October 6, 2015

Gun notes

There is no worse time to make gun control a major issue than during a presidential campaign.  One third of American households own guns. The liberal attack on guns alienates a huge portion of voters. How does this change things? Well, an anti-bear baiting referendum pushed by Maine liberals last year was a major cause of the reelection of the state's right-wing governor, Paul LePage. It brought out  angry but normally politically passive hunters. A study of that vote found, "Every four votes against Question 1 predicted an increase of 1 vote in support of Gov. LePage,” Good politics involves finding things that will turn people your way, not making them angry.

There were 389 people killed in mass shootings in 2014. That same year, police killed 1107 people.

Although many anti-gun activists deny they're going after the constitutional right to own a gun, there is a movement that lends support to gun owners' fears. For example, Vox stated recently. "Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners. Other countries have done exactly that. Australia enacted a mandatory gun buyback that achieved that goal." The Washington Post made a similar argument.

The states with the ten lowest gun murder rates had in 2010 41% gun ownership. The states with the ten highest gun murder rates had a 34% gun ownership.

Non-suicide gun deaths have declined on a per capita basis since the 1990s even as gun ownership has increased.


Over half of gun shot victims have been convicted of a crime.

Hyper regulation or prohibition hasn't worked for drugs or alcohol and probably won't for guns either.

One sign of this: Foillowing  Hillary Clinton's demand for new gun control laws, the stock of one major gun manufacturer went up 7%. As one investment adviser put it, "The best thing for firearms demand is to have the constant threat of legislation without ever actually having the legislation.”

Our gun culture is part of a growing American culture of violence. Some other examples:
  • Violent video games
  • Violent television shows and films
  • The dominance of military experts on news shows and near complete absence of peace experts.
  • Over a decade of failed policies in the Mid East that have depended on violence rather than alternative factors.
  •  A president who decries the Oregon school mass shooting and two days later has a military that kills more innocent civilians as it attacks an Afghan hospital.
  • America's favorite sport having shifted from baseball to football.
  • Over half of a  federal budget that goes to the support of violence through military spending. 
Because liberals have been unwilling to work out reform with rational gun owners and hunters, big opportunities have been missed. For example, Huffington Post reports that "According to Pew Research, 85 percent of people with guns in their home support universal background checks. Another more recent poll puts that number at 92 percent. A third poll found that 74 percent of NRA members supported mandatory background checks." But because liberals imply that gun ownership itself is evil they miss out on making some reforms.

And speaking of liberals. . .



Dan Lynch said...

Excellent post, Sam.

Progressive Huey Long believed that only a fool would campaign on divisive social issues. He avoided those subjects and focused on jobs, roads, schools, etc. that had wide popular appeal. And he was popular in ultra-conservative Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

(wikipedia) Huey Long was an outspoken populist who denounced the rich and the banks and called for "Share the Wealth." As the political boss of the state he commanded wide networks of supporters and was willing to take forceful action.
Best known for his Share Our Wealth program, created in 1934 under the motto "Every Man a King." It proposed new wealth redistribution measures in the form of a net asset tax on corporations and individuals to curb the poverty and homelessness endemic nationwide during the Great Depression. To stimulate the economy, Long advocated federal spending on public works, schools and colleges, and old age pensions. He was an ardent critic of the policies of the Federal Reserve System. Under Long's leadership, hospitals and educational institutions were expanded, a system of charity hospitals was set up that provided health care for the poor, massive highway construction and free bridges brought an end to rural isolation, and free textbooks were provided for schoolchildren.
Long was planning his own presidential bid for 1936 in alliance with the influential Catholic priest and radio commentator Charles Coughlin.

Long was assassinated in 1935

But not because of 'road construction'.

Anonymous said...

Our foriegn policy in the middle east is designed by neocons, follows the Israeli model in Lebanon of not regime change but national deconstuction, leaving factions preoccupied with fighting each other. The US then feeds back from its success in destroying states to sound the alarm against the stateless terrorists that it creates and in many cases funds. Putin has seen enough and engages in a limited conventional war to preserve a state. Of course regime change is a war crime. Another point is that not all violence is random, as Mae Brussell used to keep track of government enabled zombie violence such as SLA, the Manson family and Son of Sam. With Brussell no longer around to keep score, we probably don't have reliable stats on what is government provoked and what is unprovoked terrorism. Of course the 9/11 operation was never convincingly defended as being unrelated to government involvement with the chapter in the report on that subject still withheld from the public. Imagine FDR refusing to say it was the Japanese who hit us at Pearl Harbor.