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Sun Dec 20, 2015, 08:37 AM

 

7 demented ways America thinks about guns

On the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that left 20 children dead, Gabby Giffords lashed out at Congress for not adopting new gun controls and singled out a key factor in their cowardice.

“Congress will do exactly what its members have done every week since those 20 kindergartners and first-graders were murdered in their classrooms: nothing at all,” the ex-congresswoman, who was nearly assassinated, wrote in USA Today. “That’s cowardice, an embrace of the shameful status quo we’ve grown to expect from a Congress in the gun lobby’s grip. Many of my former colleagues are in the cold clutches of pessimism and its key ingredient: fear.”

Electoral retribution from the National Rifle Association’s political hit men is not the only place where fear contorts the realities and responses to gun violence in America. Fear drives much of the obsession with guns. It’s seen in the mistaken belief that having a gun makes one safer, and in gun industry-inspired fantasies that armed Americans are heroes waiting to vanquish evildoers. Studies by scholars and others have repeatedly disproven and debunked these myths.

If you think this is hyperbole, look at the following data points, poll results and excerpts from recent studies by top criminal justice researchers and experts. What most Americans believe about gun ownership is driven by fears that distort the reality of gun violence and how to lessen it.

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/19/7_ways_fear_and_ignorance_warp_americas_gun_debate_partner/

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 08:53 AM

1. "Fear and ignorance" are the currency of prohibition advocates of all stripes.

Look at all the "ZOMG THREAT TO 'MURRICA" handwaving about rifle handgrips that stick out, when all rifles put together kill fewer people annually than bicycles or swimming pools, and handgrip shape is absolutely irrelevant to rifle lethality.

Or look at the fearmongering and "othering" about holders of carry licenses, when carry license holders are way less likely to commit violent crimes than even the police, and are nearly an order of magnitude less violent than the population at large.

If it weren't for fear, loathing, and exaggeration, you'd actually have to focus on the people who actually commit most gun homicides, rather than demonizing the peaceable and nonviolent because you disagree with the content of our gun safes.

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Response to benEzra (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 09:47 AM

3. Indeed, only a statisically insignificant number of people died...

...in the World Trade Towers, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Pearl Harbor, when you put it in historical perspective. I really can't understand why people endlessly obsess over those events.

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Response to Jerry442 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 21, 2015, 08:36 PM

6. So, how many lives per year would be saved by outlawing rifle handgrips that stick out?

Answer: zero.

But it's not about saving lives, it's about social signaling and sticking it to the "other", which is why outlawing rifle handgrips and whatnot has been Priority #1 of the gun prohibition lobby for more than a quarter-century now. Ignorance and fear, like I said.

For perspective, people have been murdered in Baltimore alone this year than have been murdered using *all* rifles in every city, town, village, and home in the entire United States.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 09:03 AM

2. I find it funny the url has the author summed up perfectly.

Scared and ignorant.

Another gun scaredy cat.....BOO!

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 12:57 PM

4. So, any word on when the N. Y. Post and Salon will be merging?

 

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Dec 20, 2015, 11:10 PM

5. This from the people that froth endlessly over...

rifles that are used one-tenth as often to murder as handguns.

And not even that much. "Assault weapon" rifles are only a part of the category of "rifles".

And how much your side bitches and moans and panics and damns a rifle designed six decades ago by a guy named Eugene Stoner... I'm sure that's totally sane and not at all a knee-jerk, emotional, anti-intellectual reaction to a spate of right-wing-media-driven stochastic terrorism, right?

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