Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gun Fetishists Aren't Interested in Facts

Gun fetishist: Yeah, that's about right.

I got involved in a debate about gun safety on Google+, and I ran into a fellow (I won't name him here) who, no matter what argument I put forth or what facts or statistics I offered in support of my position, his stock answer was that I was distorting the facts or using them out of context to fit "my agenda." It didn't matter how much evidence from reputable sources I offered, I was still misusing the data to satisfy my argument. I was, in any event, full of crap and untrustworthy and downright devious.

Ted Nugent: busy proving my point...
There's nothing to be done with such people. In the gun debate positions are hardened very much in the way that "the takers are ruining our country" or "throwing tax money at it never solves anything" are not worth refuting. Pointing out that we aren't a nation of takers or that gun fetishists are very keen on throwing money at defense doesn't seem to work. They live in a bubble, one that is very much self-sustaining.

Here are a couple of links for all of you -- even the gun fetishists -- that provides a very broad picture of what you need to consider in the gun debate. They're here and here, being part one and part two of a long article in the San Diego Free Press. I don't need convincing, for I've been researching this for a while. If this information doesn't give you pause, then I can't help you, and I'm not sure America can be helped, either.

At least not in the very short run. I've been downright amazing at how fast seemingly entrenched views have shifted on Don't-ask-don't tell, gay marriage, and women's civil rights, especially in light of the Lily Ledbetter Act and the very recent opening of armed combat roles to women on a equal-opportunity basis. Even Obamacare was a surprise, no matter how disappointing its approach is to those of us who preferred a single-payer solution. It still represents a decent step forward, especially on women's health issues. So there's hope. We are a nation at some kind of crossroads, and most of our turns have been in the right direction.

I just don't want to have to have a couple more Auroras, or Virginia Techs, or Newtowns to finally move this ball forward. It pains me to even think that way for a second, even as I believe it might be true.

Note. This post on Daily Kos by a registered member (not a contributing editor) called "What is a Gun Fetishist?" demonstrates two points for us: If you read well down into the comments you'll see how the author, FrankRose, has no interest in advancing any position other than just fucking with us. Also, he's a textbook troll, of the highest (read lowest) order. Salamanders, newts, and toads, oh my! (Though, to be sure, it's better to collect amphibians than guns.)

Note 2. The more I read comments by gun fetishists -- or even just plain gun advocates -- the more I realize that their positions are, by and large, black and white, which is what makes the "fetishist" label apt. They can't recognize the difference between sensible gun regulation -- that might take very few of the actual gun rights away -- and the "they're coming after our guns" hysteria. They simply refuse to. I know that "fetishist" is a hot-button charge regardless of how apt it is, so I throw the charge of paranoia at gun advocates with a slight caution. They do, however, seem pretty paranoid to me. We could go into the "what you really want is to take our guns" or "we'll go all 1776 on you if you try" or whatever. But if you investigate the commentary on whatever site you want, you'll still see why we have a serious problem with guns in this country. And Wayne LaPierre is right: It is a mental-heath issue.

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