Friday, January 04, 2013

Missives from the United Guns of America

You should listen to this clip where a former NRA (Guns R Us) president Marion Hammer is interviewed on gun control, not only because she equates controlling assault weapons with denying people civil rights on the basis of the color of their skin but because the whole thing is such a wonderful example of totally illogical thinking and the twisting of facts or the making of pseudofacts:

It reminded me of Foucault's Pendulum.  She begins by stating that the current president of the NRA had warned that the re-election of president Obama would result in "them" taking away our guns and look!  He was right!

That the reason for the attempts to regulate assault weapons has to do with the butchering of twenty tiny children and not Obama's re-election is somehow forgotten.

The interviewer then says that "you listen to people in England and Australia and they say don't do what we did, don't take away our guns."  Which is probably true, in the sense that they can find a few gun nuts in all countries who would say that.  But what is the predominant public opinion on those issues in England and Australia?

The interviewer continues by arguing that taking away guns doesn't stop gun violence and it may even increase it.  But the Australian ban was caused by a mass shooting, and they have had no mass shootings since that date.   Never mind that the number of gun deaths in England per year sorta matches the number of gun deaths in one US city.

The last silly comparison is the one to racism:

“And they even admit this is about banning the ugliest guns, it’s about cosmetics and it has nothing to do about how a firearm works,” host Ginny Simone said toward the end of the segment.
“Well, you know, banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago,” Hammer responded. “But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It’s just bad politics.”

It's silly because guns don't have civil rights.  They are not alive.

I thought talking about how bad thinking happens is useful. 

But it's also a bit frightening to hear that, combined with the fear of the government and the assumption that if we all went to the supermarket armed to the teeth the government couldn't "take us over."  The US government has drones and bombs who can think and brush their own teeth and no amount of assault weapons will make those totally disorganized "militias" into a workable defense force.