Thursday, October 26, 2017
How A Minority Of Gun Extremists Distorts U.S. Crime Rates And Gun Laws
"The Founders could no more have conceived of semi-automatic or automatic weapons when they wrote the Second Amendment, than they could have conceived of space ships." - Steve Schmidt Republican strategist
The horrific Vegas mass shooting again brought to the fore the lax gun laws to which we're all subject. In this case, how a $200 previously unheard of accessory ("bump stock") converted two semi-automatic weapons into effective (not "simulated") automatic ones. By way of that actual conversion, there were 600 casualties (59 deaths) or what you'd find in a combat scenario. In the wake of that mass murder by a psycho named Stephen Paddock we heard the usual vanilla babble about "thoughts and prayers", but no genuine proposals to halt the madness.
Left unsaid is how this madness is enabled by a minority of mostly white, male conservative gun extremists determined to take the whole nation hostage as the price of their specious perceptions of "freedom". No surprise then that a relatively tiny group of gun obsessives and "gun liberty" extremists could have been harnessed by the NRA for the purpose of legislative obstruction.. Why? Well, to strike fear into any politicians, any legislators who might want to vote for sane gun regulations. That includes banning bump stocks, and all semi-automatic weapons by which a conversion (to automatic) can be made.
It's mind boggling that when one learns of the facts concerning gun ownership in the U.S., one's whole outlook changes. It is then possible to see the level of how the larger society is held hostage by a minority. That includes how its social dynamic is distorted in multifold ways, from suicide and homicide rates to the abnormal frequency of mass shootings. How warped as a society have we become since the 2nd amendment was perverted by a small, loud gun lobby (the NRA) that has our lawmakers' cojones encased in cement?
Let's start out by recitation of some hard facts:
- Super owners are those I call "gun extremists" who own up to 17 guns apiece
- This lot comprise just 3 percent of the whole adult population.
- Nearly HALF of the planet's civilian- owned guns are in the hands of Americans.
Let's parse this further. From the above and doing the relevant math (e.g. U.S. population etc.) 4.2 percent of the world's population owns half the planet's guns. But in fact, this lot comprises 3 percent of the whole U.S. adult population (which is 4.2 % of the world's population) so that nearly half of the planet's civilian- owned guns are owned by Americans and nearly three fourths of these are "super owners". Try to process that for a few minutes.
Some further facts:
1- Of the 134 mass shooters who have preyed on Americans since 1966 only 3 were women.
2- Mass shootings are therefore a 98 percent male enterprise.
3- Firearms are used in close to 70 percent of homicides.
4- Super owners are most likely to be white, male and conservative.
Republican gun owners insist that "the right to own guns is essential to their sense of freedom".
But who is fooling whom? If their "freedom" is dependent on owning or carrying a weapon - presumably for protection - then how free are they really? It's a delusion. Anyone who absolutely needs a security appendage to secure his or her "freedom" is not truly free. They are victims of a freedom delusion, a fantasy.
Also, do they really need AR-15s, Uzis, and AK-47s for protection? All through most of the nation's history the standard weapons for protections have been single shot pistols, like revolvers (e.g. .38 special) or at most a .45 automatic or shotgun. NO one in the late fifties or 60s owned anything like the weapons today, nor did they need them for any "protection:" or "freedom". So what exactly is different today? Do we have space aliens ready to land and invade homes? Why the need for so much firepower? When you think about it, there really isn't any "need" to have such weapons, exceeding what standard gun owners had in the late 50s, early 60s.
Any such "reasons" offered, e.g. "Well, my home might be invaded by a gang of Crips or Bloods" is pure bull pockey.
The excuse of "protection" then falls through the cracks. It's a red herring. A redirection of argument to a specious basis for which the person can better respond.
What is the real reason then for this subset of white males to own so many guns? Part of it is frankly to be part of a white man gun culture. This culture revolves around activities that glorify assorted guns and shooting them. For example, going to gun shows to collect more guns, or taking the family to machine gun shoots, e.g.
Those joining this gun culture and its activities reinforce each others' deformed perceptions that: a) guns are essential for protection, b) guns are key to having a good time, and c) if the choice of guns used for (a) and (b) is removed then one de facto loses his freedom. Which is obvious bollocks.
The subtext rationale for this minority affinity can only be the projection of dominance and power - or more bluntly - the projection of WHITE male power through physical domination. Even the most lame lightweight loser "Woody Allen" type - but loaded with racial animus and fear - can access mighty power with an AK -47 against any more muscular black man . All this weakling whitey has to do is curl his finger against the trigger and pop pop pop ....problem solved. So, rather than having to go through the time and trouble to train or body build for physical strength or advantage, the white fatty or the Woody Allen type can simply buy a gun and 'Voila!' - the ultimate equalizer is available.
What a feeling of unsurpassed power then for the average little fearful whitey to hold a gun and be convinced he has the power of life and death. This then is also the reason so many of these insecure guys feel they have to pack heat when they go out in public, whether to churches or bars or restaurants.
Of course, they will argue back that it's got nada to do with any insecurity or projection of white dominance but rather "freedom". To which I again call bull pockey. As Shayl my psychologist niece put it the other day: "It's all about securing their freedom from the fear of being confronted by a stronger black man." Bingo!
Again, to validate this we can return to the hard numbers I displayed earlier, and ask what they mean. In short, they disclose the vast majority of Americans - indeed people across the globe - never need or feel they need a gun for protection. Indeed, as I posted before, a gun in the house makes a person more vulnerable to deadly violence.
For every time a gun is used in self-defense in a home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts and 4 accidents involving guns in or around the home. Making the last more likely: 43% of homes with both guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm. To see a recent case to do with what I'm referencing here, go to:
Six times more women are shot by husbands, boyfriends and ex-partners than murdered by male strangers. A woman’s chances of being killed by her domestic abuser increase more than 7 times if her home has a gun in it.
The unholy truth is that most shootings are NOT ideological, terror-based or random but rather domestic (in people's homes) - either suicides or one spouse (usually male) killing the other after a fiery argument. Assaying all mass shootings between 2009 and 2015, the Huffington Post found that 70 percent occurred in the home. Of these, 57 percent involved a family member or current or former intimate partner. 81 percent of the victims were women and children. These killings were not done by 'crazies' or Islamic terrorists but usually normal people who simply lost it in the midst of a heated argument and reached for the weapon nearest and dearest - a gun.
Firearms currently claim an average of 93 lives per day in the United States - more than half by suicide. Guns are responsible for more deaths than vehicle crashes or even terrorism.
Self- defense by using guns? Give me a break! As reported recently in The New England Journal Of Medicine accidental deaths (e.g. a kid shooting another) were 30 percent more common than self protection homicides. In addition, suicides involving firearms were 37 times more common than any self defense scenarios.
It is time, methinks, that we cease allowing three freaking percent of our populace to control the social dynamics of our entire nation. It is high time gun sanity prevail over the gun extremism and obsession of a tiny minority.
Those like Caleb Medley, who suffered a head wound in the Aurora massacre and is still trying to get his shattered life back, would be grateful for any measure that can stop the senseless bloodletting.