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May 01 2014

The US’s obsession with death and killing and guns

The flip side of the US’s obsession with preserving the death penalty despite all its well-documented horrors is its obsession with the idea that the more that people carry powerful guns everywhere all the time, the safer they will be. Coupled with expanded ‘stand your ground’ and ‘castle doctrine’ legislation that enables people make much broader claims of self-defense, this has even led people to set traps for burglars, tempting them to enter their homes so that they could kill them.

Even the merest suggestion that people should be trained and licensed before they are allowed to own and carry such lethal weapons (the way they need to be to drive cars) is seen as some kind of extraordinary suppression of a basic right. The rights to health care, education, food, shelter, and clothing are all expendable. The one right that must be preserved at all costs is the right to carry any weapon anywhere at any time.

However, the one place that gun supporters don’t want to see guns allowed is in the legislature where they pass these laws. But then, hypocrisy has never held back a politician.

The Daily Show had a couple of segments on the drive to increase the ubiquity of guns.

(This clip aired on April 29, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Richard Simons

    I understand the NRA also restricts weapons at its premises and conferences.

  2. 2
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I understand the NRA also restricts weapons at its premises and conferences.

    And as I recall reading, the NRA heartily embraced gun control when the Black Panthers were promoting armed self defense for the black population…

  3. 3
    kyoseki

    Unfortunately, the law as it currently stands puts crippling restrictions on the laws that can actually be enacted with regard to something considered a Constitutionally protected right.

    I’d love nothing more than tiered licensing & training systems for firearms (wouldn’t mind seeing that for cars, too, while I’m at it, but I guess I can dream), but it’s going to be a hard sell getting it through the legislature without a constitutional amendment to repeal/modify the 2nd and that’s never going to happen, it would be political suicide for any red state legislator and no small number of blue state ones.

    Short of a repeal or a supreme court case that reverses earlier decisions, there’s very little legislation that can actually be enacted without getting thrown out as unconstitutional, anything that can get pushed through like assault weapons bans or magazine restrictions is likely to be ineffective at reducing deaths.

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    This is why everyone should be driving fully armed tanks. Bonus: Road rage incidents would be like those highway bear fights, which go on for an hour or so until someone shows up to tranquilize the animals and ship them off.

  5. 5
    hyphenman

    Good evening Mano,

    I say fully embrace the 2nd amendment and require all adults to become members of an inactive reserve for which they must serve a period of training (three to six months) and periodic refreshers and then, as members of a well organized militia, those adults may fully exercise their right to bear arms.

    Jeff

  6. 6
    kyoseki

    At this point, I suspect that trying to address the underlying triggers (poverty, poor mental healthcare, poor education, high income disparity) would do a lot more to reduce the death rate than any firearms based legislation.

  7. 7
    justsomeguy

    One of the reasons why the Minnesota case ended in conviction is because Byron shot each of his victims multiple times. For each, the first couple of hits wounded his targets and incapacitated them. Instead of calling the cops at that point, he finished them off. And then declined to call the cops until the next day because he didn’t want to bother them. He tried to claim this was all in self-defense.

  8. 8
    hyphenman

    @justsomeguy

    Yes. Smith clearly demonstrated that removing his DNA from the gene pool (in what ever manner society decides to accomplish that at) is a good idea.

    I remember years ago when an uncles, who was also a police officer, told me that if I ever was forced to shoot someone, that I ought to keep pulling the trigger until all the bullets were gone.

    Jeff

  9. 9
    forestdragon

    Same here. My father once told me that if I absolutely *had* to shoot someone breaking into my house, that for god’s sake kill them, so there’s only one story.

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