Saturday, June 4, 2016

Taking gun violence seriously

Or not.  Mark is part of that movement that seems to have no particular interest in solving the question of violence in America.  That isn't always the case.  There are fair minded people who acknowledge the role that mental health, our cultural breakdown, our current attitudes and even educational philosophy might have in violence who are willing to call for examining gun violence.

They will propose certain ideas that are worth listening to.  Likewise, I am at times bothered that the NRA and other gun rights advocates seem to close their ears to any limitations or restrictions or even common sense appeals to rethink the current approach to gun merchandising and distribution.  Nobody is ever always right, and it's worth considering that, say, keeping guns out of the hands of terror suspects, or mandatory schooling upon the purchase of a gun, are worth kicking around.  After all, to get a hunting license you have to take courses in gun and hunting safety.  Why not guns in general?  Maybe not.  But it's OK to have the debate.

The problem with Mark's approach of screaming 33,000 killed, 33,000 killed!, 33k Killed! is that it conflates the data.  It ignores the details and doesn't take into account the various categories within the number, nor the context in which it all happens.  Within that number are suicides, crime on crime violence, drugs, age, demographics of various sorts - a lot to process.  There are also more killed than that who are killed by other means.  And what of the terrorist numbers Mark references?  Is Mark suggesting that there are far more Muslims bent on killing than there are Americans?  What does that say about the religion of peace if almost 1/4 of their population is about terrorism?  If not, if there are fewer Muslims causing so much death, then Mark's comparison seems to make little sense (they would then be quite efficient at killing to achieve such numbers with so few).

But what about other victims of violence who didn't have the good fortune of being shot?  The most chilling example of ignoring the others came in 2014 when six college people were slain in California by a single deranged killer.  In the tragic killings, 3 of the victims were shot, and 3 were stabbed to death.  If ever something demonstrated that there are those trying to solve the problem of violence in America versus only wanting to exploit violence to advance agendas, it was that.  Even on the news round tables, some tried to mention the three killed by stabbing, only to be swiped away in favor of focusing on Gun Control.

In the comboxes it was worse.  Even on Marks blog, to bring up the three stabbed was to be accused of changing the subject or bringing up irrelevant points to dodge the important topic of gun violence.  Since when was mentioning three murdered people a dodge?  That, as much as anything, screamed foul and suggested we are looking at a movement more concerned about controlling gun ownership than necessarily solving the problem of violence in America.

As I've said, most gun owners I know have no problem looking to see what might help curb gun violence, as long as we look at the actual violence, culture, facts, and keep it real.  Most are, however, highly suspicious of Gun Control Advocates, up to and including President Obama.  After all, Obama promised that the Healthcare Reform legislation would not infringe upon religious conscience regarding abortifacients and contraception.  I think those who are suspicious of his claims of honoring gun rights are right, and sensible, to be suspicious.  Fool me once after all.

Nonetheless, it is arguments like Mark's that go a long way toward keeping the problems alive, and ignoring opportunities to look at the larger picture of violence in America.  Why?  Why the preference for avoiding reasonable debate when we do have a violence problem in our society? I can only guess.

1 comment:

  1. Just going to point out that the reason the NRA and others opposed the terrorism ban is because of the lack of due process. Basically anybody could end up on the terrorism list for any reason (even just as a case of mistaken identity because of similar names) and there was no way to appeal for the removal of said name from the list.

    Basically it would be giving the government a blank check to remove rights and freedoms from citizens at a whim. Yeah, some might be ok with guns taken away for now, but what about when your other rights are gone?

    Establish a due process for taking away a terrorist's right to firearms and the NRA et al will be perfectly fine with it (just like how they're fine with prisoners not having guns).


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