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Pravda has a point: culture considerations in the gun control debate

The stalwart propaganda rag for Russia, Pravda, has published an article on gun control that makes a good point:

The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?

I made a similar point in a blog entry a week or so ago titled “Somewhere somebody with a gun is protecting you.”  Gun control advocates make an argument that implicitly requires us to believe one of two things, and perhaps both:  1., that the people who protect us at our borders and in our communities–with guns–are knuckle-dragging loose cannons, just by virtue of the fact that a gun has fallen into their hands.  (Guns have mystical powers to gun control advocates… in the presence of one, people apparently must fight the sudden urge to kill everyone in their sight.)  2., that the people in our communities, from whom the people who protect us are drawn, are knuckle-dragging loose cannons.

In other words, the premise of gun control is an insult to every other human on the planet, including the one making the argument.

Clearly, there are people that we don’t want to have a gun… or a knife, or a hammer, or even a car.   Let me re-state that so that the pattern becomes more clear and the point more plain:

  • There are people we don’t want to have a gun
  • There are people we don’t want to have a hammer
  • There are people we don’t want to have a car
  • There are people we don’t want to have a rope
  • There are people we don’t want with access to poisons
  • There are people we don’t want with nuclear weapons
  • There are people we don’t want….

What do these have in common?  PEOPLE.  The people who tend to push for gun control, liberals and progressives, have this tendency in all of their activism:  they focus on objects and circumstances rather than people.

So a gun becomes a magic rock that turns otherwise normal people into psychotic killers.  People cannot possibly control their private parts, so we have to give them condoms and free birth control, and of course pay for their abortions.  People will just eat and drink whatever is in front of them, so we’ve got to ban certain items and make large sized drinks illegal.  It’s always the object’s fault.  The idea of personal responsibility is foreign to this mindset, because on their worldview, we are all really just conditioned like Pavlov’s dog.  If the dog bites someone, you don’t blame the dog, you blame the conditioning.  Guess what!  Your local, state, and Federal liberal stands ready to take over your Conditioning!

How nice of them.  You should just let them;  after all, they are nicer and smarter than you.  Their intentions?  Pure as the wind-driven snow.

So if we aren’t going to put our attention on objects as the solution of all problems, what are we going to do?

Clearly, there are individuals who are off their rockers.  Personally, I believe certain philosophies are fueling that madness, but in the grand scheme of things, as tragic as Sandy Hook was, it is nothing compared to what happens in certain American cities every year.  Chicago, for example, saw more than 500 gun homicides this last year, despite having some of the most stringent anti-gun laws in the nation;  indeed, they’ve gone overboard into illegality, which a Federal court is remedying in part by ordering Illinois to give up their ban on concealed weapons, which is, obviously, contrary to the law of the land as embodied in the Constitution.

What about the claim that the guns are still to blame for the bloodshed in these major American cities with tough (and illegal) laws against guns?  Isn’t this proof that gun laws don’t work?  It is then argued that, well, of course guns can be brought in from elsewhere;  the implication being that a world wide ban of guns (at least in private hands) is necessary.  But this argument is an example of intellectual contortion that would make an acrobat jealous.  It must contort into strange shapes, because it is trying to ignore the obvious:  while guns might still find their way into a city like Chicago where they are used to murder hundreds of people, they come from other places and regions where hundreds of people are not being murdered.

Or, to put it another directly, Chicago’s problem is its culture.  What is ‘culture’ but the patterns and trends that manifest when individuals are taken together for consideration?  Chicago has a people problem, not a gun problem.   Nearby Rockford, Illinois’s second largest city, is vulnerable to weapons coming into it just like Chicago but it doesn’t have the level of gun violence, even proportionally, that Chicago does.  (Trust me, I’m not saying that Rockford is perfect by any means).   Nearby Wisconsin has 2-3 times more citizens than Chicago, but its homicide/gun violence stats are a small fraction of what Chicago accomplishes alone, and that’s including Milwaukee, which has a significant gang problem.

The problem is not the things, its the culture.

Liberals are not above tampering with the culture.  They love doing that!  They feel obligated to do so, in fact, because they are good people (better and more compassionate than you, at least.)  However, because they do not know what a person really is, and insist on seeing people as products of a system–a social machine, if you will–that are helpless cogs that merely do what society has produced, their efforts in dealing with the cultural problem is bound to fail… if results matter.  Oh, they’ll change the culture alright.  But in the unlikely chance that they actually diminish the problem they targeted, they will create new problems.  Note:  they don’t mind this, either.  They love to solve new problems that emerge when trying to fix old problems!

But there is another approach.

One can view people as something other than animals merely acting on instincts and conditioning.  One can hold them personally accountable for their actions.  One can instill in them virtuous philosophies that raise them up, rather than philosophies that demean them and their fellow man.   This solution creates a ‘new problem.’  You cannot hold someone accountable for their actions unless you have a clear notion about what is right or wrong and have done your part to ensure that person is operating on the same moral principles.  But the idea that there is an objective morality is just the sort of thing that our liberal progressives find repulsive;  confronting the fact that certain societal problems illustrate the existence of such a morality is probably the only ‘new problem’ they don’t want to address.

This solution creates another ‘new problem.’  Our children are not just learning demeaning and destructive philosophies from their music and movies.  They are learning them in the very schools that we are presently concerned about.

So yea, I can understand why certain people would prefer to focus on objects and more laws.  To focus on the real problems would entail a radical overhaul and repudiation of one’s worldview.  This is never a very pleasant operation;  admitting that you are wrong rarely is.



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