Thursday, December 10, 2015

An Almost Desperate Outrage

Within three days of the San Bernardino shooting, the facts were out in public;  the shooters were definitely Jihadi terrorists, who had personally pledged allegiance to ISIL/Daeth.  The third member of their team was still at large, and the police were hunting him closely.

Seeing that yes, Jihadi terrorism is alive and well in the US, citizens and low-level police officials -- no higher than the rank of sheriff -- responded reasonably;  the citizens went out an bought guns and ammo and took training courses, and the sheriffs actively requested that citizens with CCW permits (who, by definition, had been through the training and qualifying courses) make a habit of carrying in public and be ready to defend the public against terrorist attacks until the police can arrive.

'Twas the politicians and the professional political flacks who responded with hysteria and illogic.  By now everybody's heard about Trump's proposed "Muslim registry" and ban on all Muslim immigrants, which has even turned most of the GOP against him.  However, you don't see any parallel disgust at Obama's attempt to stampede the public into howling for gun control instead.  Note that the governor of California blamed the shooting, if you please, on the state of Arizona -- for having lighter gun-laws than California, which (he claimed without evidence) allowed the terrorists to buy guns easily (though he said nothing about all the homemade bombs which the terrorist couple had with them).  The best day's work that our current Arizona governor has done yet was to promptly lash back at that ridiculous bit of slander.  But that hasn't stopped other dutiful anti-gun pundits from making even more amazing claims.   Indeed, the New York Daily News published a front-page editorial actually calling for repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  Other dutiful media-flacks have gotten even more visibly hysterical, as with Alternet's latest:

"10 Things You Can Buy in America That Prove Just How Sick Our Gun Laws Are

A disturbing number of these seem to accept school shootings as a fact of life.
Photo Credit:
Just one day after the most recent mass shooting in America, Senate Republicans voted against a bill that would have prevented gun purchases by suspected terrorists. The official reasons—as if they ever might be valid—have something to do with “liberty” and “freedom.” The real reason, as we all know, has everything to do with the NRA and a gun lobby that has proved itself quite the smart shopper, having bought up a significant portion of Congress.
Shop ▾
When a lack of gun control and a culture of gun violence collide with capitalism, the result is a market for the kinds of goods that speak volumes about a society, nearly all of them tragic and troubling. So let’s have a look-see at what our weapons worship hath wrought. Here are 10 things you can buy in America that prove how f*cked up our gun laws are.
1. Bulletproof blankets.
There may be other manufacturers of bulletproof blankets for use during school shootings, but the industry leader is Protecht, which developed the Bodyguard blanket after the Sandy Hook massacre. I’m not sure anything does a better job of encapsulating why the viability of this product should be a source of national shame than the text on the website itself."

Other things the article howls about include:

"Bulletproof backpacks.
 Bulletproof classroom whiteboards.
Bulletproof clothing. 
and School shooting smartphone apps.
The SchoolGuard app, which describes itself as “a panic button in the hands of every teacher and staff,” aims to cut down on police response times when school shootings happen, as they so often do in America. After the first shots are fired, the app calls 911, lets all the faculty and staff know what’s happening, alerts participating schools within a five-mile radius and “instantly alerts all participating law enforcement officers, on and off duty, who are in close proximity.” The app sounds like a helpful aid to school personnel, though not quite as helpful as a Congress that wasn't in the pocket of the NRA."

Now given that abolition of "Zero Tolerance" and "Gun-Free Zone" (a.k.a. "fish-in-a-barrel") rules is going slowly, leaving schools as lamentably "soft" targets, these items actually do sound reasonable.  But note the attitude of pious horror, of almost desperate outrage, at the very idea that people might take action to defend themselves against terrorists, thugs and lunatics -- rather than demanding that the government Do Something, a something that is clearly aimed at gnawing away further at the Bill of Rights.  Doesn't this sound the least bit frantic to you?

Could it possibly be that Obama and his backers are dismayed at seeing the popular tide turn against them?  After all, several recent public-opinion polls have shown that more than 51% of the citizens now believe that average citizens should have guns to defend themselves (and never mind those troublesome sheriffs), and that was before the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.  Particularly embarrassing must have been the discovery that the terrorist couple did get past the "extensive background checks" required by California laws to get their rifles, pistols, et al.

Abe Lincoln was right about not being able to fool all the people all the time, even when you have tremendous control over the news media, and the citizens have seen enough evidence to choose sensible solutions to the violence problem.  I've actually seen some letters to editors proposing that we bring back gun-safety training in the schools and require everyone to get concealed-carry permits.  People are coming to realize that there is no way to keep weapons out of the "wrong hands", and it's best if the citizens are armed and trained to defend themselves.

The nearly-century-long government campaign toward gutting the Bill of Rights has shot its bolt, the pendulum is swinging back, and the campaigners must be nearly frantic at seeing power sliding out of their grasp.  Let's hope they don't do something irrevocably stupid in trying to hang onto it.

--Leslie <;)))><          


Dave said...

I just wish that Ducey's response to Governor Moonbeam had been, "The Terrorists attacked in YOUR state and not mine because in MY state we have armed citizens."

Technomad said...

School shootings are really not that common, and did occasionally happen in the "good old days." However, back then, the news media was not manned top-to-bottom with a bunch of prissy crybullies utterly emotionally committed to ridding our society of Those Icky Guns.

Come to it, you're older than I am and can remember those days---was there much if any "gun control, NOW!" hysteria before the 1960s?

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Dave. Gawwwd yes, I wish Ducey had had the sense to say that. Hell, I wish the state Attorney General had threatened to sue Governor Moonbeam for slander.

Hi, Nomad. When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey the local law allowed people to keep guns in their homes without much fanfare, but one needed almost-impossible-to-get-unless-you-were-a-politician-or-buddy-of-one permits to carry in public, concealed or otherwise. It was also almost impossible to find a gun-store within ten miles of any major city; you had to go clear out of Essex county to do that.

In fact, I can tell you exactly when the "gun control NOW!" hysteria started; it was the day after the Black Panthers paraded in Oakland with rifles on their shoulders. The Hippies were pretty much neutral about guns. I believe I still have an ancient pamphlet on Basic Gun Handling for Hippies, that featured long-haired and paisley-clad models. No, the main thrust for gun control, then and now, came from the upper middle class -- the people who could easily afford licensed private guards.

No, the gun-control push, in fact the whole campaign against the Bill of Rights, is orchestrated by the upper-middle to upper class -- and always has been.

Technomad said...

The way my dad told it, a lot of the "Gun control, NOW" stuff came in the wake of JFK, RFK, and King's assassinations. After JFK, you couldn't buy guns by mail any more. (Looking at those old ads in 1960-vintage Guns and Ammo I used to own...break, break, break, my heart!) RFK and King threw a lot of fuel on the fire.

And most of the news media, at least the mainstream, is manned, these days, by middle- and upper-middle-class types. The days of the working-Joe reporter who'd have gone blue-collar if he didn't have a way with words are gone, gone, gone.