Wednesday, January 2, 2013

AUTOMATIC GUN CONTROL: IF NOT US, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?


By Ebbtide

The NRA recently crawled out from under its rock and gave its sermon from the (gun)mount. Did Wayne LaPierre mention anything about high capacity magazines? Semi-automatics? Proliferation of guns in this country? Of course, he didn’t.



Would you buy a used car, let alone a gun, from this man?

No, according to the NRA, the problem is video games, movies and EVIL INSANE MONSTERS!!!! The solution? MORE GUNS!!!!

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes," LaPierre said… "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

He said gun-free school zones tell every insane killer that schools are places to inflict maximum pain at minimum risk.

He said that we should be able to afford to put a police officer in every school and called on Congress "to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school in this nation." 

GUNS? WHAT GUNS?



So, that’s it from the NRA. The problem isn’t that the United States has more guns, more guns per capita, more gun deaths, more gun deaths per capita etc. etc. than any other First World country—nope. It’s video games created by “a callous, corrupt shadow industry” that, according to LaPierre are tantamount to pornography—how many people have DIED from pornography again? Any comparison to the callous, corrupt NRA is, of course, ridiculous.

 Oh, and it’s movies. But, you say, people watch violent movies and play violent video games in every other freaking country on earth, but they don’t go around slaughtering their fellow citizens. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE EASY ACCESS TO ARSENALS? Nah, not according to the NRA.


Gun-free school zones
Insane people (monsters)
Video games
Movies
The Media
Demonizing gun owners
Spreading misinformation
Gun safety advocates (for exploiting tragedies, don’t you know)
Teachers’ unions (this from Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips who said, “Teachers Union is actually the focus of evil in the pre and post Sandy Hook world.”
And, I kid you not—The 1968 Democratic Convention.

LaPierre's Non-problems/solutions?

Guns
More guns
Even MORE guns

Okay, we knew that was coming, and all week, leading up to LaPierre's rant, I tried to keep track of the more insidious rumors going around that would pre-support his lunacy. It was clear from the beginning that he’d absolve guns from any responsibility because, after all, guns are inanimate objects and there is no difference between a musket and an AR-15.

The only thing that surprised me was that he didn’t push the mental health aspect any further than referring to INSANE monsters being responsible for the murders (maybe that will come in his next diatribe.) It surprised me because watching the rightwing noise machine leading up to his speech led me to believe it would be part of the fabric of his blathering.

OOPS---I must have zoned out—I see he did mention that we should have a national database of the mentally ill. Yikes. That is even scarier still.

Perhaps he was more concerned with getting MORE GUNS into the mix, and decided to leave the more esoteric discussions to his crazy minions. I’m sure there’s more to come from these “righteous” morons.

Anyway, I took some time in the past week to trace the origins of some of the memes that spread like wildfire on the right, to see if we could discern a pattern.

SOMEWHERE OUT THERE

There were some truly crazy ideas postulated by some of the loons, including:

That “Sandy Hook” and “Aurora” are mentioned in the Batman The Dark Knight Rising Movie (h/t sunnyjane).

A false flag action by (who else) the Obama administration to prepare to TAKE AWAY ALL OF OUR GUNS

A Zionist plot conceived by Israeli forces

A long-term mind-control project by the government to create killing machines (apparently these folks took the Mel Gibson “Conspiracy Theory” movie to heart.)

LOSING MY RELIGION

And then, as always, there were the religious whackos who alternated between saying Sandy Hook was the result of taking God out of the schools and saying Sandy Hook was a message from God. (So I guess they’re saying God is either extremely sensitive or particularly mean and ruthless. Not a pretty picture any way you look at it.) The misanthropes pushing that aspect included the usual suspects:

Bryan Fischer (Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association.) Fischer must have given up on sleeping, because he seems to be tweeting his insanity 24/7. A few examples:

Bryan Fischer ‏@BryanJFischer
When we had God and prayer in our public schools, we didn't need guns.

Bryan Fischer ‏@BryanJFischer
What we can do to stop school massacres: 1. Invite God back into our schools. 2. Allow school faculty to carry concealed.

Bryan Fischer ‏@BryanJFischer
We need God and loaded guns in our schools: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hgKpF-cl6M 

And then, of course, that “nice, smiling, guitar-picking moderate Republican” Mike Huckabee started shooting off his mouth:

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

(Because God wants to take out his anger on 6-year-olds? Say what?)

Franklin Graham obviously had to get in on the act:

“We've taken God out of our school, we've taken him out of our government and now we seem shocked at all of these things.  Why are we shocked? We shouldn't be shocked.  This is what happens when a society turns its back on God":

(I guess his message is that if you piss God off, God will shoot you in the back?)

And then there’s this full-metal-wingnut preacher.


 (So, God gets mad, decides we need “gracious” punishment, and shoots babies to get our attention. Alrighty then.)

AN ARMED SOCIETY IS A POLITE SOCIETY



That’s been an NRA mantra for quite awhile, and what I take from it is that if everyone is armed, you’ll be forced to be polite because you’ll never know what might set some lunatic with an assault rifle off. (See Pizza: Little Caeser’s)

And from the right. suggested solutions of how to maintain a “polite society” included everything from:

 Megan McCardle’s idea that children should gang-rush shooters

  
… To Charlotte Allen’s more “nuanced” view that the gang-rushers should be men, because the problem is that schools have become too feminized "Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza."


Yeah---There'd be a few dead male teachers and/or huskier 12-year-old boys. What do these people not get about a suicidal person armed with high-powered weapons and the element of surprise?

…To an academic view that the problem lies in the fact that we are not deferential enough to young white men whose position has been usurped by women and minorities. This one goes Full Monte—




Oh, and how could I forget—Disney Princess bullet-proof backpacks! (But guns are not the problem, y’all.)




THEY’RE COMING TO TAKE US AWAY, HA HA

What’s left that hasn’t been dredged through the swampland? They don’t want to talk about guns other than to say MOAR GUNZ  So if it’s not video games, movies, non-deference to young white males or lack of God, it MUST be mental illness. (NOTE—I definitely think we need to address mental health in this country, but the rightwing has latched onto mental illness as their excuse du jour to explain away Adam Lanza’s actions rather than address that elephant in the room, guns.)

So, let’s not talk about guns—let’s talk about anything BUT guns. And let’s spread the news from Fox to the Blaze to Breitbart to Twitchy to all of the players in the right wing echo chamber and see what we can stir up, shall we?

Here is the genesis and expansion of just a few of the stories that have been making the rounds to support their basis for ignoring guns and concentrating on other issues.

1. Premise: Adam Lanza was taking the anti-psychotic drug, Fanapt, which apparently has side-effects that lead to violence.

The story began in the NY Daily News which claimed that the information came from Lanza’s uncle, Jonathan Lanza. Then New York Magazine reported it, attributing it to the Daily News article. Then the race was on with many others picking it up and then several doing in-depth articles about the drug itself.

HOWEVER, the Daily News took down the section about the uncle, and several other sources pointed out the possibility that the Daily News got punked by someone named Jonathan Lee Riches, who is known for perpetrating hoaxes and suing people and also did something similar after the Aurora shootings.

But it’s out there and the wingers are running with it and the meme has become that guns are not the issue—anti-psychotic drugs are.


2. Premise: Nancy Lanza was in the process of having Adam committed and he found out about it and was terribly angry. Also, this same story goes on with the (I thought disproven) addition that he felt she cared more about the kids at the school than about him, so that’s why he chose the school.

This little ditty came, via (of course) Fox News, from a 25-year old Marine (why the fact that he’s a Marine has anything to do with it, I don’t know, but it’s mentioned in every iteration of the story.) He is described as a “lifelong family acquaintance.” Of course, this person, come to find out, does not even know the family—he was merely passing on hearsay. His own father affirmed that his son did not know the family and questioned why Fox even published the story. Oh, Fox also said that an (of course un-named) official said that they were looking into the possible commitment angle as a potential motive.

AND THEY’RE OFF—all of the usual suspect right wing blogs have the story featured as if it is fact. And the comments on the stories, even at HuffPo, are appalling. A few examples (these are from HuffPo—can only imagine what the conspiracy-minded sites are saying):

This story sounds more true than all the other stories out there. She should have committed him when he was a child, she could have saved her life.

Ah... there it is: He "believed she cared more for the children than she did for him." I figured that from the start, as jealousy is huge among young men

And then we veer off into:

a friend of mine pointed out he was fixated on a video game where shooting the target multiple times I guess scores more points.

He should have been committed long ago -- we need to go back to the days when it was much easier to put these people into mental hospitals and not have to go thru courts etc.

Just based on his photographs alone, I would have committed Adam Lanza.
                                                                                                      
It's clear and evident what we need is Psychological Evaluations for every person at age 18.

Which led to:

I agree 'it's cultural.' However, more accurately, he lacked his mother's love.

And came back full circle to unproven, undocumented premise in article 1:

What about taking the focus off gun control and put it where it belongs, on "fanapt" the phsychotropic drug he was on !

Only one out of about every 200 comments ever got to the underlying

Right wing post-truth journalism reinforcing the NRA talking point regarding the "mentally ill". You bet your A$S it is.

So let’s not talk about guns—let’s commit anyone we think looks a little “off” and skip those pesky things like courts in the process.


3. Then there’s the cogent angle that AP felt would contribute tremendous insight into the story. Talking to people at the salon where Adam Lanza used to get his hair cut. This one is too ridiculous to even document. Obviously, some stylists were looking for their 15 minutes because how else would this (potential) Pulitzer-Prize-winning story have even come to AP’s attention? According to this riveting account, Lanza had stopped coming into the shop several years ago and they thought the family had moved away. (Lifetime execs are probably already licking their chops trying to get the move rights to this blockbuster account.)

DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT

When it comes to dealing with the right wing controlling nearly every conversation, I often recommend that people read Don't Think Of An Elephant!/ How Democrats And Progressives Can Win: Know Your Values And Frame The Debate.



We have the floor. We have the facts. We have the sanity. It’s time for us to take control of the conversation and steer away from all the idiocy the right is promoting and keep it simple

IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID.

Fifty four percent of Americans, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll, favor tighter gun control — a five year high. A Huffington/YouGov poll came to similar conclusions.

Let’s not let them change the subject and move the Overton Window. That’s what they did in the abortion discussions—changed it from an issue of choice to a discussion of what types of exceptions were acceptable in anti-abortion legislation. We let them get away with it every time. And I say—not this time. This time it’s life or death.

************

Note: This post was written by Ebbtide on the day of LaPierre's rant. 

We here at Politicalgates are determined NOT to allow this issue to rest until proper measures are created which will control the amount of automatic weapons in the USA.

Please write, phone and pester your government representative and tell them that you have not forgotten either. 

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