Archive for April, 2013
At last, the gun control debate is beginning to gain some traction. For a very long time it seemed all gun control articles were only about the 2nd amendment and “the right to bear arms.” Now however, the tide is changing. More and more articles are revealing the gun control statistics, and these are making people wake up. In 2010 there were almost as many deaths by gun as death from traffic accident. That is shocking. Not enough articles reenforce these gun control statistics. However, focusing too much on deaths diminishes the real significance. For every one person killed by a gun THREE are wounded. If there are thirty thousand deaths there are on hundred thousand injuries! Three times as many wounded as killed. There is a good gun control statistic for people to remember. The real reason we need gun protection laws, aka gun control, is because Americans can’t be trusted with guns. Gun violence is not about drug dealers shooting one another, it is about drunk angry men shooting their wives or girl friends. Gun protection laws are about slowing domestic violence. Gun control is about protecting women. What is gun control about? This; guns do only one thing. They kill. That is their sole purpose. We make students go to drivers education for hours and hours and hours because we want our roads to be safe FOR ALL OF US. We need to do the same thing about guns. Many people who own guns have them for the worst reasons. They live in a safe neighborhood and claim they need a gun for “protection.” That’s like wearing a football helmet for fear of bird poop. It makes no sense. This isn’t said much in gun control articles but the real reason men want guns is because it converts their sense of self from powerless to powerful. Most guys slog through life with little or no control over much. A gun in the hand gives them the power of life and death. Think of any other thing that does that. Tags: gun control statistics, gun debate, US gun control statistics
The 2nd amendment reads, ” 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.” It is considered by scholars to be part of a group of statements termed the “militia clauses” because the need for, organization and uses of militias are described in various places in the constitution. In revolutionary times militias were the principle means of organizing a military defense on any scale from local to national. There was no army for the nation. Militias were created and managed by states. As a means of local, regional and national defense militias were an important part of government. Beginning in the early part of the 20th century militias were replaced first by National Guard units. While still managed by individual states the federal government exerted ultimate control over them. A governor could call up the guard for emergencies and the president could call all of them up for a national emergency or war. The decade of the 1960’s was a bloody one. JFK and Martin Luther King were assassinated. The counter culture was evolving and great antipathy was arising toward the Viet Nam war. The first serious calls for gun control began. In response, beginning in the 1970’s, the arms industry in America began to research sentiment among gun owners. They conducted simple market and consumer research just as a soap or cereal company would do. They discovered that there was a strong sentiment of “individuality” among gun fans. This was primarily a regional blend of Southern anti government resentment, STILL lingering from the Civil War, and an almost childlike, fairytale attachment to the cowboy myth. Men, overtly defensive about their guns suffered from a type of rational and intellectual cognitive bias. They thought all the John Wayne, John Ford, Tom Mix, Roy Rodgers portrayals of American history were true. Like little girls who grow up believing in the Prince Charming myth, gun collectors believed in the Cowboy myth. Of course, any rational evaluation of these childish sentiments turns the argument into laughable mush but in America belief systems are manufactured by industry. Our entire economy is based on the freedom of advertisers to create myths and persuade consumers to associate themselves with them. “Good moms use Tide!”; Busy dads show their children love by sharing Frosted Flakes with them; College educated women still need magic enzymes in their guts that only Activa can provide. America is built upon marketing myths. It is the fuel that drives our economic engine. The weapons industry, through the NRA, has found a way to legitimize a disreputable fantasy and convert it into a patriotic, macho American myth for men. We have to change the story. We have to spread the word: guns are not patriotic, men solve problems with their minds not with guns; people who believe that guns solve problems have a treatable mental disorder and, finally, Americans don’t need guns at all. We are safe here. TAG: gun control article, gun control statistics, gun control article, 2nd amendment, gun control article, the right to bear arms, cowboy myth, gun control article, gun control, patriotism, gun control article. Second amendment, gun control article, freedoms, gun control article, constitution, gun control article.
What is gun control all about? Too often gun control articles are driven by an irrational argument. The gun control articles that dominate newspapers, magazines and public debate almost always revolve around the 2nd amendment. However, the right to bear arms is essentially irrelevant. Why is it? Two reasons 1) The right to own guns is established and 2) the right to regulate guns is equally well established. In other words, let’s not debate what is already decided. If that’s true than why are so many gun control articles only about the 2nd amendment? The answer is that the gun control debate is still controlled by the gun lobby. This lobby, as we all know, is fronted by the NRA. It is the NRA that has defined the boundaries of the debate and will not permit the discussion to wander toward real issues. By making the debate about nothing, it avoids being meaningful. Maybe “the right to bear arms” is just sleight of hand. What is really important in the gun control debate? To start, they should address statistics. The gun control statistic that is most surprising to many Americans is the number of deaths caused by guns compared to the number caused by traffic accident. They are almost equal! In 2010, the last year for data, there were 33,687 traffic deaths and 31,672 gun deaths (CDC.) Here are other important gun control statistics: there are an estimated 300 million guns in America, not including those owned by the military. How many does the military own? About 4 million. There are 75 times more guns owned by private citizens than the army, navy, marines, coast guard, air force and Special Forces combined. The right to bear arms? That’s covered. So where do we begin a meaningful gun control debate? Maybe we begin by asking “What are we afraid of that we need all those guns?” After that we might ask, “How did we come to feel such fear in ‘The Greatest Country in the World?'” If we are strong, why are we so frightened? So we are left with this “What is gun control really about?” Is it about the right to bear arms? Is it about facts? What is gun control if not a genuine debate about our contemporary culture? What is gun control except a profound, national self inspection? Don’t be fooled by the right to bear arms. That’s not the issue.