Monday, May 11, 2009

Grumpy about the NRA

Former cop Brian at Why Now is grumpy at the NRA, which he feels is responsible for the deaths of multiple cops at the hands of right-wing paranoids with their current irresponsible fear campaign. He notes the hypocrisy in particular -- the hypocrisy being that the NRA said nothing when the Department of Homeland Security was seizing guns from citizens of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, but now, with not a single bill in Congress to regulate guns in any way, is throwing several kinds of hissy fits about an "anti-gun" Congress. But wait, I forget, those New Orleanians were black, so they shouldn't have had guns in the first place. Hmm, some folks' pointy white hats must be cuttin' off the flow of blood to the brain...

Practically speaking, the person with the least qualms about using a gun — i.e., amoral murderers — win if we devolve to rule of gun like the NRA often seems to be advocating. I have firearms for home defense and for hunting, but even when I lived in a state that handed out concealed weapons permits like candy I didn’t carry outside the home. The reality is that in a face-off between me and an amoral murderer, I would still be trying to figure out whether the situation called for deadly force at the same time that the amoral murderer was plugging my plump penguin ass. As for the nonsense the NRA types like to spittle out about guns and resisting a dictatorship, there is no contradiction between a nation flooded with firearms and dictatorship. As long as the dictatorship provides special privileges and such to the minority of people who are amoral murderers, the amoral murderers will then keep the rest of the populace in check no matter how many weapons the rest of the populace possesses. Just ask the people who lived in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Iraq was flooded with guns (as we found out to our chagrin), but since most people only want to go about their lives in peace, handing out special privileges to amoral murderers was more than enough to keep Saddam in power for over twenty years…

In short, guns are nice and all, but they simply don’t solve the problems that the NRA claims they solve, and add problems that the NRA refuses to acknowledge. I support the right to own and bear arms because it is the law as written in the 2nd Amendment, not because I have any delusions that guns are some sort of magical talisman that solve all problems.

-- Badtux the Practical Penguin


  1. On the negative side, the NRA promotes fear and feeds paranoia. Anyone who really believes that an individual or even a fairly large militia can engage the military and win is not too bright. Resources are there only for the government. I like being able to own a gun or two and I think their drive may keep that possibility open to some small extent. Some disillusioned friends stockpile ARs and ammo in anticipation of the next civil war.

    There were no winners at either Ruby Ridge or Branch Davidian. Both groups were squashed and the US lost in the court of public opinion.

    Apparently Australia's restrictive gun laws of 1996 seem not to have any real influence on violence involving guns. In UK it seems to be pitch or catch with regard to effectiveness of firearms restrictions.

  2. Brown Recluse said everything I wanted to about the idiotic idea that having guns is a check on government power. Except-


  3. Some folks - somewhere - are working overtime trying to keep the gun nuts and the Christians and the neocons worked up to a frenzy. The logic escapes me - we are too far from an election for it to do much good. Seems to me that a lot of these folks are going to be burnt out from rage long before 2010, let alone 2012.

    Are they (whoever they are) afraid that if the rage dies down, the GOP will fade into obscurity? Or do they think they can manifest a populist movement just from anger? WTF are they doing, or is this rampant paranoia as irrational and instinctive as a salmon swimming upstream?

  4. Apparently Australia's restrictive gun laws of 1996 seem not to have any real influence on violence involving guns.So tell me, Brown Recluse, how much time have you spent Down Under to reach your apparent conclusion? You seem like a well-meaning person, so I'll go easy on the snark. But ask yourself: "On what do I base my perception about gun violence in Oz?"

    I've lived here for the past 4 years, after spending my first 47 in the U.S. I can tell you firsthand that there's almost NO gun violence here any more.

    I live in Australia's second-biggest city, and it makes TV news if someone is even WOUNDED in a gun robbery, because it's so rare. Actual gun murders, aside from the occasional biker gang and Mafia killings, you can count on your fingers.

    I pass through the heart of downtown late at night on my way to and from work. I go to rock 'n' roll clubs -- not as often as I'd like -- in some dodgy areas. There are drunks and aggro people -- not nearly as insane as in the U.S. though -- who get into the occasional punch-up. But NEVER do I worry that someone is going to take out a handgun and start shooting in the street, the trams or the clubs. Because Australia imposed strict gun control after a horrific massacre in Tasmania in 1996, and it works.

    Too bad that will never happen in the United States. Just like it's too bad the U.S. will never have socialised medicine. America simply cannot get it together politically to have a civilised society. In the U.S., the last right you have is the right to die.

    Such a shame. It didn't have to be that way. But hey, all empires decay and collapse eventually. Never thought I'd be witnessing it firsthand, though.


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