Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown's debate over gun control ...

In Newtown, Conn., a Stiff Resistance to Gun Restrictions - NYTimes.com:
“Something needs to be done,” said Joel T. Faxon, a hunter and a member of the town’s police commission, who championed the shooting restrictions. “These are not normal guns, that people need. These are guns for an arsenal, and you get lunatics like this guy who goes into a school fully armed and protected to take return fire. We live in a town, not in a war.”
This is what it's going to take: hunters, target shooters, etc. speaking up to say support of common-sense restrictions on the military grade assault weapons isn't the END OF FREEDOM AND THE BEGINNING OF BIG BROTHER'S NEW WORLD ORDER OF LIBERAL GODLESS FASCIST COMMUNISM like the lunatic fringe would have you believe. I don't think any civilian should have a gun, period, so nobody's going to listen to me. But the guys who enjoy shooting, who only fire their weapons at licensed ranges or where they have a permit and hunting is allowed, and do so as sportsmen with firearms appropriate for sport, these are the guys who need to step up and tell the ignorant, fantasy-world dwelling gun fetishists they're out of line.

In the real world, a gun stopped being a defense against government infringement on freedom a long time ago. The extreme individualism of gun culture divides us in a way that actually makes it easier for autocratic government to control the citizenry. When we retreat into our own houses and rely only on ourselves, we are the ideal pawns of government control. It is together with speech, not violence,  with votes, not bullets, in unions, not as wage slaves, that we are able to stand up for our rights and freedoms.

With a gun, you are a powerless coward, serving the forces of tyranny by discouraging those would would speak up, challenge, and offend. When people say a well-armed society is a polite society, they mean a well-armed society is one that has successfully throttled the free exchange of ideas. A well-armed society is one that keeps its head down, scurries home, and barricades itself inside its little bubble, fearful of the Other. Sure, you can blast away at your fellow citizen when he scares you, but good look against the real threats to your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. A gun can't get you a job when management has decided it's more important to pursue tax loopholes overseas, can't ensure your right to vote when the dominant political party in your state has decided it doesn't like your affiliation, can't protect your children from theocrats who want to indoctrinate them into their religion in public schools. Our best defense against tyranny is, and always has been, an informed citizenry able to exchange ideas openly andgovern itself by electing representatives accountable to the will of their constituency while restrained by laws that secure inalienable liberties.

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