Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another Judgment Of Our Culture

...by a supposed "man of God," no less! (Welcome, visitors from SayUncle! Main page is here, pull up a seat and stay a while!) On to the fiskage...

THERE is no other way to say it, our current gun culture is leading the country down a path to mayhem.
How odd. I've been immersed in this "gun culture" for a good while now and have had nothing but good experiences in my interaction with the members of said culture, all of whom are fine, upstanding citizens who make an honest living at whatever career they choose. I don't understand how the simple ownership of a Glock 19 or AR-15 makes them part of a culture that's "leading our country down a path to mayhem." I mean, if you ran into them on the street they'd appear to be just like anyone else. Carrying a gun or owning one doesn't make them any different from any other John or Jane Doe, other than the fact that they've made the choice to be able to protect themselves or their fellow man if evil came calling.

According to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Graduate Institute of International Studies, U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms — that translates to roughly 90 guns for every 100 Americans. Moreover, the survey estimates that 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States.
Does it make me a tree-hugging, overbearing, politically correct, socialist, anti-American liberal because I find these statistics problematic?

"Not necessarily, but the fact that you seem to make me and my fellow gun owners responsible for all the crime committed with guns in this country in the opening words of your screed makes you a judgmental asshole."

Since our country no longer possesses a well-regulated militia, I am not certain of the right of the people to keep assault weapons. Why does suspended NFL defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who weighs more than 300 pounds, stock his home with AR-15 and .223 caliber assault rifles, .44 Magnum, .50 caliber, and .45 caliber handguns, and a .308 Winchester hunting rifle? Protection?

Well, first off, one would think this supposed "man of God" would be at least somewhat educated on the concept of God-given rights, foremost of which is the right to life and a natural extension of which is the right to defend said life by any means he can manage or afford, no matter how much he weighs. As for that well-regulated militia in the Second Amendment, stand by.

For all of the discussion about law-abiding citizens' rights, should one surmise that nothing can be done to keep guns away from those who are committing crimes? Is this merely a flaw in our Constitution?
Lock them up and melt the key. It's not a flaw in the Constitution, but a flaw in the American justice system and its priorities, i.e. the War On Some Drugs and its millions of casualties.

I would love to hear from an assault weapons owner. Explain why you need this weapon. What is the purpose? Short of preparing venison pate, why would a sportsman need such a gun?
I am not an "assault weapons owner," but I'll answer the question anyway, and leave the good pastor's woeful ignorance of ballistics alone. Now, about the Second Amendment, which basically goes to why we need such a gun -- I am reminded of a quote I saw on The High Road not long ago, that went something like, "Shooting a deer is great fun and games. The Second Amendment is about protecting our grandchildren's ability to shoot the next Hitler when he comes to take them to a death camp." Once again, it's not pretty, it's not romantic, but it really is the cold hard truth. One would think a man of God would welcome the truth, or at least accept it, as opposed to talk out of his fourth point of contact about things he obviously has no knowledge of.
Speaking of talking out of the fourth point of contact, get a load of this:
The problem lies in our permissive gun culture that, in part through effective lobbying by the National Rifle Association, has not only repealed certain laws, but also extended others, such as carrying concealed weapons in certain states, making it easier for guns to fall into the wrong hands.
I don't understand how making it easier for a law-abiding citizen carrying a gun makes it easier for a criminal to get his hands on one, unless of course we go back to the old long-discredited canard about the criminal taking the gun and using it against the defender in a defensive encounter. And then it would make sense that this character would say something like that, as he seems to have drunk the entire pitcher of HCI Kool-Aid.

Perhaps there are those who do indeed want to take away everyone's guns, but I suspect they represent a small minority.
I don't. I think most of them just don't have the balls to come right out and say it. Maybe deep down they know what it would mean -- an all-out shooting war that would make Iraq look like a day at the candy store -- or maybe they're just afraid of losing the shred of credibility they have left, but I for one don't see any reason not to think that every last one of the anti-gunners has the same goal: the total abolition of all private firearms ownership in America.

It would be helpful if responsible gun owners led the charge so that the 90 guns for every 100 people were in the hands of law-abiding citizens. I know that's somewhat utopian, but it is the least they could do if they are truly committed to the Second Amendment.
I loved what one of SayUncle's readers said to that: "Well, we’re failing your desires then because we’re working on the 99.7 percent level - not your puny 90 percent level....We both know that 99.7 percent of the gun owners in America will never use their gun in a way to bring dishonor to either them, their family, or the gun. Instead of using the dishonorable one percent to guide your decisions and influence your ideas why not use the collective wisdom of the other 99%?"

And as I said on The High Road:
As for "permissive gun culture"...why not just "permissive culture," period? There are myriad reasons for crime, not the least of which is kids being raised with no sense -- or at best a rather distorted sense -- of right and wrong, which leads to philosophies such as those best embodied by the "Stop Snitchin'" paraphernalia. And then, there's another huge problem in the fact that our justice system is set up to let violent criminals walk free eventually in the first place -- that somehow, if they can't get their hands on a gun, they'll be less dangerous to society. (And of course, we all know that keeping criminals from getting guns is more than a little bit of a fool's errand.) But it seems to be so much easier to blame the guns. Which, coming from a supposed "man of God," disappoints and greatly saddens me.