Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nice to see a victory on gun ownership

Even better, a victory that came in spite of a huge media push and a lot of emotional knife-twisting.

This is one of those issues that has helped shake my confidence in rational argument. I've run into too many people who cannot have a rational conversation about guns, and who think that any discussion's winner is determined by who gets more emotional and panicked. 'Newtown' is supposed to be a blank check to pass pretty well whatever gun restrictions desired, regardless of whether they would have really prevented Newtown, regardless of whether they're good ideas at all.

What's really insulting about the media coverage is this attempt to treat the NRA as the bogeyman, without really explaining why the NRA was successful: their ability to directly get their message to voters, and their ability to get those voters to vote. People seem to get the idea that this is an organization that wields power by directly throwing money at political campaigns - but while rank 228 is certainly high, that means there's 227 groups that outperform them. It's that rank of 15 in 'outside spending' - on direct voter outreach - that makes them powerful. That and their effectiveness with communicating their message.

But that's the real terror, isn't it? That's not supposed to happen. The media at large is against gun ownership. That's supposed to determine what message is getting heard. Can you imagine an organization so powerful that they can override the manipulation of news and entertainment media, AND a president? We can't have that, can we.

5 comments:

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

"This is one of those issues that has helped shake my confidence in rational argument."

Haha, how true! I feelyabro!

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

To be a bit morbid: an effective argument for gun control should be one that can be stated "at gunpoint"––not only should it be pithy enough to overcome the stultifying effects of fear, but also should be able to withstand the naturally–reasonable desire that a(nother) gun would arrive to stop the one threatening with a gun. This is why arguments against freedom and guns fail: they're either based too much on elaborate rhetorical devices which would evaporate "at gun point" or are inconsistent ("Shooter here, call the cops with their guns!").

Crude said...

This is why arguments against freedom and guns fail: they're either based too much on elaborate rhetorical devices which would evaporate "at gun point" or are inconsistent ("Shooter here, call the cops with their guns!").

I agree in large part. I think a serious argument against gun ownership can be intellectually mounted, but I think the best forms of those arguments would argue against gun ownership, period - even by the state. Even by the military, for that matter.

So I am entirely in favor of gun control, on one condition: it must be total. The police can't have guns. Neither can the military. Neither can bodyguards. Neither can politicians, or the wealthy, or anyone else. Make an exception, and fuck it - then citizens can have guns too.

I'm not even a gun owner, really. I have friends who own guns, but that's mostly the extent of it (though this may change.) But every time I have a conversation with someone in favor of gun control, I notice I'm not talking with someone who is just against gun ownership for really principled reasons. It's just a statement of complete fear and irrationality and emotional knife-twisting, over and over.

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

More from the slippery-slope front: http://www.ocala.com/article/20121211/ARTICLES/121219937?tc=ar

Crude said...

Just a matter of time. I'm tempted to believe sex with children will be de-taboo'd first. Actually, possibly incest first.