Friday, January 6, 2023

Guns, Fear and Loathing


On this second anniversary of Trump's violent coup, it’s time again to take a fun-filled dive into the fetid dark pool of the American radical Right belief system, based on the twin pillars of fear and loathing stoked by lies.

After years of observing political and social discourse I’ve learned educated and intellectually curious liberals and progressives generally understand opinions should be based on facts. They know logic only functions when based on evidence and reason.

On the Right, fear motivates and sells. Facts and reasoning are boring, and are rejected out of hand as useless for their agenda.

We understand our fellow Americans on the Right tend to gravitate directly to emotionally reactive beliefs, instilled by propagandists skilled at forming and manipulating those emotional responses. This is especially true with emotionally charged wedge issues like God, guns, abortion, LGBTQ issues, race, etc.

In their realm fear is cultivated, not compassion. To be conservative is to be guided by manufactured emotional response. When fear and anger converge hate is the product. It is intentional, of course. Hysteria is the leverage for persuasion, not logic.

This reactionary hysteria is vividly conveyed by our old blogger buddy Darrell at his post “Gun Logic for Beginners”.

As my opinions and information are banned by Darrell, I’ll take the liberty to respond here with some facts, logic and sane questions for rational people. I have no doubt the more authoritarian personalities will be annoyed and dismissive. It is their way.

I’ll briefly discuss each of his nine points of “gun logic”.

1 - Eleven teens die each day because of texting while driving. Maybe it's time to raise the age of Smart Phone ownership to 21. 

(I may be a little dense, but I see no logic, or relevance to guns, in his first point of “gun logic”. Or is he suggesting we raise the age for firearm purchases to 21? I agree texting while driving is a problem. It’s is as dangerous as drunk driving. But not for children. The CDC publishes data on the leading causes of death among different demographic groups, providing the most reliable data. In 2020, the leading cause of death among children ages one through 18 involved a firearm. There were 3,219 such deaths in 2020, followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths, of which there were 2,882.)

2 - If gun control laws actually worked, Chicago would be Mayberry, USA.

(Um, OK. Meanwhile far from Chicago, a family of three adults and five children were found shot to death Wednesday inside a home in rural southwest Utah. How likely was this done by a “legal gun owner”, until he wasn’t? 

Now for some logical fact-based points:

We know most guns connected to crimes in Chicago come from Indiana, next door. Many countries with sane gun control have significantly lower murder rates. The average firearm suicide rate in Australia in the seven years after the National Firearms Agreement declined by 57 percent compared with the seven years prior. The average firearm homicide rate went down by about 42 percent. In much of the US “All lives matter” but guns matter more.

From the Violence Policy Center:

“States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths. More than 45,000 Americans Killed by Gunfire in 2020, the Highest Gun Death Toll on Record.

Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, Alaska, Missouri, and Alabama Have Highest Gun Death Rates in the Nation; Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York Have Lowest Gun Death Rates in the Nation.”

In the US, more guns in a society means more people die from them. If firearms everywhere made us safer, we would be the safest place in the world.

Paradoxically the most heavily armed among us FEEL less safe. The reason is someone stands to gain politically and economically from their fears. Therefore those who profit from guns are the only voices they will hear.)

3 - The Second Amendment makes more women equal than the entire feminist movement.

(So women need to be armed to get equal treatment? Sadly, no. It’s like saying “Driving while Black” and housing discrimination won’t happen if Black drivers and home purchasers are armed. How many women get equal pay and employment opportunities, reproductive freedom, and safety from domestic abuse by brandishing a firearm?)

4 - Legal gun owners have 300 million guns and probably a trillion rounds of ammo. Seriously, folks, if we were the problem, you'd know it.

(Legal gun owners stormed the Capitol, terrorized Congress and beat cops. Legal guns can quickly become lethal weapons when the legal owner becomes sufficiently enraged or frightened.)

5 - When JFK was killed, nobody blamed the rifle.

(But the rifle was used to kill JFK. Trump blamed Ted Cruz’s father, but many of our delicate and anxious firearm lovers voted for him anyway.)

6 - The NRA (National Rifle Association) murders 0 people and receives ($$$$ 0) nothing in government funds. Planned Parenthood kills 350,000 babies every year and receives $500,000,000 in tax dollars annually.

Logical fact and point 1: (The NRA is a pro-Trump Russian asset. It reported receiving $2,512.85 in contributions and membership dues “from people associated with Russian addresses” or known Russian nationals living in the United States from 2015 to the present. Nobody who believes background checks to be important would logically support the NRA. They do it out of fear, of course.)

Logical fact and point 2: (An embryo can be frozen and revived. Real babies cannot be frozen and revived. Therefore logically, an embryo is NOT a baby.)

7 - I have no problem with vigorous background checks when it comes to firearms. While we're at it, let's do the same when it comes to immigration, Voter I.D., and candidates running for office.

(Having background checks is the reasonable position of most Americans, as well as permits, age restrictions, and training requirements. The vast majority would like to prohibit the manufacturers from selling AR-15 style weapons to the public. The majority does not want universal confiscation, just reasonable restrictions. If you support the NRA, then your money is going to those who will never allow those measures. They have a conditioned response that programs them to ignore what most Americans say, and see only “Democrat/Socialist gun-grabbers”. 

And why would background checks on politicians matter with the radical Right? Trump voters were OK with his admission of criminal sexual conduct and numerous allegations of assault and rape. They were OK with his paying off a porn star. They were OK with his racist birtherism. They are STILL OK with his violent coup and other criminal attempts to overturn the 2020 election. So what’s their reason for wanting background checks anyway?)

8 - Folks keep talking about another Civil War. One side knows how to shoot and probably has a trillion rounds. The other side has crying closets and is confused about which bathroom to use. How do you think that would work out?

(Only one side is waving Confederate flags and threatening civil war. Only one side is setting the stage for armed violence against fellow Americans. The demeaning tone of  this “logic” is thinly cloaked in demonizing hate and stereotyping bigotry. It would be mass murder by radical white nationalist extremists. All of this disturbingly echoes the hate rhetoric of Hitler's Nazis. 

I’m among many Democratic voters who has firearms, and not “crying in closet”s and knowing “what bathroom to use”. The “folks” talking about Civil War are the MTG’s, Boebert and her “Today is 1776!” and radical Right NRA militia nuts...and Darrell. They fantasize excuses to shoot people they hate; Democrats and people who vote for Democrats, and people who disagree with them.

In their radical indoctrination they are programmed to believe every lie about those who disagree with them. They will believe the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Americans who don’t believe the lie are either RINO’s or “commie/socialists who hate America”. Another indication of their indoctrinated paranoia is the contrast we see between their “logic” based on fear and resentment, and that of the firearm owners who don’t share their paranoia. I know of no Democratic voter/gun owner who fears jack-booted police crashing into their home to confiscate their firearms. I know of no Democratic voter/gun owner calling for Civil War, and posturing about how mighty and dominant they are over others. None. I can recall only the “baseball shooter” as an exception to mass shootings by enraged racists, bigots, militia nuts, or otherwise Republican sympathizers.)

9   A man who left 300,000 guns for the Taliban is lecturing us on gun control and lives in the White house.

(Trump was the man who surrendered to the Taliban and set the date for withdrawal, only to leave it for another person to deal with. AND he agreed on the release of 5,000 Taliban before withdrawal. They thank HIM, not Biden.)

Clearly Darrell’s “logic” is almost entirely based on radical Right indoctrinated hysteria and lies. He shares the same radicalization as millions of other duped and deceived Americans. Most of the civilized world will acknowledge the wisdom and logic of basic gun regulation. 

Those who are indoctrinated with gun hysteria and paranoia over election lies, or without compassion will never accept this logic. They have no incentive to understand it, as their fear and loathing are being stoked to the point of the civil war they are being groomed to crave.


Anonymous said...

One's truth is another's lie.
The facts to prove a God do not exist, but an overwhelming majority of humans believe in God.
Your buddy Darrell expressed his gun stance in his comment section. His beliefs are based in misinformation, but no number of facts will change his mind. Calling those people ignorant or other names will not change their minds either. Only laws passed to change behavior will make a difference, but the votes are on the pro-gun side, because even liberals believe in owning guns.

spirilis said...

I am often awed by the number of people who think killing someone is easy. It is not and none exits unharmed. Guns are tools same as hammers, they know not who wields them. People are a huge problem for the earth, there are not enough guns or ammunition to prevent it from dealing with the problem. It will be over before something is done.

Dave Dubya said...


Facts are still facts, regardless of beliefs. Darrell believes people like me are "leftists who hate America". Trump's cult is brainwashed to believe Democrats are communists.This is what fuels and "justifies" their hate for those who are not in their tribe.

I know nothing will change a closed mind that eagerly consumes only the endless stream of far Right political dogma and lies. Being willfully misinformed and closed to any information outside the indoctrination essentially becomes willful ignorance. Their black and white world view and authoritarian inclined belief system have difficulty processing ambiguities.

Banning guns is out of the question, but there's a vast spectrum of regulations and conditions for purchase that reasonable compromise could produce.

But the paranoid gun nuts of the radical Right aren't exactly known for being reasonable or willing to compromise.

Dave Dubya said...

I agree most people would not find it easy to kill someone. Decent people are repulsed by violence. But it is frightening how anger and fear will drive some people to senseless violence. And anger and fear are the foundation of radical Right indoctrination.
I'm frightened by the number of people who would be willing to start shooting fellow Americans if ordered to do so by Trump. If they'd storm the Capitol for him, they would do anything for their Fuhrer. This threat is still with us. Radical Right terrorism isn't going away soon.

Anonymous said...

"the paranoid gun nuts of the radical Right"
If it was only those nut jobs we could legislate our society to sanity. It's more than the radical right who believe they have a right to own and carry guns, and feel guns are the only way to individual safety.

Dave Dubya said...

Those gun nuts are a minority, but they have clout through the NRA.
It's also true most Americans don't want a total gun ban.
Most gun owners, and Americans, agree with background checks, training requirements, and banning the sales of new AR-15 style weapons to the public. Or at the very least, raising the age to 21 for them.
The radical minority have the louder voice through the NRA'a "Free $peech".

Shaw Kenawe said...

Very good take on our gun culture.

No matter what the 2nd Amendment nuts have to say, the Founding Fathers NEVER imagined what that amendment would do to this country.

Simple: We have more firearms in circulation per capita than any other country, and we have more firearm deaths: suicide, murder, accidental, than any other country in the world. And the leading cause of death for children is FIREARMS.

At one point in this stupid gun culture, the NRA managed to get former governor of Florida, Rick Scott, to pass a law to MAKE IT ILLEGAL for medical doctors to ask parents if they have firearms in their homes and if they're SECURED in their homes.

There's no hope for a country as corrupt and steeped in deadly gun culture as this country is. IMO, it is far too late to do anything to save us from ourselves.

Dave Dubya said...

Thanks. I thought the best approach would be to show their delusional beliefs they think is "logic", and go from there.

The radical Right are actively sowing the lies and chaos they need to justify their hate and violent inclinations.

I agree. I don't think our country can recover from the depths of their madness. Radical Right lies, hate, terrorism and bloodshed will continue to destabilize the US into authoritarianism and austerity. I wish I could see light at the end of this dark tunnel, but I fear the darkness will remain after my days are done.

I still do my best to balance hope and despair for the generations that follow. Can consciousness and conscience overcome indoctrinated ignorance? We can only keep trying.

Chuck said...

"Can consciousness and conscience overcome indoctrinated ignorance? We can only keep trying."

Physician, heal thy self.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes. As I said WE can only keep trying.

Thank you for sharing your insight into my consciousness and conscience.

I'm sure your knowledge, wisdom, kindness, compassion and love would be shining beacons for the rest of us.

Perhaps your sage advice could explain why you found no interest or need to stoop to the actual subject of discussion. You had nothing meaningful to say to those of us who agree too many people are killed by too many weapons in too many wrong hands.

And that makes you just a sad little troll.

Chuck said...

Well, King of the Trolls, I guess I would say that absolutely guns should be removed from the hands of criminals. That doesn't mean that you elitist leftists should make criminals out of law abiding people by outlawing their guns too.

If we actually had severe punishments for those criminals that used guns when committing their crimes, perhaps there would be less of them. I am all for tough back ground checks and ensuring that the mentally ill and domestic violence types are unable to get guns.

But in true leftist fashion, you blame the guns and not the individuals. I'll play along... Lets outlaw any gun that holds more than six rounds. Now do you think gun violence will go down? If you do, you are far dumber than I gave you credit for.

Dave Dubya said...

Well, Sir Chuck, Troller of the King, it seems you agree with most of my broader statements in this thread. (Except where Reagan and I agree.)

1. “Banning guns is out of the question, but there's a vast spectrum of regulations and conditions for purchase that reasonable compromise could produce.” ( elitist leftists should make criminals out of law abiding people by outlawing their guns too.)

Did you read where I said, “Banning guns is out of the question”? You needn’t set up a straw man here. Nowhere have I said I would make criminals out of law-abiding people, or declare illegal what they already possess. Somehow I can’t imagine you processing these words, if all you can see is a “Leftist gun-Grabber who hates America”. I discussed how your propaganda would instill this false narrative.

By the way, I assume you regard Marx and Engels as leftists. I bet you didn’t know part of their strategies necessary for the organization of workers included the arming of the “proletariat”. In an 1850 speech titled “Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League,” which was written by Marx and Engels, this quote appears: “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.”

I would also bet you think Hitler banned guns when he took power in Germany. Sorry, only for Jews. “Good Germans” were encouraged to have their guns by fewer restrictions than were in place before he became chancellor.

Enough history. Let’s get back to the present.

2. “It's also true most Americans don't want a total gun ban. Most gun owners, and Americans, agree with background checks, training requirements, and banning the sales of new AR-15 style weapons to the public.” (guns should be removed from the hands of criminals. I am all for tough back ground checks and ensuring that the mentally ill and domestic violence types are unable to get guns.)

We disagree on only the last point listed. Does that make me a “leftist elitist”? You flatter me, sir, but that is still false. I’m just a regular guy who grew up hunting and fishing.

Dave Dubya said...

And finally:

3. “Too many people are killed by too many weapons in too many wrong hands.”
If you have any degree of open minded consciousness and a modicum of conscience you would agree, and I think you do.

( “you blame the guns and not the individuals.”)

I clearly cited “weapons in the wrong hands”, meaning the criminals, so your absurd accusation that "in true leftist fashion" I blame the weapon is false. This hardly eliminates the weapon as a major factor and part of the problem. But I’m sure it feels assuring to regurgitate NRA talking points. Do you believe guns are never a factor or part of the problem, sir?

Your other lapse would be in equating low and high capacity magazines in lethality. All evidence indicates when more rounds are fired by mass killers, more humans suffer and die. Muzzle loading rifles are not as lethal as lever-action repeaters. Lever action repeaters are not as lethal as AR-15 style weapons with 30 round magazines. If you can show fault in this logic, I would love to see it.

OK, a little more history.

Did you see Reagan on C-SPAN when he said, “I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home”?

Did you know Reagan supported legislation for background checks and a waiting period for potential gun owners? He supported an assault-weapons ban and even joined two other former presidents in a letter to a major newspaper urging congressional approval of a ban.

I suppose those in the Trump Cult or under NRA indoctrination would see Reagan as an “elitist leftist” for a position that aligns with most Americans.

Ironically, your beliefs on gun policy align more with Marx and Engels than with Ronald Reagan and myself, an old-fashioned American citizen who believes in our traditional values of freedom, truth, and justice.

Bruce.desertrat said...

"5 - When JFK was killed, nobody blamed the rifle. "

No, but what we DID do was make it illegal to mail order firearms, which is how Oswald acquired the rife he used.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes. Thanks for reminding us of that mail order ban. Welcome the "elitist leftists" who value facts, evidence and reason. Unfortunately the indoctrinated mind that sees us as "elitist leftists" must automatically reject anything we have to say. Beliefs trump facts and reason with the radical Right and low-information, semi-literate Americans.

They are so filled with fear and misinformation they really do think everyone with different views from theirs supports gun confiscation, gas stove confiscation, drag queen strip shows for kids, etc.

They have no clue about the diversity of opinions among us. And in their black and white world they have no interest in learning that either. They can't seem to imagine Democrats can be outdoorsmen who own firearms for purposes other than waging war on the government and killing fellow Americans who think differently.