A Post in which I Explain America’s Love Affair with Guns

 

Eight people have thus far died as a result of American’s latest mass shooting, which occurred at a Fed Ex facility in Indiana last night. Prior to Covid, America averaged one mass shooting per day.* Why is it that millions of Americans (nearly all of them Republicans) appear to value owning firearms over ending the violence? These are their arguments:


1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of every adult American to own and carry guns: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (This amendment predates the existence of a standing army.)

2) Gun violence is the price one pays for living in a free society.

3) Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. 

4) In the absence of guns, we would be unable to protect ourselves, our families, and others who are in danger.

5) If the government took away our guns, killers would use other lethal methods, and no one would have a gun with which to stop them.

6) Democrats are, in reality, power-mad Communists, who want to take away our guns in order to: (a) Institute a Communist-style dictatorship; (b) Force God-fearing Republicans into labor camps; (c) Raise our children in indoctrination camps. 

7) Americans are God’s Chosen people, but He will only help us to the extent that we are willing to help ourselves. He has given us guns with which to do this.

8) The reason that America has the world’s highest rate of gun violence (outside of actual war zones) is that we own too few guns. If every last adult American was armed, violent crime would be exceedingly rare. As the National Rife Association puts it: The only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

9) Every adult is morally obligated to own at least one gun and to know how to use it. States, counties, and municipalities should have the freedom to make gun ownership and training mandatory.

 

* A mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.

22 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

In April 1996 we had a mass shooting in which 35 people were killed and twenty two injured. Our Federal Government at the time was a Coalition Government (who shares some of the ideologies of your Republican Party).
Firearm restrictions were rapidly made law with bipartisan support, and largely remain in place. At intervals attempts to water them down are made (usually by Coalition party members) but fail.
For which I am grateful

Andrew said...

I've heard the earlier points before but not 6, 7, 8 and 9. It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

Emma Springfield said...

All of the reasons are ludicrous. I must confess that I like to shoot at targets. I do not own a gun. In truth, guns are good for nothing except killing.

PhilipH said...

Perhaps President Biden should think about letting all people have as many guns as they like, but forbid the sale or ownership of the ammunition on penalty of 99 years incarceration for breaking such law. Yeah, I know it's all pie in the sky, but something has to be done.

Also, I think, too many trigger-happy cops need to be re-educated in the use of firearms. In the UK, most of our coppers do not carry a gun. Only when a situation is deemed life-threatening to the public or police will armed and specially-trained police are deployed to take control. The everyday patrol officer has a metal baton, and/or a tazer and spray of some sort. This may seem inadequate but then most police officers do not want to carry a gun. Seems to work OK, generally speaking.

Jack said...

The only thing I'd add to the list is that our entertainment media (e.g., action movies) have given us the idea that owning and using guns to solve problems is a key part of what it means to be a man in 'Murica. Generations of us have grown up with this being pounded into our heads, and it can be hard to resist.

ellen abbott said...

and everyone of those points is a lie and easily disproven. we are a violent nation, no argument there but what made us this way? re #8 since 1968 more americans have died through citizen gun violence than in all our wars combined. it's been awhile since I looked up statistics but as I recall you are 4 times more likely to die in a mugging if you have a gun and a woman is 7 times more likely to be killed by a husband or boyfriend if there is a gun in the house.

Sue said...

Dear Snowbrush and Friends, isn't it strange, back when us boomers were kids, guns were everywhere, but mass shootings didn't happen. Many (gun-owning) working class people didn't bother to lock their doors - even when they went away for a few hours, or a few days. Most of us had fathers, who actually were married to our mothers, so we were parented - not left to run random. For many of us, our parents
(at least sometimes) took us to a real church, where we heard real sermons.

Outlawing guns and ammo is only going to make us all sitting ducks, for court-system coddled reprobates to shoot at.

Snowbrush said...

"Firearm restrictions were rapidly made law with bipartisan support, and largely remain in place."

In America, one can legally create a quality, untraceable, rapid-fire weapon on a 3D printer, and the gun crowd even opposes a ban on these kinds of guns. As a lobby, the gun crowd recognizes NO acceptable middle ground. Like a lot of positions in American politics, this degree of right-wing rigidity is recent. The reasons? (1) Internet conspiracy groups like Q Anon. (2) An extreme mistrust of Democrats, which makes right-wingers believe that every step toward compromise will end in a slippery slope slide to hell. (3) The resultant knowledge among politicians that their supporters will interpret compromise as weakness. (4) Trump's complete ownership of the Republican Party, which has led to everyone but Trump loyalists being driven-out.

"6, 7, 8 and 9. It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious."

Upon reading your comment, I added the following quotation to Point 8. It is by Wayne La Pierre, the CEO of America's most powerful gun lobby: "The only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"I do not own a gun. In truth, guns are good for nothing except killing."I do own guns. Most are cheap shotguns of the type that every farmer used to own, and came down to me through my family, and either don't shoot, or I would be afraid to fire modern ammunition through them, but I also have a couple of quality pistols for home defense and, if the sad occasion should someday arise, suicide. Although I would enthusiastically favor the confiscation of all guns, I'm not about to have mine melted-down in the belief that doing so would make the world safer. In fact, I believe that my world might be a tiny bit safer because I have guns, although I neither shoot them (in order to stay proficient), nor do I keep them where I couldn't get to them in a hurry.

"In the UK, most of our coppers do not carry a gun...most police officers do not want to carry a gun."

Guns are bulky, heavy, dangerous, expensive to shoot, and require frequent trips to the firing range, so I doubt that America's cops are, in the main, much enamored of them. Yet, if your police were going up against the firepower of America's criminals (including its child criminals like the 13-year-old who was shot and killed recently by a policeman), I can't imagine them being content to only carry sprays, tasers, and batons (things that America's cops carry along with their guns).

Snowbrush said...

"...our entertainment media...have given us the idea that owning and using guns to solve problems is a key part of what it means to be a man...Generations of us have grown up with this being pounded into our heads, and it can be hard to resist."

I knew of a woman who wouldn't allow her son to have toy guns. She gave up when she found him bending the legs of his sister's Barbie so he could hold them like a gun handle. It makes perfect sense to me that constant and graphic "pretend" violence on movies and TV makes for a more violent society, but I don't know what to do about it, plus I assume that a primary reason that it appeals to boys is that they're drawn to it. I'm glad, though, that I grew up prior to the time when movie violence was depicted in slow motion from numerous angles, and with quantities of real-looking gore and blood. Such things are pandering, childish, immoral, only countenanced by depraved societies, and they're also profoundly boring. When violence becomes central, plot and character development go out the window.

"you are 4 times more likely to die in a mugging if you have a gun and a woman is 7 times more likely to be killed by a husband or boyfriend if there is a gun in the house.

"Then there's the fact that American firearms are fueling crime and violence in Central and South America. Also, firearms account for 50.39% of suicide deaths, and while I support the right to kill oneself, I hate to think of it being done on impulse.

"back when us boomers were kids, guns were everywhere, but mass shootings didn't happen"

The first such shooting that I remember occurred in 1966 (I would have been 17). The shooter was Charles Whitman, and the place was the University of Texas on a blistering hot day. When bodies began to fall, many local students and other area residents took their deer rifles from their cars or trucks and returned fire, making it difficult for the police to know who was on which side of the resultant shoot-out and fearful to approach the tower from which Whitman was firing lest one or more of those who were trying to help end up shooting them.

"Outlawing guns and ammo is only going to make us all sitting ducks, for court-system coddled reprobates to shoot at."

Sue, I'm so glad you came by to offer and opposing view. It already looks like another summer of rioting in Portland and I'm very sorry that your city is having to deal with criminality under the guise of idealism. Now, based upon what you wrote today combined with some of the views you expressed in the past, I am (until further notice) going to assume that you regard gun violence as unrelated to the numbers--and kinds--of guns that are in circulation; that you oppose laws that would limit gun ownership in any way; and that your proposed solution is a return to traditional values and religion. If I am right, what would a return to traditional values include, and how might it be implemented? Finally, do you have other ideas about what (or who) to blame for the problem, or other thoughts about what measures might mitigate it?

The Blog Fodder said...

I love your list of ammosexual excuses. You called it pretty close. Every person is a law-abiding citizen until the moment the pull the trigger.
You know, I do not think the victims or their families give a flying F*** about the definition of AR or the fact that they are semiautomatic. The assault rifles are to kill people and should be banned with anyone caught with one automatically sent up for five years. Hunting rifles and shotguns with 5 shot magazines are just fine. The notion that you should kill people to protect your stuff but not destroy stuff to protest killing people is pretty sick.
Tyranny, tyranny, tyranny! Except as we have seen, those who own guns are on the side of the tyrants.

Marion said...

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. xo ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

The Blog Fodder said...

Owning a gun makes you a potential outlaw.

Snowbrush said...

"The notion that you should kill people to protect your stuff but not destroy stuff to protest killing people is pretty sick."

Are you referring to demonstrators who protest crime by becoming criminals, demonstrators who justify burning and thievery by claiming that property damage isn't violence? I first saw this happen during the 1965 Watts Riots. The result was that the rioters destroyed their own community and had to live amid the ruins. It took decades for the neighborhood to rebuild only to be burned again following the Rodney King beating in 1992. Burning and looting destroys livelihoods, and forces residents to travel long distances to buy essentials that are no longer available in burned-out neighborhoods which have been turned into "food deserts." Such tactics harden me against the protestors who do it. Here in Eugene, Oregon, there have been no police killings of black people, yet this didn't stop protestors from damaging businesses last summer without the least concern for the people they were putting people out of work, or with the least compassion for the fact that they were wiping out the life savings of business owners, many of whom later stated that they shared the demonstrators' values regarding police violence.

"When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."

Quoting bumper stickers, are we? Marion, you offer such "arguments" so often that I seriously wonder if you're unaware that they constitute tautologies (a tautology is a statement in which, if part A is true, part B is also true). For example, a parallel to "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," would be, "If all cats were dead, no cats would be alive." Obviously, both examples are true, yet they prove nothing about dead cats and nothing about the advisability of gun laws.

"Owning a gun makes you a potential outlaw."

Oregon is considering a law that would require that guns be kept under lock and key. Opponents say that this would create a delay in getting them out in order to defend home and family from burglars. I'm sure this is true, but no mention is made regarding the number of lives that are lost to violent burglars, versus (1) the number of lives that are lost when a child shoots either himself or another child while playing with a parent's gun; (2) the number of lives that are lost when a stolen gun is used against its owner or against another person during a later crime; or (3) the number of lives that are lost when teenagers take their parents' guns to school to murder classmates.

Marion said...

Schrรถdinger's cat, an interesting quantum physics thought experiment. I am not an outlaw, merely Lawless. ✌๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜‚

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard, don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.”
― Alan Dershowitz



"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

Ruby End said...

It's too late to stop them entirely, the whole country is now deeply entrenched, however they could get smart enough to make there be actual laws to stop anyone from toddlers upwards owning one and the ammo it takes to kill when mentally deranged. There's a huge fear I'm seeing even in these comments, but the point isn't to take away the guns of sane people, it's to restrict guns from being so easily obtained, or even printed! Why on earth can't there be background checks? Age restrictions? Criminal record holders banned. Have a psychological test to see if people are stable enough to own one. The last sentence will really rile up those people who would fear being labelled nuts, because inside somewhere they know they are nuts. A car is a weapon, you can't drive one without taking tests, if you kill someone with a car you can be banned for life. There;s no reason to not apply this to gun holders, and sure, criminals will always be able to get hold of guns, but the point is to make it harder for them, not easier. The whole of the U.S looks to U.K like two people terrified of being shot holding a gun against each other's head. That's your dangerous freedom.

Snowbrush said...

"The whole of the U.S looks to U.K like two people terrified of being shot holding a gun against each other's head. That's your dangerous freedom"

The National Rifle Association doesn't support a single law that would keep a single gun out of the hands of a single person. In fact, it vehemently opposes any and every such law, it's goal being ever more guns. Fortunately, its power is now limited by the fact that its leadership has fraudulently spent so much of the organization's money that it's in bankruptcy, and is threatened with being banned altogether from the state where it is chartered. As for the "dangerous freedom" quotation, those who quote this aren't  "courageous patriots" as they pretend. They're rather of the cowardly capitol invader mentality that only feels itself safe when surrounded by other fascists. They're people who can't imagine getting through their miserable days without a finger on the trigger so that they can instantly kill someone. They glorify "dangerous freedom," even while doing their utmost to legally and illegally oppress, intimidate, penalize, criminalize, murder, and disenfranchise, liberals, minorities, non-Christians, LGBTQ, environmentalists, and any and all other non-fascists. Republican states are now creating laws aimed at Black Lives Matter protests that will make it hard to protest at all without being at risk of years in prison if anyone in the protest breaks the law. At the same time, if such a protest makes some nutcase fascist feel threatened, then, by god, he can run protestors down with his car. That's "dangerous freedom"?! To millions of members of America's Republican Party, the answer is yes, and surprise, surprise Congressional Republicans are now blocking an investigation into the capitol insurrection because, after all, it was THEIR people who did that, and if all the facts are known (millions of Republicans are still blaming the short-lived insurrection on Antifa), and they can no longer hide behind talk radio lies, it will show them up for being the freedom hating slimeball fascists that they are.

PhilipH said...

Perfectly correct, Snowy. Everything in the above post says it all.

Winifred said...

I remember the first time I saw a gun was when I went to Spain & the police there were all armed and I was absolutely horrified. It was in the Franco era but they are still armed.
I hate to see our police armed but accept that on occasions they need to be. However they are not infallible, accidents happen.
In the UK it's hard to understand the attitude of people wanting to have guns but we don't live with the level of violence, we haven't had guns in our upbringing and we don't have a written constitution that incorporates these rights to bear arms.
So few countries have routinely unarmed police, only about 18. In Europe only Iceland, Norway, Ireland & the UK fall inot this category. I hope we never have to arm police officers routinely and As far as I am aware the police themselves don't favour it but society is becoming more violent so who knows what the future will bring.

Snowbrush said...

Aside from such official representations as the flag and the Statue of Liberty, I would hazard that America’s most beloved symbols are the handgun and the Latin cross, both of which are heavily favored by the same people. To those whom worship them, guns symbolize freedom, manhood, safety, self-reliance, and right-wing politics. Such people are convinced that no matter how bad things are in a country with the most heavily armed civilian population on earth, things would be far worse if we didn’t own millions and millions of guns.

“we don't have a written constitution that incorporates these rights to bear arms.”

Given the wording of the Constitution, I don’t know that we do either. What I do know is that, just as fundamentalist Christians view the Bible as a perfect and unchangeable document, gun-worshipers take the same view of their interpretation of the Constitution, and that there is an exceedingly strong overlap between the two groups. Such literalists furthermore insist that the both documents are closed to a variance of interpretations, the reason being that the meaning of every passage is so clear that it is impossible for honest people to disagree.

Like many Americans, I used to believe that my country would finally get so fed-up with the violence and with the constantly humiliation in the eyes of the world that we would get serious about regulating firearm ownership, but things have actually gone in the other direction. Every time something bad happens, millions of Americans rush out and buy ever more guns and ever more bullets. To the delight of gunmakers, such people are so hooked that they have no choice but to spend their lives shopping for their next “fix.” Just as Jesus told his followers to sell their winter clothes if necessary in order to buy a sword, gun-addicts will sacrifice whatever it takes to surround themselves with that which can only bring them peace for a short while.

Marion said...

Have any of you seen the news lately or read it on the Internet? Every single day I read articles about criminals breaking into homes, middle class homes and shooting, stabbing, raping, punching and robbing old people. (This is going on in even “peaceful” small towns and it’s escalating the closer to the border you live due to the Biden border crisis where gang members, sex traffickers, murderers, pedophiles and felons are pouring in and just illegally roaming the USA with no COVID test, identification, money or jobs.)

Brazen criminals just kick doors in and take everything, often killing the homeowners, the pets and usually in broad daylight. Listen to a few true crime podcasts. I listen to ten of them weekly (insomnia) and if you think crime is decreasing under crazy ass Biden, then you’re delusional. It is escalating wildly. This is the ONLY time in my life I’ve felt unsafe and embarrassed for my country under a President. Not that we have one, because someone else is calling the shots & writing those incoherent mumblings he calls speeches. Biden’s nothing but a pitiful puppet. We’ve become the laughingstock of the world.

SNOW, OFTEN, YOU ARE JUST A JERK. I OWN A GUN TO PROTECT MYSELF AND FAMILY, NOT MY BOOKS & SHIT! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

Everyone I know: family, neighbors, friends, old coworkers, own guns and rifles. In my entire 60+ years on earth, not ONE of them has shot or killed another person. In fact, I can go back generations: no murders/suicides/robberies ever. The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens minding their own damn business and just want the government to leave us alone to practice our constitutional rights.

It’s practically impossible to have a Democrat as a friend anymore because they’ve all gone apeshit crazy and lost ALL COMMON SENSE. TO WRAP THIS RANT I WILL SAY THIS: BIDEN/DEMOCRATS CHEATED & STOLE THAT ELECTION. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

Snow, if you want me to not come back here, just say the word. I never feel comfortable here any more. Y’all can’t handle opposing opinions or Republicans. So much for all of Biden’s promises of unity lies while campaigning. At least I respect your RIGHT to your opinion. I don’t know why I even bother...

Snowbrush said...

"If you think crime is decreasing under crazy ass Biden, then you’re delusional. It is escalating wildly."

Marion, what evidence do you have for your claim that crime is "escalating wildly" under a president who only assumed office three months ago?

"SNOW, OFTEN, YOU ARE JUST A JERK. I OWN A GUN TO PROTECT MYSELF AND FAMILY, NOT MY BOOKS & SHIT!"

I never thought otherwise. I never suggested otherwise. I never came close to suggesting otherwise. I can but imagine that you misread a brief dialogue I had with Blog Fodder regarding property destruction during demonstrations. He, if I understand him correctly, has little if any problem with such destruction whereas I have a very great problem with it. In fact, the only reason that I don't favor shooting looters and arsonists is that innocent people would also be killed. Looting and arson don't constitute "freedom of speech," looting and arson counteract the freedom of speech with which legitimate demonstrators seek to better society. Looters and arsonists scare away legitimate demonstrators, and take attention from the goals of those who do come. They undermine, besmirch, distract, threaten, and destroy. When I see someone running from a store with a large screen TV in his arms, I don't think, "There's goes a high-minded idealist," but rather, "There goes an opportunistic criminal with a stolen television."

cont.

Snowbrush said...

"BIDEN/DEMOCRATS CHEATED & STOLE THAT ELECTION."

On the one hand, you claim that, in a mere three months, the country has fallen prey to "wildly escalating crime," while on the the other, supporting the Trumpian "patriots" who--a mere three months ago--engaged in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of a legitimate election by using guns, flagpoles, and bear spray, to blind and murder the defenders of the United States capitol while shouting racist, gender-based, and anti-LGBT+ insults. You shout to distract from the fact that your arguments are devoid of rational content. You make fantastic claims that you have no evidence for. You heap scorn upon me when I ask for evidence. You heap scorn upon me when I provide you with evidence. You metaphorically vomit large quantities of intense emotion, and then you are silent until the next time I offend you.

"The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens minding their own damn business..."

If your only point is that, as a percentage of the whole, few gun owners are mad dog killers, I never said they are; no one else in this comment chain said they are; and I very much doubt that anyone on earth would say they are. Why, then, do you consider it a point worth making?

"Snow, if you want me to not come back here, just say the word."

I enjoy your visits for the following reasons: (1) You are entertaining; (2) I am touched by your loyalty; (3) I hold you in affection due to your love of poetry and of animals, and because you, too, live in pain; (4) I feel compassion for you because, within the space of several months, you have gone from smugness under Trump to hysteria under Biden; (5) I sincerely hope that my willingness to allow you to express your distress on my blog will be of some use to you; (6) The way you think and the values you espouse give validity to my depiction of Trumpian thoughts and values.

"Y’all can’t handle opposing opinions or Republicans."

Yet, here you are, on my blog, with my permission, freely expressing your hatred for myself and for my non-Trumpian readers; and here I am, yet again, attempting to engage you in rational dialogue, although you have yet to respond in kind.

"At least I respect your RIGHT to your opinions."

If this is true, why do you steadfastly refuse to allow my comments to appear on your blog? When I visit your blog, I put a great deal of time into framing my thoughts as intelligently and inoffensively as I know how, yet the mere fact that I disagree with you is sufficient grounds for you to block my comments. This is why I stopped visiting your blog. If a blog owner wishes to show intolerance and contempt for a reader, then habitually blocking that reader's comments is the thing to do, and this is how you have treated me. By contrast, I have only blocked one comment from you, and I only blocked that one because it was nothing more than a long stream of raw profanity, and I didn't want my other readers' time to be wasted with such filth. Even so, I later regretted blocking it simply because I deplore censorship and also because, as I said, you so effectively illustrate the mentality of Trumpians.