Do we care about tragedy, or are we being used
for someone's dark political agenda?
Letter writers motivate a response.
"Why does anyone need a gun that shoots multiple bullets in a few seconds?"
Newtown -- or Everytown?
Alan Korwin, Author, Gun Laws of America
The Uninvited Ombudsman
After sensitive and caring dialogs, a self-described "anti-gun woman legislator" writes to me as an expert, for the fifth time, asking, "You still haven't explained to me why anyone needs a gun that shoots multiple bullets in a few seconds." This, as if it's my job to explain to her how life works, or how guns work, or why police prefer these guns, or why people do too for the exact same reasons as police.
I grow weary answering her, but like so many other confused Americans she does motivate me. I write this for her, but also for some fellow countrymen, knowing their sudden concern is not fired by a compelling interest to understand, but by an emotionally charged rage.
It is rage driven by innocent children murdered weeks or months ago by a madman. It is still being promoted, yes promoted, by a twisted "news" media, once again promoting its decades-old agenda to curtail America's unique civil right to arms*, using tragedy as the motivator. I summon strength and reply:
"You have been shown the murderer's face 100 times a day as if it is somehow news -- but it is propaganda in every sense of that word. It conveys no news, it advances the story in no way, it simply disgusts, enrages, and motivates you to write to me and your Congressmen, and push the agenda the media -- as if by magic -- coincidentally is pushing.
"You are being manipulated by that face. No, those faces. They promote many, reaching back for years to images now iconic, they're good at their craft. The media and their political handlers know it all too well, and you are being managed like the proverbial useful idiot. They are forcing Kool-Aid down your throat, and you get no mouthwash. I know that may not sink in, but maybe you'll get it when I'm through.
"On the same day those people were murdered, another 80 died in their cars in senseless horrific death. Just as bloody or even more so, it was just as tragic. Families torn apart, women and children ripped from us without warning. Entire families lost at a single gory stroke. Four times more loss, on that single day. Not in Newtown. In Everytown.
"But you don't care about them, because the 'news' media isn't promoting them to you. Clearly -- devastating human loss isn't the issue, and neither is unspeakable tragedy. You are concerned with how many bullets because that's what you are being told to care about, even though you think you care only about tragic loss. And here's the kicker. You, and we, suffered the same bloody 80-person loss the next day. And eighty more the next and the next and every day since.
"Little kids, and their moms, and people who said, 'See you later honey,' and never came home. You are being manipulated about how many bullets in how many seconds in what kind of black black gun, on one single day now long ago, by making you focus on isolated loss. You are being sucker punched for someone else's political goal, and it is a perverse goal of civil-rights denial, as bad as the race riots of the 1960s. Can you see that? OK, let me get more specific about your question.
"You ask about the need for such guns. This is hard for a lot of people. Piers brags that he doesn't get it. Are you ready? In a free country like ours, ownership of property is not based on need. That's the communist model.
"To each according to his need, and someone in government decides how much or what you need, and that is all you're allowed to have. We reject that approach to life in every aspect totally and implicitly.
"You don't need ten pairs of shoes, or a refrigerator the size of a closet. That's not how we do it here, and that's why we're a free nation, the freest the world has ever seen. When 'the government' (which is just other people), or some loudmouth on a throne can dictate what kind of gun (or anything) you 'need,' your freedom for guns (and everything else) is washed away. That's a pretty big picture view, and many people cannot grasp that. I hope you can.
"The small-picture answer is simple enough -- why people want such guns. That's easy. For the exact same reasons you want your police to have them, and why your police want to have them. You want your police to have the most powerful guns, with the highest-capacity magazines that work well, and all the ammo they can carry, to defend against some really evil criminals they must face -- who will be carrying the same. Bad guys always use the deadliest weapons they can -- whatever cops have, or more -- law doesn't stop them. That's why you need equality. Your police do too.
"But you need it even more, because you are the first responder -- police are always second, a fact you always witness on TV, but that the narrative always lies to you about. The so-called fist responders always show up second. Read that sentence again. The so-called fist responders always show up second. Shame on the 'news' for always getting that wrong and never issuing a correction. Police parade around for the cameras in their riot gear after the incident has ended.
"Think about how powerful the media is that you've watched that a thousand times and never got it until now.
"The really big picture issue though is this: why do people in this country have guns at all? And for that you need to understand what the Second Amendment is really all about. It is not about self defense and crime control, the topics of the day, although those things are important (and it's certainly not the hunting, target practice or sport distractions the left has injected into this). The right to keep and bear arms is about balance of power. Where is that in the so-called 'news'? How well do you understand that concept? If you were educated in government schools, probably not at all.
"Our Founders understood that if there wasn't a counterweight to government power, there was no way for the nation to maintain the freedom we invented.
"Yes, invented. The idea that the people are the sovereigns and the government is the servant was invented here. To make this happen, we the people need -- there's that word -- to be armed in the same manner as the government in the street. The people need power, and power, as the communists, all tyrants and our Founders well knew, comes from the barrel of a gun.
"Public school not only doesn't teach this, it hides this, spewing ignorance where education is supposed to go. As arms developed, we the people naturally possessed arms equivalent to what we provided our troops. And we have throughout our history done this, maintaining a rational balance of power. To maintain freedom. The government and the public progressed together in harmony from flintlock to cap and ball, cartridge to self-loaders, to where we stand today.
"Now that's a (very!) simplified version, and I'm not getting into the dangers of standing armies (which we've sort of reached), disparities of force or reductio ad absurdum and shooting at tanks or F-16s attacking Cincinnati. Let's just note that, unlike virtually every country in Europe and the world, our government has never turned on its people and slaughtered them, (except maybe for disarmed black folks and Indian savages long ago) because it can't, and it knows that. This is good.
"This is why America is the linchpin of freedom on the entire planet. This is why people are willing to walk through 30 miles of blazing snake-infested desert to get here. They don't do that in Japan or England or Zambia or any other country ignoramii like to compare us to. It's those guns that can shoot just like any police guns can shoot. If the left really wants to fantasize about shooting at tanks, it needs to think a whole lot bigger than AR-15s.
"Those are the kinds of guns the Founders expected us to have -- equivalent to whatever government forces of the time have. Parity. Look it up, like I have. The Founders understood this balance of power thing. You'll find it's true. It's in their writing and thinking. Should it be in yours? Do you trust your government under, say, Bush, or whoever's next, to have all those dangerous guns?
"Many of the 300 million guns that 100 million people keep in 60 million households here are pretty much properly capable of firing a lot of ammunition quickly.
"And those people -- your neighbors -- who want to have them, and therefore do, they keep and bear them responsibly with no harm done, no victims, no problem for the most part. The public's guns provide safety. Where is that in the fair and balanced 'news' mix?
"Virtually none of the guns held by the public or police have ever killed anyone -- despite vitriolic verbiage about killing machines -- these arms simply stand ready to protect, their core and legal function.
"There is always room for improvement. The accident and problem rate in the gun community makes the shooting sports one of the safest pursuits in America. Every last one of us would support gun-safety training and marksmanship classes for school children. Why don't the so-called gun-safety advocates of the left ever propose anything like that -- safety classes -- if they're really for gun safety? They never do. Only the pro-rights people do.
"Now let me ask you a question. If you could trade all the accidents, and all the crime, and all the suicides we experience as an armed nation, for the tens of millions killed in government-run genocides in unarmed or disarmed nations over the past century, would that be a fair trade? Would you be willing to make it, or risk it?
"The 20th century saw 262 million government-run civilian deaths, not war deaths, 'democides,' according to reliable U.N. stats. Hundreds of millions! Crime and accidental gun deaths here are in low five figures -- not a half percent of that! If public gun ownership can prevent government slaughter in Third World or developed nations, with a ratio like that, it is totally worth the cost. What are we waiting for if human life has value? This gets zero sunlight in the 'news.'
"What's even more chilling is that almost all the gun crimes America sees happens in ghettos -- a word we aren't even supposed to say anymore. Are you even willing to look at that? If you subtract the carnage sponsored by the government run WAR on some drugs, we're safer than any country you care to name. Is that subject on the table? http://www.gunlaws.com/GunshotDemographics.htm
"You may believe we live in a violent society, but have YOU actually seen any of this violence today, yesterday, last year, ever in your life? You, reading this, you eat your meals, go to your job, shop, with all these horrible guns out there. It's peaceful as can be in your own experience, isn't it. You're like almost everyone. The only violence most Americans ever see is on TV, where it's non-stop. You are being lied to. And it works.
"Americans buy between five and nine billion rounds of ammunition every year, and virtually all of it goes into peaceful purposes, the shooting sports. Have you even heard that term? The shooting sports are the number two participant sport in the nation, a billion dollars a year ahead of golf (and golf makes the 'news' all the time).
"You didn't know what I've just told you, because the 'news' media is not fair and balanced. It is on a campaign that disinforms the innocent people who didn't do anything. It hides news from you. Even most news that says it is on your side -- you haven't heard any of this have you? They're just interested in getting you all fired up by showing you those few murderers over and over again. The propaganda part. Go ahead. Switch on your TV. They're probably on right now.
"So the suggestion that government, in its benevolence, should limit us to only the small slow gun or two it has decided we 'need,' with only a few small bullets, that can't be fired quickly, well, I might be for forcing that on criminals, if you can figure out how. Forcing that on the general public is such a bad idea non-starter that of course it meets the stiff resistance you see from the entire breadth of this great nation. Thank God so many people do understand this.
"It is not due to the vilified NRA, the largest civil-rights group in the country, the one that does all the gun-safety training for, well, everyone. It is those 60 million safely armed American households that get it.
"The legislators who suggest disarming us, or taking away any guns based on brand name or size, things we still retain the right to own, they violate their oath and deserve to be removed from office. They violate the absolute prohibition on such a thing in the Bill of Rights itself. You cannot overrule the Bill of Rights with a majority vote. A schoolchild knows that. Or should.
"In the name of crime control, and with the help of a compliant media, politicians have invented and are promoting 'gun control,' are calling infringement 'restrictions,' and are compromising our very freedom. Some people say that is their purpose. Now THAT'S a scary thought.
"Does that answer you question?"
Alan Korwin, Author, Gun Laws of America
The Uninvited Ombudsman
*The right to arms is indeed a unique civil right. America is the bastion of freedom on Earth, the birthplace of individual liberty in a world once dominated by kings and tyrants. It is the one place where all other nations learned the concept of a Constitution and individual rights, where this one right to arms stands out as the palladium of liberty, assaulted constantly, where an armed public stands up to the slings and arrows of those who steal it away.
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