Jared Lee Loughner Uber Alles? Let's Face It, Gun Nuts Are Just Selfish

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Extremist gun nuts refuse to compromise on the firearm restrictions: Jared Lee Loughner might as well be their poster boy

My colleague Ray Stern has responded to my reply to his recent pro-gun editorial. In it, Ray wonders what I meant at one point in my rebuttal, which is entitled, "Mental Health Check for Gun Buys? Talk About a Straw Man..."

This is what Ray had to say,

My colleague and water-cooler debate opponent, Stephen Lemons, contends not only that I've made a straw-man argument, but even worse, that I'm wrong. (He may talk of straw-man arguments, but we're still trying to figure out who he means when he wrote "there are many out there who demand carte blanche. They want what they want, and they don't seem too troubled when other members of society have to deal with the bloody consequences.")

The point, Ray, is that too many of your gun-lovin' compatriots don't seem to want any restrictions on gun ownership. That's an absolutist position, one that brooks no compromise. It also seems to be one you favor.

As for your straw man argument, your blog met that definition because gun-control groups like the Brady Campaign are not pushing for pre-gun-buy mental-health checks, which you posit as a realistic suggestion from gun control proponents. 

You've yet to cite a source for this. It seems a product of the standard paranoid imagination of the gun-obsessed. The more you persist in it, the more absurd it becomes.

In actuality, gun control groups will be lucky to get a national ban on extended clips, which should be an obvious first step in the wake of the Tucson massacre.

You write, "Motor vehicles are more dangerous than guns, so more restrictions and training are needed."

But in this state, there's no training at all required for guns, whether you pack that pistol concealed or unconcealed. For cars, the standards are a lot higher.

Your assertion that "motor vehicles are more dangerous than guns," is true, but not by as much as you may think.

The Centers for Disease Control collects mortality-related stats. In other words, they count bodies and how they ended up stiff.

For 2007, the most recent year for which the CDC has comprehensive stats, motor vehicle deaths totaled 44,128 for the U.S., or 14.63 per 100,000. (Note: Source for these stats is the CDC's Web site.) 

Firearm deaths for 2007 totaled 31,224, or 10.35 per 100,000.

Would the death rate for guns have to equal exactly the death rate for cars before you relented and agreed to similar training requirements for firearms?

If gun deaths were twice what they are, I doubt you'd concede the point.

Since New York is your focal point, the CDC's stats for New York state are of interest.

For 2007, New York had a total of 985 firearm related deaths. That equals 5.07 per 100,000 residents.

In Arizona for the same year, there were 951 firearm related deaths. Since we hardly have the population of the Empire State, this equals 14.95 deaths per 100,000.

Arizona's population was 6,362,241 in 2007. New York's was 19,422,777. And yet, New York's total firearm deaths were higher than Arizona's by only 34 dead.

As for the anecdote you tell about your relative, basically he told the cops to go on their way, and it sounds like they did. No big whoop. People are arrested here in Sand Land for a lot less, particularly by the MCSO, as you and I are well aware. Albeit, such arrests are not usually gun-related, but still...

Statistics aside, our disagreement comes down to this:

Too many gun nuts want absolutely zero restrictions on their access to firepower. Their motivation is purely selfish, born of some Freudian fetish for firearms.

I have no problem with people having guns, but I don't know why gun wackos should be exempt from a few modest restrictions.

Inconvenient? Perhaps. To that I say, "Grow up." Adults have to deal with inconvenience all of the time. This need to have everything you want immediately -- even if it poses a risk to others -- is infantile. As if the Glock was your pacifier.

I know, it's in the Constitution. And I respect that. But so is the First Amendment. And yet, there are limits on the First Amendment. Everything from libel law and copyright infringement to death threats, privacy restrictions, "secrecy" issues...I could go on and on.

The political reality is, serious gun laws are unlikely to be passed in Arizona anytime soon. We'll have to rely on the U.S. Congress to do something, and that seems iffy at best.

How much blood will have to be shed before the firearm fanatics are beaten back in this state? A lot more. Rivers of it. Oceans. And even then...


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15 comments
Marcy
Marcy

"too many of your gun-lovin' compatriots don't seem to want any restrictions on gun ownership"

That seems like a straw man argument to me. I'm not familiar with ANY gun-loving "compatriots" who don't think there should be ANY restrictions on gun ownership.

guestus
guestus

The present administration IS highly likely to make new anti-gun rules, via decree/order/statement, seeing as how there is Eric Holder, Hillary, and the Chief all for restrictions of any and all kinds. Proven by their own comments and voting many times. Look 'em up. I shudder at what may happen in their 11th hour.

guestus
guestus

Nothing like a controversial writeup to bring out the extremist comments. On all extremes. Sucking on a Glock pacifier?

Nweng
Nweng

What makes someone a "gun nut" or a "gun whacko"? Is that referring to all gun owners, or just a select few which comes out as a generalization of all gun owners in articles and Internet forums? I own several handguns and have my CCW permit; however, I hope to never be placed into a position where I'll be forced to use it. Should I be offended? Help me out here.

Loosecannonsblueband
Loosecannonsblueband

Stephen, you've got to "follow the money" on this one. The National Rifle Association is a political lobbying arm of the weapons industry. The NRA is bought and paid for by the same group of businesses that US President Dwight D. Eisenhower described as a military-industrial-congressional complex.

They're powerful. The same businesses that control the NRA through their donations and other influencing factors are the same ones that make up part of that military-industrial-congressional complex our 34th President of the United States (from 1953 until 1961) clearly warned us about. He wasn't talking about some abstract UFO experience he had as a kid, he was plain spoken and clear in his warning.

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual --is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

From the farewell speech of U.S.A. President, Dwight Eisenhower. Given on 17 January 1961 and televised in the U.S.A.

He wasn't talking about the "complex" as something that might occur in the future if we didn't wake up, he was talking about it in clear present day terms that the "complex" exists and is operating in our government and society.

It's not a few gun nuts that's standing in the way of safer communities and less gun violence - it is indeed the "military-industrial complex" that is doing so. The commercial gun industry is simply an adjunct of that military-industrial complex - the same companies sell to the individual as well as the government. This country did not have an military-industrial complex when the Constitution was written and our founding fathers had only a small inkling of what it meant through their actions in revolting against the British Empire due to the illegal and immoral actions of their East India Company which triggered the Boston Tea Party in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, one of the major events leading up to the American Revolution.

If the weapons industry feel that their profits will be harmed by congressional action, they will propose small incremental steps that they will take on their own to increase gun safety. However, these actions will be designed to do the least possible towards that goal and the most to increase their profits. Just enough to avoid legislative action.

The weapons industry has access to the best attorneys and lobbyists AND a VERY large number of the uncaring gun enthusiasts in this nation who don't even care they are being mainpulated by a corporate cousin of the company that pissed our founding fathers off enough to start a revolution. If it were 1773, these same "patriotic" gun nuts would basically on the side of the british and their corporation, The East India Company.

Expert Shot
Expert Shot

A gun nut is someone who:1. thinks dangerous people should have unfettered access to dangerous weapons. 2. thinks the constitution does not allow the federal or state government to regulate firearms [NOTE: it does and the Supreme Court has made that issue "settled law" with their recent Heller decision]3. thinks that there is some huge horder of people who want to ban all guns.4. thinks that the government is going to confiscate all guns 5. buys weapons for their firepower or newest gimmick and doesn't care to actually become an responsible weapons owner.6. thinks that everything the NRA says is gospel and doesn't realize that they are being used by an adjunct of the military / industrial complex to manipulate government regulation of their industry for their profitability.7. thinks there are actual groups out there that want to ban guns.8. buys weaponery without taking the time to educate themselves and train on the safe use of the weapons.

There's a few traits of an gun nut, kinda like the How do you know if you're a redneck list.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Right on, Loose Cannons. Tell it straight. Also, remind the readers here that the gun control measures which are being proposed by the Brady Campaign are limited to making our communities safer NOT banning guns.

Arizona has weak gun laws that help feed the illegal gun market and allows the sale of guns without background checks, according to the Brady Campaign. In the organization’s 2009 state scorecards released for all 50 states, Arizona earns just 2 points out of a total of 100.

According to government figures, Arizona also has the sixth highest percentage of crime guns recovered that were originally purchased within the state. The Brady Campaign relates this “homegrown” gun violence to the lack of gun laws in the state and nationally.

Closing the gun show loophole would be a great first step. Find out more at the Brady Campaign's website at:

http://www.bradycampaign.org/c...

Nweng
Nweng

Ok, point taken. Now why do some of us keep getting lumped in the these "gun nuts"? I'd just like some sort of journalistic acknowledgment that not all gun owners are "gun whackos" or "firearm fetishists" or whatever "they" (Stephen) wants to call us. It's this kind of thinking that diminishes whatever point he's trying to make; even if Stephen has a valid point, it's difficult to want to listen to it at the semantic level he's trying to make it.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

The Brady Campaign is so over the top they will alienate the middle of the roaders. Sorry, but there won't be any new federal gun laws under this congress, and certainly no state laws from the right wing nut jobs our state has in charge.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

I'm wondering how it is that you feel "lumped"? I've seen plenty of info in Mr. Lemons' articles that points to responsible gun owners that are also for keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

Tell you what Nweng, why don't you give us an example of how he does this magical thing of making you feel "lumped."

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Please give an example of how you think the Brady Campaign is "over the top."

I feel that this type of rhetoric needs to be backed up by facts, not just your opinion. The reason you may feel that the Brady Campaign is "over the top" is because they are portrayed as such, with no factual basis at all, by people like you.

Over 50% of the people in the nation back the programs of the Brady Campaign.

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