and calling for strict gun control.  Liberals are missing the point.  Gun control will NOT stop violence or help to protect our children.  A person intent on committing a crime will finds the means to carry out the crime. 

If 9/11 taught us anything, it was that terrorists did not need guns to hijack a plane; they used blades.  China proves to us that in a nation that forbids private citizens from owning or selling guns, criminals do not need guns to slaughter innocent children and students at schools.

Why is it that when a crime is committed with a gun the liberals want to blame the gun and not the criminal?  Do you think China is going to implement a private citizen knife ban?  Not likely.

The recent high profile shootings in Arizona, Colorado, and now Connecticut were all perpetrated by young, upper class, white men.  Men, who, those close to them admit, had all exhibited mental instability before committing their crimes.

For the last 20-25 years, liberal policies have been all too eager to demonize and criminalize efforts to discipline children.  Instead, the liberals happily devise excuses and absolve all discipline problems by diagnosing children, giving them medications, and plopping them in front of the television or giving them video games.  That way, no one – not the child, not the parent(s), and certainly not the schools, have to take any responsibility in how these kids turn out.  Except unleashing these men on society, after 18 years of being coddled and told how “special” they are, how “smart” they are, and getting trophies just for being on a team, has led them to have unrealistic expectations. Once out “on their own” and expected to get jobs or act like an adult—they didn’t know how.

Sadly, in each of these cases, there were plenty of warning signs that these young men had mental issues that needed more than a band aid fix of prescription meds and pat on the back. We need to deal with the issue of mental illness, and not blame an inanimate object for being the cause of crimes.

"... this tragedy has as much to do about lawful use of guns as the lawful use of cars has to do with a car bombing." A rep for the guns rights group, The Firearm Coalition