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.





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