Friday, December 04, 2015

Best commentary on the San Bernardino shooting

I think this one is awkward for the gun nuts of America (and Australia.)   Seems likely that it is a case of Islam inspired domestic terrorism, but with high powered weaponry legally purchased.  This removes the "we must identity and treat the mentally ill better" argument, presumably.   And even the desperate, movie fantasy land "if only someone there had their own pistol on them, they could have taken them down" when it sounds like most people were shoot in a initial spray of rapid fire.   (Oh, the gun nuts will still run the argument, no matter the improbability.)    Even our own resident gun obsessive, fantasy prone, Senator hasn't been running any of the usual NRA guff about guns in the light of this one:  his main tweet after it suggests something like this:  "well, yeah, America has lots of mass shootings, but other countries with quite a few guns don't.  Maybe if we let more guns be owned, we'll luck out and be more like those countries."   Yeah, right. In a country where the number of mass shootings took a dramatic drop after tightening gun control, why should we take that risk, other than to give him the thrill of being able "to pat" semi automatics from his attic again.   (I am not making that up.)     

In light of the commentary following, I guess the appropriate response is to feel somewhat sorry for the (probably relatively high proportion) of Americans who fully understand why other countries think their attitude to gun control  is absurd. 

Here's the best piece I have read:

The Most Dangerous Belief is not Believing in Gun Control

Here's an extract:
I actually think that there was some rhetoric that contributed to the shooting. Rhetoric like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Did you know that less than a month before the Planned Parenthood shooting, there was another mass killing in the town of Colorado Springs? One woman was witness to both, by the way, and her boyfriend said she cried the first time but not this time because quote, “She’s a veteran now.”
Well in that first shooting the shooter was walking down the street with his rifle—an AR-15, in fact. Concerned citizens saw him and called the authorities and said, “There’s a man walking down the street with a rifle.” And the dispatcher told these citizens, “Well there’s nothing we can do about that because Colorado is an open carry state and the only thing that’s going to stop a bad guy with a gun is—” Oh too late, three innocent people are now dead.
That was Halloween day. In between that mass shooting and the Planned Parenthood Black Friday mass shooting, the website Shooting Tracker chronicled 31 additional mass shootings. Forty-seven dead and scores more wounded. Now these were just the mass shootings. These were not the one-off accidents, the suicides, the targeted slayings, the gangland beefs. No presidential candidates of either party were called on to make statements decrying the Ohio man who killed his neighbors and their 7-year-old son; the quadruple murderer in Kentucky who shot a family then burned their house; the Texas man who shot six at a campsite; the Jacksonville, Florida, man who made the mother of his 5-month-old twins hold their babies as he shot her, and them, and then himself.
Guns. A lot of people have a lot of terrible ideas: Sometimes it’s getting revenge on an ideology, sometimes it’s getting revenge on the police, sometimes it’s getting revenge on people you personally know. But without guns, the death toll would be much lower. I’m not saying that all the hateful rhetoric around Planned Parenthood didn’t unfairly nudge them closer to the crosshairs. But it’s not just bad ideas and angry men that lead to these obscene death tolls. It’s that the ill heads with these twisted ideas can so easily access a means of lethality uncommon in the civilized world. We are an aggrieved, worked up, angry people. But an American who is aggrieved or enraged or unmoored is more deadly that an Englishman or an Australian not because of the extremes of our discourse, or the extent of our aggrievement. The bad idea that people are most dying from is not an anti-abortion idea or an anti-cop idea or anti-Western, anti-Christian. It’s anti–gun control. That’s the deadliest and most ignorant idea of all.

Obvious, but a large slab of Americans need to be reminded.  (Depressingly, they'll also ignore it.)

In other commentary, James Fallows writes touchingly of how saddened he is by this latest shooting.

And from an article that appeared just before the shooting, here's an article ripping into the deliberately intimidating tactics of many "open carry" advocates:   Gun Nuts Are a Threat to Democracy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stevie

Great points. As we all know the Lindt shooter didn't have a gun.