The neighbor ... shot at the dog from an
with a bow and arrow.
The dog’s owner ran back into his
and came out with a Walther P-38,
a World War II souvenir.
neighbor also ran outside with his bow and arrow,
and the dog’s owner
shot him dead
--Eight Million Ways to Die,
In modern war ...
you will die like a dog for no good reason
He who has a why
can bear any how
Recently, we participated in a local initiative of our mayor's office, a community dinner called "The Longest Table". It actually takes place around a lot of 6-10 person tables at venues throughout the city. The purpose is to allow community members to voice their opinions on various topical matters, and to enjoy a civil evening of hopefully provocative sharing.
Last year was our first in attendance, and each table had its own monitor to facilitate discussion and note commonalities and differences. Sadly, this year's event was more of an ad hoc
affair, and lacked that direction. (Perhaps because our Mayor Gilllum's office is currently involved with an FBI investigation.
As a result, it was interesting to see how opinionated and righteous people can be, sans helpful direction. However, most people are not professional mediators, thus can be forgiven their indiscretions.
Moreover, in today's wired world, it is a small blessing when people actually unwire from their 24/7 media feeds in order to communicate face to face. That said, the comedown in empathy was palpable at the event. Mostly, participants opted out of dialog on anything of any import, probably because they know how quickly fever-pitch would be attained.
At our table, discussion was opened by a self-proclaimed former service member who began the usual rant regarding the badness of our current president. No one took the bait, to their credit.
But Ranger did engage with the man's second concern regarding societal violence; particularly, youth crime.
Ranger observed that extreme and life-like violence was a part of many young people's lives on video and computer, and that when young minds are bathed in this toxic brew there must be some causal relation between time spent and exposure to this extreme violent depictions, and possible anxious, anti-social or violent behavior in the consumer.
A young woman, a recent college graduate, insisted there was no research to prove such a linkage. Since we had no data before us, further speculation on the topic was D.O.A.
But let us consider the matter further here. Has the opposite been proven?
Is there research showing that prolonged exposure to violent media produces sound mental health and a sense of equanimity? Perhaps, it facilitates calm and reasoned thinking?
Shy of that, is there any proof that there is no effect from repeated and early exposure to such violent images and sounds? Have we even lived this "lifestyle" long enough to have a meaningful longitudinal study?
Everyone's favorite traveling protest show
--the Parkland (FL) student marchers -- are weekly calling for a ban on and confiscation of all semi-automatic rifles. This would mean that 100-year-old rifles would be confiscated to quell the emotional demands of the teeny-boppers and their elder fellow travelers.
Okay. So we ban semi-auto rifles. What then about semi-pistols? Does this ban extend to our police? Or do they remain as armed and dangerous as a U.S. Army rifle platoon?
Let us not be goose-steppers here at Ranger, and take our collective heads out of the ground of public boilerplate.
: Toronto and London, both sites of recent terrorist killings, have draconian gun control laws. Yet the criminally crazy may still murder and maim en masse.
Just rent a van and mow them down. No aiming, no choosing a good site position. Sure, it lacks finesse and is as brute as murder can be.
But dead is still dead, whether via a slug from an elegant Walther PPK or under the tires of a moving van, dead like a dog in the street.
Outlawing any class of individually owned firearms will not stop the killing. While Ranger is not an NRA member, he acknowledges the correctness of their position that Americans are not crazed killers, and the U.S. citizenry is not the enemy.
When one is intent on committing an act of mass violence, the means for doing so are manifold. Remember that the last 16 years of war began with the commandeering of another means of of conveyance, the airplane, to kill thousands of people. There was no move to ban planes.
Banning semi auto or black rifle clones will not eliminate the problem. There is no simple solution to these episodes of violent crime.
We have a puritanical history, so banning things that can be abused always seems like a good idea. (Though it is odd that Democrats like this approach, as it has such a patriarchal, Big Brother overtone.)
But the holes in this argument to ban-as-solution are so big you can drive a truck through them.
Our own Temperance movement and the subsequent 18th Amendment (and it's subsequent repeal with the 21st) is a good example. If you want it and cannot buy it legally, you will get it another way.
In addition to alcoholism, obesity in the U.S. is a huge problem today. Big Pharma must love the profits, but the medical system is weighted down caring for the manifold illnesses consequent to a life spent in a state of Type II obesity-triggered diabetes.
So how do we change this poor behavioral pattern of overeating bad food choices?
Do we ban sugar? If we did, there are substitutes in defilade which still trigger the insulin response, and which would probably produce even worse bodily results.
Remember the Good Thing that liberals espouse, namely, that we are one world and irrevocably interconnected? If isolationism is not a good, and not even possible, then how can a ban on transnationally available goods work?
And yet, for a determined person, banning things within our borders begs only the simple question: how then do we get it here?
Whether it is a moonshiner or an importer, someone will gladly oblige, if the price is right.
How does a waiting period to take possession of a legally-purchased firearm a measure that improves our security posture?
A resourceful mind can weaponize many objects. With any will, there is a way. Therefore, limiting access to discrete objects are not where the solution is to be found.
Guns, knives, planes, trains and automobiles are not the problem we are addressing when considering the problem of mass killings.
Labels: banning guns, mass killings, second amendment, spectacle of the protest, terrorism, violence