Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More Anti Media Mendacity

Welcome, visitors from A Keyboard And A .45 and SayUncle!

Via JR over at A Keyboard And A .45 comes yet more evidence that the folks in the mainstream media must think gun people are blithering idiots:

Two years ago, Florida enacted a law that allows anyone who feels threatened anywhere to use deadly force. Today the National Rifle Association (NRA) is shepherding similar laws through legislatures across the country.
Uh, no, Ms. Graves, that law did no such thing; it merely codified into the law that you don't have to take the seldom-prudent option of running away before using such force. If you're gonna tell people about the law, at least be accurate about it. I realize that's a lot to ask for many mainstream journalists when it comes to any gun-related issue, but your credibility demands no less. I see you're all too willing to flush that.

Paradoxically, the NRA's Goliath status forces the group to work harder to make people believe that it has potent enemies – a challenge to which it has risen. The cover of one issue of America's 1st Freedom, one of the NRA's several magazines, threatened that the United Nations will seize Americans' guns, an idea that is laughably implausible. The NRA also exaggerates the impact of other stock enemies, including the Brady Campaign itself, the French, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is trying single-handedly to curb the flow of illegal guns into his city.

After hurricane Katrina, officials tried to ban guns from the streets of New Orleans and from temporary housing for refugees. The NRA halted the efforts in federal court. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive officer, painted the attempts to check violence as proof that the US government would take away its citizens' guns. much inaccuracy and misinformation packed into two paragraphs that, once again, I don't know where to begin!
Gun owners don't need any help whatsoever from the NRA to believe we have some very potent enemies, from these shores and others as well. From Joe Biden's deriding AR-15 owners as mentally unstable morons to Rebecca Peters' contention that we shouldn't be able to own rifles that can hit anything more than 110 yards away, most of us gun owners -- indeed, all but very few of us -- know good and well that there are people out there who will stop at nothing to see us all disarmed (and once again, no evidence is offered of the "laughable implausibility" of UN disarmament of Americans), no matter what supposedly good intentions they try to wrap their proposals in.
As for the New Orleans situation -- checking violence seems to be an incredibly thin reed to hang your argument on, considering people were being disarmed who were doing nothing but trying to protect their property from looters and such. And then there's the fact that members of the police and the National Guard joined said lawlessness. I seem to recall New Orleans police being caught on tape looting one of the local Walmarts. It wasn't an attempt to check violence; it was a brazen violation of the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. And it's a beyond-shameful commentary on the Christian Science Monitor that they would let one of their employees pass off such an outrageous untruth to their audience.

Certainly, most Americans would say that the shootings at Virginia Tech should never, ever be forgotten either. But somehow, though school shootings continue, though an average of 32 homicides are committed with guns in the United States each day, though dozens of suspected terrorists are known to have passed background checks to legally purchase guns, the gun-control side cannot gain traction.
And of course we all know it's the guns' fault, right (and, of course, that of the eeevil gun lobby)? Never mind the fact that the creature that shot those kids at Virginia Tech was a deranged lunatic who should have been locked up tighter than Dick's hatband, never mind that none of his victims were able to shoot back, no, it's all the gun lobby's fault and those evil, evil hunks of metal and wood. I guess I should be trembling with fear right about now, as I glance back to where the Ruger .45 sits beside my bed...and I guess it's just a good thing my Kimber 10mm is locked up, because the ammo I roll for it is pretty hot...there's no telling what that thing would do if it weren't locked up tight in that steel safe.
Once again, there are many factors behind the violence committed by thugs with or without guns, that go far beyond the supposed easy availability of weapons. (Which, by the way, is an anti argument I don't quite understand. Have these morons ever tried to get a quality sidearm in a gun store? They're not cheap, at least not if you want a quality weapon -- even one of the Ruger P-Series pistols will run you at least $400 -- and don't even get me started on what I've paid for my 1911s...) Many factors are behind said violence, and until we get a handle on those, absolutely nothing is going to change. Why the media just focuses on the tool I will never understand. Granted, the tool is important to an extent -- consider what Tim McVeigh did with a Ryder truck full of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and diesel fuel -- but if that's all we focus on, nothing is ever going to change. One would think someone supposedly so educated as a journalist would grasp that simple fact. But we're not done with Ms. Graves yet:
What the two sides don't acknowledge is that reasonable people can oppose civilian ownership of machine guns or .50-caliber rifles so powerful they must be shot using a tripod while still supporting hunting and owning guns for self-defense. Americans can support background checks on guns sold everywhere – not just by licensed dealers – without putting gun companies out of business. The United States can require registration of guns and proficiency tests for gun owners, just as we do with cars, without making it impossible, or even difficult, for law-abiding citizens to buy guns.
Ah, yes, the old "reasonable people/middle ground" canard. I'm sorry to disappoint you, Ms. Graves, but I don't see the first thing wrong with .50-caliber rifles or fully automatic weapons, as it can and should be argued that both of those weapons are exactly what the Founding Founding Fathers intended the common citizen to have as a check on a tyrannical government. Once again, it's not pretty or romantic, but it's the truth -- which is exactly what you should be trying to present instead of so much emotion-driven rhetorical bullshit. And I would argue that you absolutely cannot support registration of guns without supporting their ultimate confiscation, because what registration does is make it that much easier for those who would take our tools of liberty from us -- without any sort of attendant crime prevention benefit. Not that said benefit would actually justify registration, as it would be another case of the cure being worse than the disease, I think -- but of course we see all too many journalists think of guns as some sort of disease anyway. As for the other side supporting guns for self-defense -- well, it should be obvious to anyone who's actually been paying attention that the other side by and large doesn't support the private citizen using guns even for self-defense. I recall very clearly in November 2005, after Arlington grandmother Susan Buxton made national headlines for being recorded on tape shooting an intruder in her home, Michael Beard of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence went on Hannity and Colmes and said, "The privatization of public safety is a dangerous issue in our society. And I've always seen that as the beginning of the loss of liberty." Which is really weird, because I always thought self-reliance was an integral part of liberty, as opposed to, well, depending on the police to pull your chestnuts out of the fire.
And, of course, there's the concluding restatement of the previously dissected canard:
The name-calling and breath-holding have made us all forget that a middle ground is possible.
It's not that all of us have forgotten it; it's that some of us were keen enough from the start to realize that there is no middle ground. Mark my words -- the antis won't stop at registration, banning and confiscation of handguns, AR-15s or .50BMG rifles. Nothing, absolutely nothing they've gotten so far has been good enough to get them to leave us alone, from the outright ban of all guns in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, to the Scary-Looking Weapons Ban in New Jersey, to the .50BMG ban in California, to the background checks conducted nationwide as per the Brady Bill. Nothing has been good enough for them. They're not going to stop. And as long as they don't, neither will we. At least we certainly had better not, if we treasure our liberties.