I don't think that virtue is on any side of the left/right paradigm. I think they're both dancing together and need each other. I can't imagine that Rep Gov Engler is evil incarnate. He's only a reaction to Dem Gov Blanchard before him.
The movement toward guns is part of a reaction against the custodial state. ("We know what's best. Thanks, we'll take it over from here.") Now, custody is fine for lots of the babysitting that modern people seem to like. But in terms of crime the custodial state can only operate after the fact, and so can't prevent it except by locking people up. (See Simone Weil.)
Gun basics are being so blatantly ignored today. Bad guys will always have them. Areas where citizens are disarmed get increased crime. Areas where gun laws are removed get lower crime. Such as with the comparisons b/w DC and Florida. The 1960's had far MORE households with guns but had hugely LESS gun crime. Gun laws are racist and classist. The first national laws were part of an attempt to get guns out of 'colored town'--the Saturday Night Special laws. There have never been 'dangerous cheap' guns made. These were good guns that poor people could afford for protection. Early police references to such guns included racial slurs. The 1968 ban on mail order guns provoked by JFK's killing came at a time when guns had been bought mail order for 100 years without problem. The ban put big old US companies out of business (Herters Hudson Bay, one of my favorites, being one of them). The only effect of the ban was to start big involvement of organized crime in gun running.
Children use guns the most. 4H, Boy Scouts, etc., plus hunting, have taught kids about gun use, ownership and safety by the MILLIONS for 100 years. Target shooting, plinking and hunting are still among the biggest youth hobbies. The 'grownup' safety lessons that kids learn from shooting help them mature.
The problem isn't kids or guns. There is no one an easy law can save. The problem is ego worship. --Which is something that no one left, right, in biz or media will touch.
Police can't protect people in a lawless state. They don't really protect in any state. They 'serve,' process, mop up. If your neighbors are lawless you have to try to protect yourself. The only way the babysitting function would work is by way of the two-way TV's Mark has mentioned. But crooks can foil any of that.
Gun safety stats are stunningly in favor of gun ownership. Accidents and bizarre youth crime are blips on the radar compared to the safe use of guns by the huge majority combined with the huge effectiveness of guns in self defense. There are 2 million cases a year where they are used by civilians to defend themselves. The story about a gun being more likely to be used against a loved one is malarkey, an insulting piece of custodialism. Such things occasionally happen, but their numbers don't hardly diminish when guns are out of the picture. Exceptional events are crassly manipulated by those in favor of the custodial state.
The banning of guns would leave our violent nation with 20,000 annual killings by other weapons. Of course those would hop up to about 30k/yr. Banning just isn't the point. Nor is adding to the thousands of existing gun laws.
Laws should be stripped away as much as possible to expose our culture for what it is. To let it stand or fall on its own, rather than to abuse the Law by using it to pretend to prop up a diseased culture.
There could be 99% social justice, but if the population lives from ego, many will do anything to get whatever their whim fancies.
>I read today that there are 1092 deaths from gunfire of which 136 were under 19 in Michigan alone. The total deaths in our country is 30,000.
If you want to study dangerousness per se, you look at accidents. There's about 50 nationwide accidental deaths for children from guns each year. Ranked at about 50th or 150th in consumer items (I forget which). --A stat never mentioned in the media. The national crime/accident rates of knives aren't hardly less than guns. But where's the hue and cry over knives?
However, with an improvement in neighborliness all these bad things would just GO AWAY. They didn't hardly exist in 1965 compared with today yet the structure of our society is essentially the same. The hue and cry concerns something that would have very little effect and looks like 'more of the same' which has put us where we are now. But there's little being done to push decency, which would have enormous positive effect. The lack of likely effect points to a hidden agenda for those pushing gun laws. I think it involves expertitis and controlaholism.
>citizens as much as they are in profit. Would this gun control issue be so heated and politically divisive if the gun lobbies weren't fueling the fire on some of the issues people have with others controlling there lives as you
The heat comes from those trying to take things away from others. It doesn't seem likely that people would ever be accepting of a freedom being taken away for bad cause. The manufacturers usually do simple, awkward things to try to stand up against the panic inspired by the media and politicians. This story would change if the NRA would start spouting lies, in which case I think that their base would leave them. The media has exposed nothing that would tarnish the integrity of the 2nd Amendment people. The media just resorts to mocking them. The awkwardness of the NRA is a good sign. It's great that they just keep saying uncool things, that they defend things that have a bad *image*. They refuse the power of image. Bravo!
However, the anti's do lie. The media will boldly state that they want a certain thing done with guns and don't care how it gets done. 99% of editorials are anti-gun---this does not match with the actual events reported, but the media say they don't care. This is the strange thing that should inspire the direction of questioning. Where does THAT kind of confidence come from and how should we relate to it?
Our nation accepts sensible laws about things which require responsible use. We can easily hold anyone accountable for what they do. If we are today inclined to blame *things*, that means that we are holding ourselves less accountable. Has a culture ever made a success of such an approach? Which one? Expertitis is what needs to defend itself, not standard citizenship.
>People are in such alienated states in their daily lives that they are easy targets to 'stir up' passionate responses when an association like the NRA talks about freedom and government control. Maybe members of the NRA are so alienated themselves that they really believe these doomsday like predictions. But it seems to me that the other motivating factor is big bucks. It was the same thing with the tobacco industry in spite of evidence that there product is dangerous to people's health.
Yes, smoking is a risk. --Even though many seem to do it without undue harm. (Never reported is how many smoke their whole life without a health problem!) Some things like dynamite are definitely dangerous. Dynamite can only be handled by someone with strict hardcore training. But guns only require basic commonsense training and statistically increase safety. There are known levels of required training for various things and no reason to politicize them---unless there's a hidden agenda.
>3. This leads me into my next point. Although there are similarities between the gun control issue and other societal issues, the gun control issue is different in that there exists a segment of our population that will use a gun to gain a power advantage over others in order to take things that 'belong ' to the weaker. This issue is so complex that I can't even begin to discuss it or begin to think that I can do the argument justice. I'll have to leave that discussion to our Thursday night discussion.
I'm lost a bit as to why this is complex. Unbridled people who have power will rob those who are weaker. In a society with lots of robbery, if you have a gun you'll be robbed less. If you are refering to injustice, that seems like a very minor issue here. If someone is willing to be decent, etc., a sufficiency is usually the result.
>4. This leads me to a fourth point. Any issue so complex, that is reduced to a two party issue and a divided argument of 'we and they' is doomed to [ ]
You're right, it does seem like a different dialog is in order. First, we have the nation as it was. Then you have those who propose change. The burden is on the people suggesting a change to show they know what they're talking about and then why they should be trusted. When this happens I think that helpful social change can very gradually happen. It's probably FAR easier for social transformation to occur. Attitudes are easier to change than institutions. It helps to be up front about the relations. --This is never clearly stated by those who are against guns. If guns were banned, I think that the new relation we would have to admit to would be that as a nation we are not neighborly nor are we to be held accountable. Possibly progress could be had if the dialog included what each side sees the proper social relation to be.