Gun Violence

Today has been a difficult day for America.  It is my most sincere hope that Congresswoman Giffords has a full recovery.  It is with most sincere sadness that I grieve with the families of those killed today; I do not pretend to offer solace as they will find none – they will never see them again.  There is no making that any better, no matter what we say.

That being said, I’ve noticed a complete disconnect between those on the right and those on the left today.  We’re so quick to defend “our guys” that we often excuse the inexcusable or explain away that which we would condemn from our “enemies.”

In two different places today I’ve seen someone condemn the violence and call an end to the use of gun metaphors in political rhetoric.  In both cases, they’ve been accused of being anti-gun and wanting to take away our constitutional right to bear arms.

There is a difference between condemning violence and condemning the weapon used to commit said violence.

The same people that argue “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, are trying to make this issue about guns when it is not – it is about inciting violence in the name of politics or profit and taking responsibility for it.  In fact, these seem to me to be the people that are usually complaining about the lack of personal responsibility in our society.  It would be nice, just once, to see someone stand up and say, “I made a mistake.” One must condemn irresponsible use of firearms in order to promote responsible use of firearms.

Those I’ve seen today are excusing violence – or refusing to support condemnation of today’s violence – in the name of protecting the right to bear arms.  I’m using this forum to say, simply:  Admitting that the random shooting death of innocents is wrong does not weaken that right. 

 

Comments

  1. RockheadedMama says

    I liked Marty Kaplan’s take:
    I’m not saying that putting a bullseye on Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ congressional race – as Sarah Palin did – was an explicit or intentional invitation to violence. Nor am I saying that the “Get on Target for Victory” events held by the guy Giffords beat – “Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly” – was the reason her assassin went after her. This tragedy is still unfolding, and the questions of motive and incitement will be argued about for a long time to come.
    But I am saying that the “lock and load”/”take up your arms” rhetoric of American politics isn’t just an overheated metaphor. For years, the language of sports has dominated political journalism, and discourse about hardball and the horserace and the rest of the macho athletic lexicon has been a factor in the trivialization of our public sphere. This has helped dumb down democracy, making a serious national discussion about anything important too wonky for words.
    The “second amendment solution,” though, does something worse than make politics a branch of entertainment. It makes it a blood sport. I know politics ain’t beanbag. But words have consequences, rhetoric shapes reality, and much as we like to believe that we are creatures of reason, there is something about our species’ limbic system and lizard brainstems that makes us susceptible to irrational fantasies.
    If you’re worried that violent video games may make kids prone to bad behavior; if you think that mysogenic and homophobic rap lyrics are dangerous to society; if you believe that a nipple in a Superbowl halftime show is a threat to our moral fabric – then surely you should also fear that the way public and media figures have framed political participation with shooting gallery imagery is just as potentially lethal.

  2. Scott Barzilla says

    Far be it from me to point out the obvious, but wouldn’t this horrific event been a whole lot more difficult to pull off if he had a knife in his hand rather than a gun?

  3. Shortstuff says

    I just wonder what the outcry would be from the other side of the aisle if the shooter had not been a typical young white guy.
    If he’d been black. Or Muslim. Or Mexican?
    I can only imagine….

  4. RockheadedMama says

    Yes, exactly. What peace loving people would stand for war without end, “pre-emptive” war, war based on lies, or war to protect corporate “interests”?
    Peace loving people, people who believe in, vote for and practice domestic tranquility, don’t urge their citizens to arm themselves in more and more situations, with ever more lethal weaponry, all the while using ever more violet and uncivil rhetoric to demonize fellow citizens. Such person(s) existing in a country where domestic tranquility is believed in and practiced, would not be tolerated by anyone.
    IOW, people who don’t mind $hitting in their own backyards, certainly don’t mind $hitting in other peoples’.
    We have met the enemy and it is us.

  5. Shortstuff says

    Oh, Lord have mercy, they would have them drawn and quartered. You know that.
    And screaming to impeach the president also.
    That’s a no-brainer.

  6. Shortstuff says

    One of the articles over at HuffPo was comparing the vitriolic, absolutely poisonous political atmosphere going on now, to the atmosphere in the Dallas area during the latter part of 1963.
    Too many similarities for comfort.
    And we all know where that led. God help this country.

  7. doug says

    Why is this Country so afraid of brown people when it’s Caucasians that have carried out virtually all of the political assassination attempts in this Country.
    Ronald Reagan-shot by a WHITE male
    Gerald Ford-Almost shot by a WHITE female
    JFK-shot by a WHITE male
    George Mcgovern-shot by a WHITE male.
    Abraham Lincoln-shot by a WHITE male
    Mckinley-shot by a WHITE male
    Representative Giffords-shot by a WHITE male
    President Garfield-Shot by a WHITE male
    I’m sure I’m missing many more examples. Maybe white people (especially males) need to be ethnically profiled and searched, before being allowed into political events.

  8. carguy says

    Well, I think you meant George WALLCE not McGovern.
    But to help,
    John Lennon and Lee Harvey Oswald, Harvey Milk, all white males.

  9. alienHunter says

    Hi Shortstuff,
    I’m reading a book right now called, “The Bible Code, Saving the World” I find that material absolutely fascinating, if not a little ‘crazy’. Anyway, the guy that wrote it, Michael Drosnin, is an agnostic or at least was until he started researching the bible code uncovered by a Professor Rips…an Israeli mathematician. The code had been searched for since before Isaac Newton, who spent a lot of time trying to decipher/find it and didn’t, nor had anybody else until our computer age. To make a long story short, this guy has had meetings with many of the intelligence communities in the world and has warned President Obama (through of all people, Oprah Winfrey, among all the directors, chiefs, etc of the American Intelligence agencies) that his ‘assassination’ is foretold in the bible code, as well as, a pending nuclear terrorism attack. The REALLY odd thing about these predictions are that it seems they can be changed and in fact, they imply that Barack Obama will/can literally SAVE THE WORLD, if the intelligence agencies will act on the information contained within them. It’s way off the wall stuff, but a number of predictions (assassinations) have played themselves out, to the very day stated in the code. Not to mention, names, places, etc. Really wild stuff. It’s one of those take it or leave it books. I guess we could ask Oprah to verify or deny.

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