Showing posts with label culture of fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture of fear. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amazing Words

A response on Quora regarding Wayne LaPierre's speech at the NRA convention this year.

Fear, fear, and more fear. Keep the boogeyman alive, lurking in the shadows, ready to jump out and snatch our children, our guns, and our freedom. It rallies the base and keeps the donations coming.

To paraphrase Mr. LaPierre, all around the country people tell him they have never been more worried about their country. They "feel" like their freedoms are slipping away, and lie awake at night worrying about their families, their children, and the future.

What a miserable existence they must have, and all unwarranted.

To quote directly from his speech:
"In a nation in which, almost everywhere you look, in profoundly troubling ways, freedom has been diminished. Our right to gather, our right to speak, our financial freedom, our right to care for our families as we see fit, our religious freedom, our right to privacy - all of it in decline."

What the hell is he talking about? 

Our right to peacefully gather is still safe. Does he not remember the March for Life in Washington in January? Or the Occupy movement?

Our right to speak? What? What was he doing at the NRA convention? Isn't Fox News and MSNBC still on the air? Can he name one newspaper the government has shut down? Aren't birthers still challenging President Obama's citizenship?

Our financial freedom? Sure, the economy took a dive in 2008. People lost their jobs and suffered economically. Banks and corporations suffered, though many got immediate government assistance. Some regulations have been restored to about what they were in the mid 1990s, when the economy was booming. There is bickering about raising taxes, like there has been over the last century. But can he name one instance where the government has seized assets of an individual or company without cause? Or one instance where the government without cause specifically restricted the ability of an individual or company to do business? No, laws and regulations are equally applied.

Our right to care for our families as we see fit? Can he name one instance where the federal government interfered with what a law-abiding family did in their own home as far as what they taught their children, chose for their diet, what media they watched, what entertainment they chose, or dictated what places they went, or what church they intended? If a family uses any public service, such as the schools, what family has been forced to live under rules that did not apply to everyone else?

Our religious freedom? Can he name one church, synagogue, or mosque that has been shut down? Or one instance where a government official walked into a place or worship and told the minister, priest, rabbi, or imam they could not express what they believed (as long as they did not illegally advocate violence against others)? Certain conservative groups have tried to prevent the building of new mosques, but not the government.

Can Mr. LaPierre name one instance where Christians or those of any other religion have been denied the right to peacefully assemble or express their views? Did he miss the following events where they did so?

Again, as far as religious freedom, can he name one instance where a church or individual has been told they could not display a nativity scene or other religious symbol on private property? 

There are those who feel the government should favor and support their religion above others in government-funded institutions, and these issues are being sorted out in court as they always have been. However, as far as direct government restrictions upon individuals or places of worship, there is not one instance where a US citizen has been prohibited free exercise of religion while in their home, place of worship, or in a lawful public assembly.

Now, on our right to privacy, I agree that both liberals and conservatives have questioned the provisions of the Patriot Act and Executive Orders issued under both President Bush and President Obama. That will be sorted out by the courts and Congress, as is appropriate.

The rest of it is the usual rhetoric, and by usual I mean baseles and inaccurate, to create enough fear to rally the base into a frenzy and oppose anything linked to a Democratic initiative or President Obama. And of course, to keep financial donations to the NRA coming so the NRA can save us from all this peril.

Does anyone wonder why US politics and culture are polarized?

And as far as the Second Amendment right to bear arms, The ten-year ban on assault rifles that started in 1994 expired in 2004. Legislation was proposed in 2013 to basically renew the ban, but it failed to pass. If it had passed it would have banned the sale of assault weapons but would not have affected the ones already owned. President Obama's Executive Orders concerning the purchase of firearms merely clarified existing regulations or brought them to levels that previously existed. 

As far as gun laws passed by state legislatures after the shooting at Sandy Hook, about two thirds of those laws loosened restrictions on firearms. 

Like it or not, the right to buy and own firearms in the United States has not changed in any significant way during the administration of President Obama. Some may see that as a failure, others as success, but that is the reality of the situation.

One of the finest comments I have ever read. I hope it will change some minds. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Changing Our Gun Culture

From a recent question on Quora...

When Americans find a stoic heart and stop their national anxiety attacks over every little problem in the world guns will seem unnecessary to those who don't actually need them. I bet obesity rates would go down too as people find it unnecessarily to eat their anxiety. The recent mass panic and persecution related to the Ebola problem is illustrative. 

Anxiety is killing Americans and gun ownership and violence is a relatively small aspect of the problem. All gun deaths are regrettable, but as pointed out in other answers the numbers are decreasing. Stop listening to media hyperbole and have a chat with your friends. Fear and anxiety are the problem and unnecessary gun ownership is one of the minor consequences.

Exactly what I have been saying for years!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Culture of Fear

I hate the media. They suck. And here's why

No one was nervous at my school or either of my children's schools. No one was afraid and no one was worried for their safety. People were just sad. But this speaks to a very large problem with our culture that was first identified in Barry Glassner's fantastic book, "The Culture of Fear" and later in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine." The media needs fear to in order to peddle their corporate owned shit. If people are afraid, they buy more crap.

In so many ways, this is tremendously irresponsible. They are creating a perception here that doesn't match reality. Yesterday, most of America simply went on with their lives and they did so without any trepidation. They didn't spend their mornings panicking and surveying suspicious mini-vans. Where are the stories about that?

All this kind of garbage does is make everything worse.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What You Afraid Of?

It's been a few weeks since the tragedy in Tuscon reignited several debates. One of them was the gun debate and in all of the swirl of dialog, a question arose in my head.

What you are afraid of?

I am asking this question specifically to the gun rights folks that migrated to this blog from Kevin's site. After the Tuscon shooting, gun sales skyrocketed. Many gun rights proponents told me this was due to fear of a new wave of gun control yet the only thing that I have seen being seriously considered is a ban on the high capacity clips that are similar to what Loughner used. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with that but I'd like to see tighter controls on the mentally ill being able to purchase guns before that sort of ban.

I'm still lost, though. Was there another reason why people rushed out to buy a gun? I think so but I'll get to that in a moment. I get the fact that people should be able to own guns and use them for hunting, sport, and target practice. I even get the collectible side of it...I'm the world's biggest pack rat with comic books, CDs, and DVDs, I get the obsessive need to collect.

But what I don't get is the ridiculous notion that an AR-15 is for home protection. Or a Glock with a high capacity clip is used to protect oneself on the street. Again, if it's just because they are cool and you want one, fine. I'm that way with stuff too. But don't give me the BS about protection. And that goes for just about every situation regarding protection.

In some situations, I can see it. I have a friend who lives in Chicago who got mugged a few times and bought a gun. She has since been nearly mugged three times and her gun has been an effective deterrent. Women protecting themselves....I get problem. But I had someone tell me the other day that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to turn around and shoot John Wilkes Booth. He was serious but I just laughed at him. Where would he have kept it for easy access? In his hat?

Then it all dawned on me. In their continued adolescent power fantasy, people who (over) use the line of protection think they are living their lives in an episode of 24. Or in the film Die Hard where John McLane duct tapes guns to his back and tricks the bad guys. This is complete fiction. It NEVER happens like this. Yet these folks thinks that it does and that's a big problem. They are so afraid their lives that they primarily reside in a world of fantasy (Ayn Rand) in which they are Campbell's archetypal hero...shooting their way to security.

I've always been a huge action film and TV fan. I love 24, the Die Hard films, and have been obsessed for over 20 years with HK action flicks (Chow with two guns=Mega) but I know that they are complete fantasies and have no resemblance to real life. The same person who told me that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to defend himself said the same thing of Gabby Giffords. This mentality is so silly that it's hard to even comment. She would've had no time to react and the one guy that was there with a gun didn't even draw it because was uncertain as to who the gunmen was during the incident.

This is how the real world works, folks. So, if you just like guns because they are cool to collect or you have a legitimate reason to defend yourself, fine. Fess up. If neither are true, however, I ask again.

What are you afraid of?