Memo For File CLXXVI

We’re down to just a few absolutely-must-do things today, one of which is to memorize the wedding vows. Uh, the ones I wrote myself. Yeah. Probably better get that done.

There’s a phrase in there about my bride-to-be’s “positive energy.” This may perhaps get into things that ought not be part of a wedding ceremony, since it’s nit-picky and overly-philosophical. But eventually I decided, if everyone else gets to talk about life and how to live it, and the way it all works, then so do I. Besides, that’s the whole point. “Life and how it works” is the primary skeletal structure of a wedding. We are accustomed to the tears and the rice and the flowers and the satins and the bow ties taking center stage, because their whole purpose is to grab attention and that is their nature, but I’ve noticed we forget that these things are just fleshy tendril bits of the organism, little more than mere decoration. The whole point to attending the wedding is to commemorate an event, and the event has to do with life and the way it works.

And if the bride didn’t have bundles and bundles of positive energy, we wouldn’t be there. The groom still has to say yes for it to take place. This one’s been saying no for a long, long time.

Now, about that. I’ve written in many places over the years, on my way to making some other point, that our efforts may be concerned with creation, preservation or destruction, and it is important to know which one’s being done when one contributes to the design, or the effort, of an idea. When a person exerts effort to further some ambition while maintaining a confusion about whether that ambition is destructive or creative, that person is saddled with a special kind of wrong-ness. This is one of those points about the nature of truth, and our living of life within it, that seems so self-evident that it’s a bit silly to go taking the time to point it out, but point it out we must, for it is forgotten quickly and frequently. I’m sure if you were to go looking for examples of this point I’ve been making, catalog and classify all these instances, you’d find most of the time I’m talking about our friends the modern liberals for this is their perpetual state: Engage some long-running, self-energizing effort to destroy some certain thing, and pretend they’re building something.

As He Really IsHow does one become confused about such a thing? The answer is that human effort is, or at least can often be, inherently confusing. There are entirely legitimate pursuits that consist of an effort to do something to one thing in order to bring about some situation which is necessary for some entirely different thing to be done to some other thing. Think, for example, about destroying one thing so that some other thing can be preserved. Our military does that all day and every day. They destroy for a living, but they are not, by nature, a destructive force. There is a complexity to their mission. The liberals with their simplistic revulsion against icky guns may deny it, but this layer of complexity is key to the defense mission and it is present in all sorts of other human pursuits. We preserve things to destroy other things, we destroy things so that other things may be created, we create things so something can be preserved, we destroy one thing to create another, we create to destroy, et al. Destructive tasks are begun and finished so that something else can be created or preserved, pretty much all the time, so simply acting to destroy something does not necessarily make one into a primarily destructive agent.

But it does create a temptation to go down that path. “In order to build X, we are going to have to destroy Y.” It isn’t long before X is entirely out of the picture. “Bob keeps me from doing my job so I can’t do my job unless Bob is fired.” Pretty soon, you’re not driving off to work every day to do your job, you’re going there every day to get Bob fired. This is sleek, sexy, seductive…stultifying. It warps the human imagination, drive and enthusiasm, darkens our souls, and it is easy to forget how quickly and effectively the anesthetic works.

Conservatives dance on the edge of such a precipice when they talk about getting rid of Barack Obama: “In order for America to succeed, we have to get Obama out of there.” Now that this isn’t very likely, people need to come to grips with their own true nature. The positive-force types have said to themselves “We are going to have to find a way for America to succeed, in spite of Obama.” Whereas the negative-force types will have to reshape their ambition to be one of “We are going to have to find a way to get rid of Obama, without an election” and begun talk of impeachment. The left-wing counterpart to this, of course, is the climate change “movement” which is supposed to have something to do with “science,” although nobody who pays attention to it really thinks so. (A “movement” within science? Is that allowed?) Global warming…climate change…what is it all about? It is about this in-order-to complexity of mission: “In order for the environment/planet to thrive or endure” — preservation — “American business has to be destroyed” — or diminished, which involves destruction. There. I have enumerated the primary colors of this global warming “movement” and described exactly how they blend together.

And, the people pushing it have ascended to their own special plateau of wrong-ness, for they mistake their own endeavor. They think they are trying to preserve something, when the destructive energies have completely taken them over. How many of these global-warming people drive vehicles big enough to tow a boat up to Folsom Lake, and launch it there, in order to scoot off to work in an office cubicle somewhere? They don’t give a tinker’s damn about carbon emissions. Oh, I know they’re not all like that, there’s that Ed Begley Jr. looking hippie-dude I met down at the recycling machine when I took the beer bottles in for proper, earth-friendly disposal. But overall, the climate change “movement” is heavily populated with a bunch of hypocrites who fail to live the humble lifestyle, and what’s much worse I think, is that those non-hypocritical enthusiasts who do live the proper lifestyle, are apparently entirely unconcerned with their compatriots who are hypocritical and do not. This effort is not about that. It isn’t preservative, it is destructive. Its whole point is one of destruction.

So on this day when I’m getting married, my thoughts naturally turn to alliances. I’m seeing one of the most enduring classifications of human tragedy, is this type of story that begins with an alliance between the destructive and the ignorant. And that’s what my divorced-guy’s-vow has become over the years. Oh yes, divorced guys have vows, you didn’t know that? Yup, show me a thousand divorced guys, I can show you a thousand vows. The vows all begin the same way, as the ink is drying on the dissolution order: “I”m never getting married again.” Some of those don’t change, most gradually reshape into “I’m never getting married again until…” Or “The next woman I marry, if there is one, will…”

And my divorced-guy vow reshaped into “I’m never getting married again until the institution of marriage pulls its head out of its ass.” Which, truth be told, against all odds could be said to have happened. Last time I was married, marriages were about “The man worries about the bills being paid and the checking account not being overdrawn, and the woman worries about being maintained in the lifestyle and manner to which she has become accustomed.” The people who (somehow) made their marriages happy and long-lasting, in a cruel irony, were blissfully unaware of all this, with the divorced-dudes being the only ones who were keenly aware of it. But those were the rules. “She bounces checks, so your finances will always be a disaster, and when you married her you said that was perfectly alright so shut up.” Now that Bill Clinton has entirely obliterated whatever credibility the third-wave feminist movement had, this has softened somewhat and womens-equality has come to embrace, or at least tolerate, a sincerity and a realism that were missing from it before. We can go ahead and push for women to have equal responsibilities to go with their equal rights. As a package deal. This is somewhat new.

My divorced-guy vow then morphed into a more humble turn, to “I’m never getting married until I stop being foolish and ignorant.” Well, that’s probably not going to happen. I’m no different from any other mortal, therefore I know barely one percent about anything. But this has softened into “I’m never getting married until I find a way to let go of that special ignorance.” And see above. The special ignorance of forgetting about one’s own efforts: What am I trying to do? Create something? Preserve something? Destroy something? I made reference to the “type of story that begins with an alliance between the destructive and the ignorant” — my earlier marriage, along with many of my more foolish pursuits in years gone by, these are all part of that. I imagine I’ll be snookered again in some other things I’ll be doing, since we are not perfect and unfortunately, neither am I. But the vow was that should there ever be a second marriage, then it, at the very least, would not be part of that. That is the final shape and form of this divorced-guy’s-vow, and it’s been met. That is why there will be a wedding tonight.

Destructive and IgnorantYou ever stop to think about how life would change, if these destructive types…these lost souls, these fallen angels, the “I’m destroying something to build something else, but I can’t quite recall at the moment what it is I’m trying to build” types…could somehow be kept from entering into these unholy alliances with the people who are like I was all those years ago, the foolish types, the stupid types, the ones lacking the wisdom and experience to perceive things as they are? What if we could somehow drive a wedge between the destructive and the ignorant. Drive them apart and keep them from ever unifying again, maybe cloak them in some chemical or hormone, like a birth control that keeps the sperm from ever meeting with the egg. Imagine such a thing. There would be no liberals, not as we know them now. Marriages like my first one would cease to exist, and with that change, I suppose the bulk of all dysfunctional marriages would cease to exist on the spot, and never exist in the first place. We’d still have feminism I suppose. There is a need for it, or at least, there was. But the feminists would look a lot more like my Mom: Eye on the prize, on equal opportunity and equal treatment, but always ready to study what was being put before her with a scrutinizing eye, ready to say “This is looking more and more like a man-bashing party, and I’m outta here.” Oh, I’m sure we’d still have women who blame men for all their problems in life, but they wouldn’t be able to sucker in new, ignorant, recruits. There, as in other places, that’s where the problem starts. The destructive unify with the ignorant.

No global warming “movement.” No Occupy movement. The cable ratings for The Daily Show would drop off. President Obama’s political existence would have ended the moment He said “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” No United Nations. No socialized medicine. If organized labor could continue onward, it would look very different from the kind we have come to know. The college curricula would be shedding classes left and right, most of the ones whose names end with the word “studies.” We wouldn’t have atheists filing lawsuits to take down Christmas trees and crosses, or at least those lawsuits wouldn’t get very far. No “community organizing.” No “social justice.” Alternative fuels would be developed like any other technology: Tinker with it until you have something practical, but until that day comes, don’t obstruct anything. There would be no ADA abuse, no small businesses being sued or fined into oblivion because the recycling bin was put in the wrong place.

I’m not sure how we do that. I suppose if we want to avoid becoming the self-delusional destructive types, we have to be ready to admit “We can’t find a way to change that, so we’ll have to work at surviving and prospering with the situation as it presently exists,” to adapt to realities. But if so, I think it is still worth acknowledging that this is the source of a disproportionate number of our most vexing problems. The ignorant, “marrying” or at least forming alliances with, the destructive. This seems to be where much of the trouble starts. If we cannot take action upon that, then we should make a note of it at least.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Right Wing News.

An Open Letter to Both Houses of Congress

Please vote “no” on any so called “assault weapons” ban.

Anti-gun advocates are pushing hard in the heat of the moment to rush through legislation that violates the intent of the Second Amendment.  In their zeal to take advantage of any crisis, they seek to consolidate ever more power in Washington and eliminate perhaps the most important check on Federal abuse in the Constitution — that being private citizens retaining the power to abolish a government that becomes too tyrannical.  The Federal Government was not formed to grant and revoke rights, it was formed to protect our God-Given rights.

“… to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The Second Amendment is, as are all of the standing amendments, a part of the Constitution.  It can be revoked, but only by the Constitutional Amendment process.  I don’t see anybody moving in that direction.  The movement is in the direction of what the Constitution, via the second amendment, specifically prohibits.

“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 does have an introductory clause, but that clause does not change the meaning of the declarative portion of the wording, which is ” the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It doesn’t just protect our right to keep them.  It protects our right to carry (bear) them.  And that right — protected as a directive to the Federal Government as to what it specifically cannot do … SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

What part of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED do these people not understand?

in·fringe
/inˈfrinj/
Verb
1.Actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.)
2.Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on

The first definition applies in that to actively break the Natural Law that gives us the right would be an infringement.  But the second definition is the definition that most people think of … to “act so as to limit or undermine”.  So the Federal Government cannot act so as to limit or undermine the right of the people to keep and bear arms.  That’s what it says.

It doesn’t say it “shall not be infringed” “unless”, or “until”, or “as long as”, or “but only if”…

It doesn’t mention hunting.  It doesn’t mention sport shooting.  It mentions security of a free state, though.  That bit was apparently far more important.

If we want to address mass murders, let’s address mass murderers.  Let’s also address the gun-free zones that enable them.   Let’s not break the Constitution by infringing on the right of millions of law abiding citizens.

Your job in Washington is an important one.  It is not, primarily, to make laws.  It is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Want

Call me nuts, but I think American politics go in cycles. Reagan’s victories, coupled with Obama’s, prove this. At the same time, I think there is some legitimacy to the idea that our sense of “right” and “left” drift around across time. Reagan was not about the same issues as Obama; those who seek to confuse and distort argue, and there is a kernel of truth to what they say, that Obama is “conservative” in some things and Reagan was “liberal” in some other things. But philosophically, there is some consistency across the decades and it is clear to me that our prevailing culture is picking one thing in one time, and another thing in another time.

Some say Mitt Romney lost the election because he came up with a plan to create jobs, and “fifty-one percent of the country said ‘fuck that!'” I think that’s true. Others say Romney lost because he and Paul Ryan were (demonstrably) less inspiring than John McCain and Sarah Palin, and there might have been some anti-Mormon bigotry feeding into it too. I think that is also true. But, in the 1980’s, a Romney/Ryan ticket would’ve fared better.

So if you can stomach just one more comment about what Republicans need to be fixing, this late in the game: I don’t think the country has gone liberal, quite so much as it has gone primal. We’re living in a time in which arguments are won by whoever appeals to base impulses, or demonstrates their own. It is the configuration of the contests, not the ideology of the options presented during those contests. This hurts conservatives because the default configuration is: Liberal says “I want” something-which-should-be-a-right, and the conservative says “All fine and good, but if that becomes a right, then there are consequences…”

People are bored, aggravated, impatient. They don’t want to hear about consequences. They’ve made anti-social behavior into — well, in this day and age that is how you behave properly in a social setting, by being anti-social. You’re supposed to have some other group in your cross-hairs, in order to get along with yet another group.

In this setting, people who say “I want” are generally more impressive. You remember The Hidden? Right before Kyle McLachlan immolated that guy with the flamethrower, the evil alien that lived in people’s bodies made this positive impression on the pool of reporters and spectators by saying “I want to be President.” Up until that point, this was just a calling-card of sorts, how you knew someone had been invaded by the alien — since real people don’t talk that way, of course. Someone would look at a red sports car and say “I want this car” and you knew the alien had taken ’em over. At this point, it’s more like an ominous foreboding: Everybody loves the driven determined guy, so the evil alien is going to become President because it goes around saying it wants stuff.

Irony is: That’s the typical Hollywood lib’s idea of the eighties. People going around acting all selfish, making a big deal out of wanting to get things for themselves, and the poor proletarians being fooled into thinking this is somehow a good thing. But in reality, outside the Tinseltown fantasy land, that’s a perfect description of the Obama era.

Conservatives have a tough time with this. The very movement is about resisting the temptation to think like a toddler; it is about delayed gratification. Liberals are the child, conservatives are the parent, so the liberals are grabbing for the candies and the conservatives are saying no, we’re eating dinner in a couple hours. Or, we have to check that and pay for it first.

I don’t know if it’s this simple; but it could be. The odds do not favor, but the fact remains we haven’t tested it. When is the last time you’ve heard it stated in these terms?

If some suicidal maniac is picking people off with a pistol so he can go out in a blaze of “glory,” and I’m within that tragic vicinity, ya know what? I want to have a gun. I don’t WANT to be defenseless. Seriously, how do you argue with that? Point is, we can go back & forth all day long about the dead gunman’s motives, or how his mother bought the hardware, whether they were pistols or rifles, or whether the officials at the NRA have character defects or all sorts of other red herrings…but putting yourself in the situation, and asking your audience to put themselves there as well, cuts through all that. You can’t contest this directly. You can’t convincingly say “Oh yeah, well if I was there, then I’d have no problem being unarmed and waiting my turn.” This just steamrolls right over everything. Liberals do that and conservatives don’t.

I don’t WANT to pay for Sandra Fluke’s birth control. See how this works? Liberals accuse conservatives of acting simply out of selfishness. If it were really true, I daresay the liberals wouldn’t be winning all the time.

I don’t WANT to pay more taxes because some complete stranger I’ll never meet, thinks I have too much money.

I WANT to drive a real car, not a “smart car.” I don’t WANT to be a sitting duck in some chassis that’s about the size of my kid’s laundry hamper, and I don’t WANT to be forced to buy such a thing.

I don’t WANT to buy any carbon credits or pay any special carbon tax.

I don’t WANT to be delayed, when I’m driving somewhere, by some “occupy” protest.

I don’t WANT to be forced to join a union.

I WANT to make obscene amounts of money and I don’t WANT anyone else to sit in judgment of it, I WANT to choose my own charities.

I don’t WANT my son to be taught in school that whiteness, straightness, maleness or western-ness are bad things, that he should hide about himself as he goes through life.

I don’t WANT to listen to three hours of liberal talk radio for every three hours of Rush Limbaugh.

I don’t WANT to have to swap out magazines after ten shots.

I WANT to put out Christmas decorations.

I don’t WANT to have to pass a drug test, so I can work and earn money and pay taxes to support welfare people who don’t have to take drug tests.

I don’t WANT to have to live within my means, just to pay taxes to a government that doesn’t have to live within its means.

Conservatives try to avoid arguing this way. They think, because they have been taught, that this is an essential factor in behaving like a grown-up. This is probably true, I’ve been taught the same thing and I believe in it. But the fact is, it’s been put to the test and people aren’t responding to it; they can only muster up enough interest and curiosity to find out about motivations, the more personal the motivation, the more convincing the argument. So the delayed-gratification types end up looking dishonest, even when it’s the other guy who’s obfuscating.

Not sure this would work across the board. But the time’s come to give it a try.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Right Wing News.

Spend More and Save!!!!

I got home last night just in time to catch the newspaper as the lady threw it out of the car to our driveway.  Took it inside, opened it up.

Top headline is,

[Governor] “Nixon touts expansion of Medicaid”
Administration’s new figures show savings; GOP Skeptical.

First sentence of the article:

Expanding Medicaid to give health care coverage to as many as 300,000 Missourians will reduce state spending on the program and release almost $250 million in the next three years for other uses, according to new figures from the Office of Budget and Planning.

This is how spin happens.  Upon first glance, it’s win/win.  Look, our sooper smart Governor found a way to cover 300,000 more people and SAVE $250 Million by doing it!!!   My God, aren’t you glad you voted for him instead of that skeptical, negative GOP candidate?

Now … in a recent discussion that just brought up in the last post on a completely different topic, I had a lefty lecture me thus:

The solution to obesity deaths is to eat more food. The solution to alcohol related deaths is to drink more alcohol. The solution to gun deaths is more guns. Someday everyone will realize how empty and pointless that argument really is.

I wondered what he thought about the idea that the solution to debt is to spend more.  But not really.  Because they have absolutely no trouble swallowing that pill.

First sentence, next paragraph:

Gov. Jay Nixon is pushing lawmakers to accept a federal offer to pay the full cost of expanding the program for three years, followed by a small but growing state contribution.

So it’s not wizardry after all.  It’s not so much that we’re saving any money, we’re just getting “somebody else” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to pay for it.  For a while.  Until we’re hooked.  And over time we’ll be paying more and more into it, and if we ever decide it’s a bad idea, it’ll be WHY DO YOU HATE POOR GRANDMOTHERS????!?!!?!?!!?!?!!??!!!!!  And we’ll be treated to ads of mean negative skeptics pushing one over a cliff in a wheelchair.  Again.  And it’ll be here forever, and grow into Jaba the Hut.

The next question that should pop into the heads of any journalist worth his salt, or perhaps a mere peon citizen reader — would be — where does the federal government get the money to pay the cost of the program?

It’s not magic fairy dust falling from the sky.

It must either 1) come from people from other states, 2) come from people from all states, including yours, 3) come from your kids and grandkids via debt, or 4) come from devaluing your salary and any savings you have through “Quantitative Easing”.

If the federal government wants to do it in our state, you can bet your bottom dollar seventy-five cents fifty cents quarter that they’d like to do it in all 57 states.

I know the Gods of the Copy Book Headings say you don’t get something for nothing, and of course I’ve been assured they’re all misogynistic patriarchal racist white men who worship satin pantsed men in powdered wigs who crapped in buckets, — but … I’m thinking that hiding spending in one column and pretending that column doesn’t come out of your hide, too … isn’t really savings, no matter what type of vessel you may crap in.

Basically, it’s the federal government playing pusher.  Again.  “first one’s free!”

By the states 2021 fiscal year, missouri would pay 10% of the projected $2.6 billion total annual cost of expansion.

Ah, so the expansion does cost money.  Quite a bit, in fact.  $2.6 billion magical federal fairy dollars, falling from the sky like manna from heaven.

Even in the most expensive year, the article goes on, the savings from other parts of the program plus the expected new state revenue would exceed the costs to the state’s general revenue fund.

Remember, we’re saving money here, because we’ve pushed the cost to another column on another page in another book.  Aren’t we clever?

And it gets better:

About 60% fo the net is the result of savings (now that we understand that “savings” means pushing spending to other books) would come from services provided to adult women and mental health programs.

Why do you hate …???  Oh, nevermind.

And my favorite, Pelosi-esque part is the kicker:

The rest would come from increased revenue from the paychecks and spending involved in the program.

And there you have it. We’re going to save money by spending more money.  What a racket.

Hold still now, this won’t hurt a bit.

Back Slapping

After a recent discussion I attempted to have on facebook about the second amendment, sensible gun laws, and culture after the Sandy Hook murders, the idea that it’s actually liberal, ahem, “thought” … that is awash in chest thumping looking for approving slaps on the back, with strawman arguments based on the idea that my side is indifferent to murders committed with guns, even to go so far as to say we think that “the tree of liberty must be frequently watered with the blood of kindergarteners”  — yeah, you hear that one everywhere you go, don’t you? to illustrate the people they’re not like looking for puffy chests and kudos (talk about setting a fictional bar insanely low and then claiming credit for being some sort of super compassionate deep thinker …..

I ran across this.

If you look at the “story”, it basically consists of a paragraph containing the “offending” quote about the feminization of our culture … and then showing a barrage of tweets decrying that it is “stupid” in varying bits of verbiage.

This is a story, I guess.  “Here’s a quote that challenges one of our leftist sacred cows, now everybody gets a chance to pile on and say it’s stupid so we know you’re a Goodperson™“. 

I went and read the original story, and it’s clear that by “feminzation” the female author of the peice was referring really to emasculation — of our culture.  It was a thoughtful peice. on the whole.  She has some good points.  If we expect less from our own culture, we’ll surely get less.  Self reliance and self defense are not the virtues they once were.  In fact, they’re derided as “jingoistic”.

But the story must be derided to death in the leftosphere, because it laments the emasculation of our culture and points out some of the downside — that being, we discourage taking matters into our own hands and suffer the mercy or lack thereof of evildoers until the authorities come — and suffer the body count.   This is considered not only acceptable, but proper.   And if you dare to suggest trying to stack the cards against the purputrators by enabling those present to more effectively defend themselves against these threats — it’s “stupid”.  No explanation as to what, exactly, is stupid about it.  It’s just reflexively self-evident.  Why, look at all the tweets that say the same thing!

I wasn’t shocked.  The story doing the deriding is on Salon, where I also saw headline teasers for stories such as “Time to Profile White Males” and something about Mike Huckabee saying gays caused the shooting  (which of course, he didn’t, but the unquestioned queens of rationalization can write a story and half-convincingly make it sound like that was even close to what he was saying).

And of course, what led me to all of this was a post citing the original Charlotte Allen piece for winning “The Olympics of Stupid”, pointing to the Salon article whose case seemed to be “I think it’s stupid.  And see, look at all the other people who tweeted that it was stupid” —  for other people on facebook to “like” and comment that they, too, thought it was “stupid”.

But “stupid” is not an argument, it’s a judgement (made by our non-judgemental crowd that Ishmael Effect that Severian brought up a couple of posts ago).  If you can’t explain what you think is stupid about it… you might be arguing like a fourth grader.

Actually a bit depressing this is about as deep as so many people who are chronologically adults seem to be willing to go.

Chuckle of the Day: “Root Causes”

Sonic Charmer (who has a blog I dig) nails one of the most annoying things about “gun control advocates:”

The other interesting thing is that this is all a total inversion of the conversation that takes place regarding (foreign) terrorism. In that case, it’s the left which wants to explore and understand and address ‘root causes’, and it’s the right which says ‘who cares their reasons, let’s just squash/prevent/kill terrorists’. So there is a double-standard – the right side of which, by the way, I will totally defend in both cases. What I wonder is, why does the gun-control left adhere to this double-standard? What happened to ‘root causes’?

This is the beauty of the RWCG approach — the light touch.  But since I’m more of a “beat ’em with a 2×4” kind of guy, I’ll spell it out:

The left isn’t interested in “root causes” in this case because they touch on two of the root causes of leftism itself: race and a belief the talismanic power of words.

We on the right seem to have a knock-down argument against the gun-grabbers: this here chart.

England is the most violent country in the Western world

Of course, this doesn’t deter liberals in the slightest, because if they were capable of revising their opinions in the light of plain facts they wouldn’t be liberals.  But airily dismissing this as yet another case of Sciencey McScienceFan leftists ignoring politically inconvenient hard data, while fun, is actually counterproductive.

For one, this chart is itself something of a dodge.  As Bookworm him(her?)self acknowledges, much of the interpersonal violence in the UK is done with knives, bottles, etc., not guns.  Which opens us up to the countercharge that we’re changing the subject, that liberals are happy, eager even, to discuss these other forms of violence, but right now we have to deal with the plague of guns in America, and quit changing the subject, wingnutz, won’t somebody please think of the children.

For another, far more important reason, it’s counterproductive because it does nothing to address the essential silliness of the entire “gun control” premise.  “Gun control” intends to limit gun violence, yes?  As in, violence committed with a gun?  Behold the stupidity.

In case you don’t want to read the link, it’s a list of penalties various states have implemented for illegal firearm possession.  In Connecticut — which seems relevant — it’s a class D felony, punishable by one to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

But now let’s have a look at the Connecticut statue for assault with a deadly weapon (ADW), which covers all manner of objects as well as guns:

PA 71-871 amended the sentencing statute in the penal code (CGS § 53a-35) to require a minimum sentence of five years that cannot be suspended or reduced for the crime of assault in the first degree when a person intends and causes serious physical injury to a person using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (CGS § 53a-59(a)(1)).

The penalties for assault with any kind of deadly weapon, not just a gun, far exceed those imposed for illegal firearm possession.  And since these laws, with their harsher penalties, don’t seem to have much of a deterrent effect….

And then there’s, you know, murder.  It should be needless to say that the penalties for this are much harsher:  20 to 60 in the slammer for starters in Connecticut, which — and this seems important — also has the death penalty.  Evidently it’s not, though, as our liberals honestly seem to be arguing that folks who set out to commit cold-blooded murder — who know full well that 20 to life or even the fucking gas chamber await them if caught — will somehow be deterred by yet another piddly firearm possession law.

It’s a ridiculous example of parathought.  They somehow equate “gun control” to “violence control,” and compound the silliness by — and I see no other way to explain their “thinking” here– assuming that the passage of a law with the words “gun control” in the title actually controls violence.

Or, if you want a much pithier version of all this, just ask a liberal if “pot control” laws actually control pot… but only after asking them if they’ve got a guy.

This word fetish they’ve got is a special case of parathought.  In fact it might be the oldest one of all.  I call it the Neville Chamberlain (but I’m open to suggestion) — he proclaimed “peace in our time” based on nothing more than a piece of paper pinky-swearing that Germany wouldn’t invade anyone.  And then he put Great Britain’s rearmament plans on hold, because hey, if you can’t trust Hitler….

“Gun control” is actually some kind of double-Chamberlain.  It seemingly assumes:

  1. that “gun control” laws actually reduce access to guns, and
  2. that “guns” — the concept — seemingly drive some people insane, so that your normal average everyday junior account exec turns into a homicidal maniac the minute you hand him a .38

Liberals know this isn’t true.  Again, ask ’em about pot — you can find Reefer Madness playing in a dorm room somewhere in America every night of the year, with the types of folks who pen Very Serious Facebook posts about “sensible gun control laws” laughing their asses off at manufactured marijuana hysteria.  They’re not stupid; they’re just parathinking, with “guns” standing in for “all the stuff I find icky.”

The other “root cause” liberal shibboleth here is race.  You’d have to gun down the entire student body of a small liberal arts college before school shooting deaths topped the number of gang-related homicides per year.  You might also take a gander at the FBI’s 2011 Uniform Crime Reports, which state that 8,341 arrests for homicide or non-negligent manslaugther (48% of the total) were of African-Americans.  “Profiling!”, liberals would scream… except that of 12,664 victims, almost exactly half (6,329) were black.  (Interestingly, there are no separate numbers for Hispanics; presumably they’re “white” to the FBI (the only other choices are “American
Indian or Alaskan Native” and “Asian or Pacific Islander”)).

Point is, strict “gun control” laws, were they actually intended to curtail gun-related violence, would have a very markedly “disproportionate impact,” as our liberal friends say, on the African-American community.  For instance, let’s look at this CNN propaganda “analysis” piece from July 31, 2012.  “Analyst” Allison Brennan claims that

A study published in the Injury Prevention Journal, based on a 2004 National Firearms Survey, found that 20% of the gun owners with the most firearms possessed about 65% of the nation’s guns.

When you actually click on the link, though, you get an abstract that links to a table which indicates that only 15% of “non-white” households possess any kind of firearm.  The abstract goes on to conclude that

Firearms are most likely to be owned by white men who live in a rural areas, those who are middle-aged or older, with a middle to higher income, who grew up with guns in the home and who live in the southern or mid-western regions of the country.

Here are those numbers again for your review: Just under half of those arrested for, and almost exactly half of the victims of, homicide are African-American (blacks are 13.1% of the US population).  And yet, self-reported gun ownership among “non-whites” is a mere 15%, and the average gun owner is a middle-aged, middle-income white guy who lives in the rural South or Southwest.

Anything funky about that?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Let me put it as simply as I can:  Any “gun control” law that is serious about actually controlling guns is going to have to address the huge numbers of illegal weapons floating around our nation’s inner cities.  Forget the Constitution for a sec (if you find this difficult, just pretend you’re a liberal) — even if we banned all manufacture, importation, and sale of firearms within the United States, we’d have to deal, as my co-bloggers have pointed out in such illuminating detail, the 50% of the world’s guns that are already here.  Short of massive, jackbooted police sweeps going door-to-door through every inner city in America, the only guns you’re going to confiscate are from those middle-aged, middle-class white guys…

…which, of course, is the entire point of the exercise.  Any discussion of “violence” in American that doesn’t take race into account is either impossibly naive or grossly dishonest.  If the liberals were to look at the “root causes” of “gun violence,” they’d be revealed as both.