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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Battleground America

Just read a story about guns in The New Yorker: Battleground America by . As you might expect it was pretty slanted towards gun control. No mention of the Nazis disarming the populace before they started rounding up the Jews, no mention of the illicit drug trade and the violence it engenders, no mention of the countless times a gun has been used to prevent a crime, or defend against an attack. Lots of tear-jerking stories about young people shot down in schools. There were some informative bits about the history of the NRA and gun laws. There were also a couple of good statements on the last page. First this:
Gun-control advocates say the answer to gun violence is fewer guns. Gun-rights advocates say that the answer is more guns: things would have gone better, they suggest, if the faculty at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Chardon High School had been armed. That is the logic of the concealed-carry movement; that is how armed citizens have come to be patrolling the streets. That is not how civilians live. When carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense is understood not as a failure of civil society, to be mourned, but as an act of citizenship, to be vaunted, there is little civilian life left.
And then this, which I think hits at the crux of the matter:
I asked him how he would answer critics who charge that no single organization has done more to weaken Americans’ faith in government, or in one another, than the N.R.A.
“We live in a society now that’s Balkanized,” Keene (David Keene, the N.R.A.’s new president) said. “But that has nothing to do with guns.”
Update: My first impression of this story was that it wasn't too bad. Yes, it has a definite pro-gun control slant to it, but it gave some context for this slant, and the two sections I quoted above, on balance, made the whole thing worthwhile.

But then I got to thinking about the question in the second quote:

I asked him how he would answer critics who charge that no single organization has done more to weaken Americans’ faith in government, or in one another, than the N.R.A.
When I first read it, I just read right over it, it does not really contain anything of substance. But then I got to thinking about what it said, and I thought WTF? Who are these so called critics? It seems to be a common journalistic trick anytime they want to stir up trouble, they quote some unnamed critics making outlandish charges. As for the substance of the charge, the N.R.A. had nothing to do with it. The news media reporting on all the stupid and/or corrupt behavior of our government did a fine job of weakening my faith in our government and the American people. We didn't need any help from the N.R.A.

Issues involving guns are not going to be solved anytime soon. I stand with the NRA: the government should have no say about firearms.


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