Friday, December 14, 2012
gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook Elementary
Another one of those psychotic assholes just shot up a school. Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct. - roughly 30 dead, mostly children. All the customary emotions follow... despair, rage, etc. This one's really bad because it involves defenseless, innocent children. I've been analyzing the responses on facebook. It's pretty much what you'd expect. Some lash out. Most offer prayers and sympathy. When will humans understand that "nothing fails like prayer?" Well... likely never. And there's always this one idiot who posts something to the affect of, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." I call this "ill-timed douchebag" syndrome.
I suspect another week long debate about gun violence. How it plagues the United States. How we need to reign in the National Rifle Association. Stricter background checks. Greater enforcement. Some idiot always comes up with the novel idea of mandatory guns for teachers so they can protect their classrooms. All the usual back and forth. Of course this lasts until another tragedy absorbs the news cycle. Then it's back to business as usual. When I say business, I'm specifically referring to MONEY. Because for the vast majority, money is all that really matters.
So Saf, what would you do about this never-ending mess? Let me first state, I'm a supporter of the 2nd Amendment as stated in the Constitution. It's a complex issue, but generally speaking I think it made sense back then and for the most part, still does. Societies that don't let individuals arm themselves sometimes don't remain on the map. The exception of course is these semi-automatic machine guns. Of course I believe that one can do inconceivable, catastrophic damage without the use of any weapons whatsoever. But this time I'll spare you the artificially generated stampede ramblings.
Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that you can cite all the statistics you want, but in the end it doesn't mean shit. Because people will always believe what they want to believe. You could explain how if there's a gun in the home, you're 43 more times likely to be the recipient of gun violence. But in the end, it's just a statistic. On the other hand, tell people that "Obama's gonna take your guns away." Far more effective because it evokes a visceral reaction. It's a lot like the spouse whose husband cheats all the time and she exclusively blames the other women. Same phenomenon. Most people believe what they want to believe, or what's easier to believe. You can spew evidence and statistics til the poultry animals venture home to their respective McDonald's dipping sauces. It just doesn't work because emotions generally trump wisdom. Nothing new there. Kind of explains why people eschew the theory of evolution in favor of the Garden of Eden... but I won't take you on that journey.
Okay Saf, so you're saying the battle between the NRA and the anti-gunners will continue unabated. This is where it could get interesting, but never does. That's because all the people who make it their life's mission to take on the NRA never go about it correctly. They always go that same route. Try and garner political support from the Democratic left. Perhaps mobilize a PAC, run some anti-gun ads, elect liberal judges & politicians, etc. Wrong. Fail. Lame. Breaking News Alert -- you're never going to win this battle. Not because your cause isn't morally just. You'll always lose because there's NO MONEY to be had. America is dominated by money and weapons. Now if you lived in Finland or one of those elitist, enlightened Scandinavian countries, you might stand a chance. But in the U.S.A.... no fuckin' way.
Please Saffy, tell us how you would destroy the NRA. Well since you ask, I would take a vastly different approach from the norm. I would try and promote division within the ranks. I'd expose the internal divisions (rapidly approaching and/or already existing) within the NRA. Pit them against each other and let them destroy themselves. A decent analogy is the mainstream Republicans vs. the Tea Party.
Tea Party idealogue Sarah Palin - You can never raise taxes. There can never be universal healthcare. Abortion is murder - Imprison the women and physicians.
Mainstream Republican House majority leader John Boener - We generally oppose tax hikes. The U.S. already engages in some degree of socialized medicine. We oppose abortion but realize it's the law of the land - So we'll try and chip away at it.
The Republican party is totally fucked right now because it doesn't stand united. And there's your split. If you asked the famed Art of Warrior Sun Tzu, "Hey there Sunny ZooZoo, I want to eliminate my enemies. What would you suggest I do?" He'd probably fire back, Saffy McSaffershit, let me ask you this... Is there maybe a way you could sow the seeds of dissent and let your enemies destroy themselves? See, this way you just get to sit back and watch." After all, the best way to defeat your enemies is to have no enemies.
You see, the NRA is going to soon find themselves at a dangerous precipice, a definitive crossroads. Allow me to explain. There are 2 subset groups that run the NRA. One group is dominated by the big money interests. They support the right to bear arms because it enables them to make cold, hard cash. They pay only lip service to the Second Amendment. It's simply their convenient meal ticket (Note: Do not eat deli items from Convenient - there food is gross and their hot wings are really atrocious). Even though they yap about the founding fathers and constitutional rights, they honestly could care less. For them, money will always be the deciding factor.
But there's also another faction within the NRA. These are the rank and file. The gun owners and enthusiasts, hunters and constitutional adherents. They're the ones who truly believe in lofty principles. For them, the right to own a gun is an issue that defines "who they are." I need a gun to defend myself, my family and my property.
Enter homemade gun replication. Saf, what the fuck are you talking about? Well, I'm talking about the future of the gun industry. There will come a time when people can easily manufacture and replicate knock-off weaponry. I'm specifically referring to advancements within the 3-dimensional printing industry. If you wish to explore this topic, my hero John Robb does a fine job.
As the do-it-yourself gun movement rapidly evolves, the NRA faction #1 will cry foul. They will go to the U.S. government and say the following, "These new guns aren't safe. They're too dangerous. Terrorists will use them. You need to do something about it." They'll take action because homemade guns represent a clear and present danger, a direct threat to their monetary survival. They'll start by demanding new registration guidelines and a crack down on unofficial guns.
But across the aisle, yet in the same building, there's another faction of the NRA. Let's call them the strict constitutionalists. They will be VERY supportive of DIY gun manufacturing. For them, it's not a matter of dollars... it's a matter of PRINCIPLE.
So here's what I would do. Rather than hiring D.C. lobbyists, complaining about background checks and trying to persuade people to CHANGE their minds in favor of stricter gun laws, I would use an entirely different strategy. I would foment an insurrection. A revolt from within the "heart of the NRA." Good god... did I just say the "heart" of the NRA? I'd let them destroy each other while I sit back and eat chicken enchiladas (thanks Gigi).
How would I do it? I'd convince the real majority (NRA faction #2) that NRA faction #1 is the real enemy, an imminent threat to your constitutional right to bear arms. Specifically, I'd start a grassroots political organization and advertise the hell outta the rift, over and over. Those bastards only want you to buy their guns. Remember, these are the proud hunters who wake up at 4am to sit in a freezing tree stand in the middle of nowhere. Joe "six-pack" Blow is a dues paying, card carrying member of the NRA. His father took him hunting. Because his grandpappy Ulysses took him hunting. And his great-granddaddy Zacariah took him hunting. When the gun-owning majority concludes that the overseers running the NRA don't legitimately care about the common folk, they'll seek to distance themselves, or even better... form a new group. And that's cuz it just got emotional. Because stats don't mean shit, unless of course, you're a statistician. I think Sun Tzu would agree with me on this one.