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Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Culture War of Gun Control

After Vegas, the gun control memes and myths come out. It doesn't matter how wrong they are, they will echo in the mediasphere and then the talking points will leak into everyday conversations.


“Guns are uniquely lethal.”

Last year, a Muslim terrorist with a truck killed 86 people and wounded another 458.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Tunisian Muslim killer, had brought along a gun, but it proved largely ineffective. The deadliest weapon of the delivery driver was a truck. Mohammed, who was no genius, used it to kill more people than Stephen Paddock would with all his meticulous planning in Vegas.

Do we need truck control?

Deadlier than the truck is the jet plane. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on September 11 by terrorists with a plan and some box cutters. And then there are always the bombs.

The Boston Marathon bomber wounded 264, a suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena last year wounded 250 and the Oklahoma City Bombing (the only non-Islamic terror attack on the list) killed 168 and wounded 680. Paddock was also stockpiling explosive compounds. If he hadn’t been able to get his hands on firearms, he would have deployed bombs. And potentially killed even more people.

We know how many people Paddock was able to kill with firearms. We don’t know how many people he would have been able to murder with a truck or with explosives.

The mass killer who most ominously resembles Paddock was Francisco Gonzales: a Filipino with financial problems who shot the pilot and co-pilot on a gambler’s special flight from Reno. Back in Reno, Gonzales had told a casino worker that it wouldn’t matter how much he lost. The plane went down with everyone on board. Gonzales had a gun, but his actual murder weapon was a plane.

Guns are not uniquely lethal. We live in a world filled with extremely lethal objects from chemical compounds to big trucks. We can license and regulate some things. But we can’t regulate everything.


“This is the only country where this happens.”

That’s the leftist meme deployed after the Vegas shooting. But Paddock’s death toll narrowly edges out that of South Korea’s rampage killer Woo Bum-kon who murdered 56 people. America is not the only country where rampage killers operate. And their attacks have nothing to do with the racist construct of “white privilege”. It’s the leftist conviction that America is uniquely evil that accounts for the myth.

Seung-Hui Cho, one of this country's worst rampage killers who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech, was South Korean.

But the worst rampage killer in South Korea didn’t use a gun. He set a train on fire.

Kim Dae-han, a paralyzed middle aged man, started a subway fire that killed 192 people and wounded 150 others.

Guns aren’t uniquely lethal. Neither is America. Or South Korea. Or anywhere.


“A mass shooting happens in this country every few days.”

There’s no myth that is getting a bigger workout after the Vegas shootings than that of the ubiquitous mass shooter. The myth conflates drug violence in Chicago, which is nearly constant, with rampage killers like Stephen Paddock or Adam Lanza, who are far rarer, and Islamic terrorists like Omar Mateen.

Mass shootings and rampage killers are not the same thing.

Do we really have a “mass shooting” every few days? Most gun violence in this country is really gang violence. The mass shooting trackers list gang violence incidents in urban areas before the Vegas attack. And gang violence doesn’t depend on guns. It sharply rose in the UK despite gun control.

And it’s the left that has crippled the laws meant to fight gangs and drug dealers. Obama initiated a drug dealer pardon amnesty even while calling for more gun control. But the only way to control gang violence is by cracking down on gangs, not on guns. The pro-crime left deems such measures a “school-to-prison pipeline” that’s little more than “modern slavery”. And so the gang violence goes on.

Most gun violence takes place in Democrat territory. And it’s caused by leftist pro-crime policies.

By conflating an Adam Lanza with a gang member shooting up a street corner in Chicago, the media hides what is really going on. Rampage killers are rare. Gang violence is commonplace. By making rampage killers into the face of gun violence, the left gets to blame its own policies on the NRA.


“If only we had gun control.”

Gun control works as well as any prohibitionist policy. It works as long as you follow the law. If you don’t follow the law, then getting the prohibited item is a matter of money and connections.

And it’s those people who shouldn’t have guns that are most likely to be able to get them.

The left will lecture on the failure of drug prohibition, but is sure that gun prohibition would work. Why? Because they usually have some personal experience buying drugs, but little experience buying guns. And so they’re sure that a ban that they would ridicule in any other area will somehow work with guns.

There’s always some country that’s a shining example of how gun control works.

The Europeans, who are progressive, suave and sophisticated, have no doubt figured out gun prohibition, along with socialized medicine. But just this April, a Muslim terrorist opened fire on the Champs-Élysées in Paris with an AK-47 rifle. He killed a police officer and wounded several others.

Two months later, another Islamic terrorist with an AK-47 rammed his car into a police van on the Champs-Elysees.

French gun control was working wonderfully.

The Bataclan attackers and other members of their cell had no trouble getting their hands on Kalashnikovs either. The Charlie Hebdo attackers used an AK knockoff.

Muslim terrorists were able to repeatedly strike in France despite its gun control laws. And they used the weapons that the media refers to with ominous dread as “assault rifles”.

“We have so many weapons in Paris,” the spokesman for France's police union had complained.

The French authorities seize some 1,200 “assault rifles” every year. Meanwhile in the capital of the European Union, you can get a “military weapon” for $500 in half an hour.

Gun control works as well at keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists as enforcement does at keeping drugs out of the hands of criminals.

Legal firearms make it easier for people to defend themselves and for the authorities to track criminals. Criminalizing firearms just creates a massive black market in which anything goes.

The Charlie Hebdo terrorists brought a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to the party. That's what happens when you let the black market take over. You don't control guns. Instead you feed a black market and lose all control over the sorts of weapons being sold in your country.







After every attack, the clamor for “common sense” gun control begins by political hacks, talk show hosts and celebrities who don’t set foot outside their homes without an armed guard. None of these “common sense folks” seem to know the first thing about guns. And none of them care.

Gun control isn’t a policy. It’s a moral panic. Like prohibition, it’s a xenophobic reaction to a different culture that shares the same country with them. Guns have come to embody a rural conservative culture in the minds of urban leftists the way that alcohol once embodied foreign immigrants to prohibition activists and the way that drugs represented urban decadence to rural America.

It’s why the “common sense solution” talk quickly gives way to broad denunciations of a “national gun culture”, of “white privilege”, of rural folk “clinging to their bibles and guns”, of American militarism and toxic masculinity, and of all the things for which guns are merely a symbol to the leftists who hate them.

A cultural critique is very different than a common sense solution. It isn’t guns that the left wants to ban. It’s people. It was never really about banning guns. It was always about the culture war.

26 comments:

DESIDERIUS ERASMUS said...

We fully agree. Of the 30.000 US deaths due to guns ( 0.00001% of the total ) 65% of them are suicides, 15% occur during law enforcement, and 20% is due to inappropriate use. To that last rate correspond about 6000 victims, 1500 of them just occur in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimora and Washington DC.
In the US there are 710.000 deaths due to ischaemic heart attack. Is the Left now going to launch a thrombosis-control campaign with the same redundancy of their gun-control campaign? Or is the latest just one of their umpteenth fetish useful to cover up their crave to mental control of the people?

lindecentecritico.blogspot.it

Ken OConnell said...

Daniel, Another amazing piece!! You are my favorite contemporary writer...

Dennis Latham said...

The Vegas shooter was a Democrat because if he had been Republican it would have been on the news 24/7. All is quiet on the western front about his politics. A guy buys 42 weapons over a few years and no one in the ATF or FBI has him on the radar? They said he had 14 bump stocks and then it changed to one bump stock. His suicide photo is ridiculous. He didn't commit suicide. The gun is to far away and behind him. Looks like he was shot and then dragged forward a few feet on his back. The first responder video clearly shows the sounds of two automatic weapons and the police even say, "They are shooting right at us." Now they say he had charted out his shots. You don't chart out with a bump stock. This is going to end up worse than the Warren Commission for Kennedy where they examined Oswald's mother's teeth. He will be talking to animals because someone saw him feed a squirrel. He will have beat his mother up. The New York Times said he was a former postal worker in the headline but no where was a postal worker mentioned in the story. They should ban Democrats, not guns. They commit 90% of the crime.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting the zeal with which the left will prescribe drugs as a means of dealing with that which they find objectionable or merely difficult. Schoolchildren are dosed because they are deemed hyperactive or ADD, especially boys, when their only crime is...being children.

Modern psychiatry has much to answer for since it dangerously and arrogantly regards the cessation of symptoms under psychotropic drugs as a cure. But, in too many tragic cases, the drugs' long-term effects/side effects are not monitored or corrected. And, of course, the patient can simply stop taking them, as we've seen in too many tragic cases including high-profile violent episodes.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Why don't the people who scream for control actually understand this simple fact. Gun control will never work. People control doesn't either. I guess they just never bother to read anything that flies in the face of their convictions. Too bad their convictions are so misplaced.

Doug Mayfield said...

As you say, gun control is camouflage for people control.

Technology of any kind is morally neutral. Morality applies to what people choose to do with technology. Given a hammer, you can choose to use it to build a house or to bash someone's head in. Morality guides our choices.

The Left wing is dedicated to establishing a socialist police state in America. Everything they say and everything they do aims at that end. If gun control comes to America, the next step by the Left will be a demand for disarmament of the both the police and the armed forces.

The Left's long term goal will be that the only ones left with weapons will be socialist heroes such as Antifa, BLM, etc. and with the proper training and indoctrination, certain government agencies under the direct control of the Left.

Pa. D said...

What a load of old codswallop a Muslim in America will almost certainly run over people with a truck or some other vehicle in the near future, America has already had its fair share of Islamic attacks, 9/11, Fort Hood, San Bernadino, Orlando, so Europe is hardly out on a limb when it comes to Islamic terrorism, but the bottom line is people in Europe for the most part can let their kids go to school without any fear of some suicidal teen going on a rampage after raiding his fathers gun arsenal, or not be worried about going to work the day after a colleague was fired for fear he might shoot up the workplace to settle his grudge, or estranged wives won't be blown away along with their kids because they dared issue divorce papers etc etc etc, no matter how much you try to dress it up with pathetic excuses to justify your legalised murder machines in the form of all sorts of weaponry, the rest of the civilised world will continue to laugh at you, pity has long gone out the window, oh but I hear you say what about our precious 2nd amendment?, you would be forgiven for thinking it was written by two kids in kindergarten so ambiguous is it, but the fact of the matter is it was written well over 200 years ago to be totally and utterly obsolete in todays modern society!.

Pa. D said...

If you don't publish my comment makes your often interesting blog null and void, is it a blog where only "I love Daniel comments are allowed?

Dymphna said...

Prohibition of alcohol allowed the Kennedys and Fitzgeralds to add to their wealth via the Irish mob's 'rum-running'.

Anonymous said...

We are being disarmed morally and politically, in the guise of concern. Here comes the Fascist State. Get ready.

Just a common 'tater said...

Sultan K: The main problem with your arguments is that they are based on facts, not emotions. Therefore the MSM will avoid discussing any of these. Some of the above commenters have pointed out that we are now getting mounting silence regarding the shooting. I wonder what is being hidden.

Pa.D: Unfortunately, it is true that firearms have been used to kill many people in crimes, terrorism, and mental illness fueled rages. Unfortunately, when only the government has guns, the citizens often suffer even worse carnage. Try studying the Jewish and Armenian genocides for starters. Then check out people like Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin for how well their subjects fared when disarmed. Also, please pick your favorite right that is protected by the Bill of Rights and see if you would like that cancelled out. Remember this: The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not grant the enumerated rights to citizens. We have these rights as we are born Freemen (generic, not sexist) and have the right to keep and bear arms to defend ourselves, our country, and our families. Subjects, as in the UK can have rights granted and revoked at the will of the ruling authority. I could go on, but I hope you get the point.

I personally see no practical use for a bump stock or similar appliances that alter the function of a semi-auto firearm. However, this is just another facetious argument for the oligarchs and elites to render our Bill of Rights null and void.

Dennis Latham said...

Pa.D: Are you from the part of Europe we saved or the part we kicked the stuffing out of? That's one reason we have our gun rights so we can protect our own country and then save others who have given up all their rights. Liberals make no sense.

Anonymous said...

Pa.D.:

You appear to have a bad case of 'marxo-schumer pelosia', a vicious, rotting brain disease caused by sniffing too many unicorns. Try collecting whatever remaining logical faculties persist in your cranial cavity, and see if you can understand this: people who break the law are called 'criminals'. It's a technical term. Therefore, passing the most draconian firearms laws you can imagine will never prevent 'criminals'---gangbangers and terrorists and the insane---from obtaining guns, because ignoring the law is what criminals, by definition, do. They're not suddenly doing to stop obtaining arms simply because there's a law against it. ("Hey, guns were banned yesterday; I think I'll have to go back to school and finish up my degree in Engineering.") No, they obtain weapons regardless of any weapons law, in order to break other laws and to commit other crimes.

Gun laws only deprive law-abiding citizens of their ability to protect themselves from people who don't give a damn about the law, including corrupt, totalitarian politicians.

You are a gull of the political cynics and charlatans of the Left who fully understand this fact, but who would like nothing more than to make you and me incapable of protecting ourselves from their totalitarian oppressions.

John C. said...

I wasn't aware that Pa. D was the person who determines what is "null and void" at this blog or anywhere else. Thanks for that update. I am glad you printed his moronic, sophomoric diatribe of the usual "Europe is better than America" leftist nonsense. Hey Pa.D, the reason we're here was because our ancestors wanted to get the hell out of Europe, not bring their stupidity here. But thanks for adding the radical lefts usual idiotic talking points for giving up our Freedoms but we've heard it before. Thanks, but no thanks.

Red Thomas said...

The "Explosive" in Vegas was Tannerite, a binary (gotta mix two compounds for it to work
) explosive whose primary task is generating light, lots of smoke, and pushing air around to make a loud noise. It is renowned for it's lack of work that makes it a toy. It would really be nice if folks would be informed prior to putting crap out there that works in the favor of gun owner hate groups.

Anonymous said...

I read Pa. D's comment and I had to laugh. In the first place, this person totally overlooks the fact that those schools and work places where shootings happened were strictly gun-free zones. So just that fact kicks the gun-control myth in the seat of the pants.

Secondly, he (or she) cavalierly ignores the part in Daniel's article which states that criminalizing firearms will merely create a black market where anything goes, as is always the case when something is criminalized. Don't take my word for it. How did crmininalizing drugs help the war on drugs? Has criminalizing pedophilia stopped the sexual abuse of children? Prostitution has been a crime for 2000+ years making it the "oldest profession in the world."

Daniel is right. Gun control - like prohibition and drugs - will only make weapons a matter of money and connections.

But don't try to explain that to our gun-control advocate. Like all the rest of them, Pa.D believes that criminalizing weapons will automatically remove all guns from all hands, destroy the weapons market (both the legal and illegal variety), and restore human decency in criminals and bring wackos back to their senses.

And these are the people who presume to preach about "common sense laws" to the rest of us, mere mortals. Now tell that is not a good reason to laugh.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you mentioned drug prohibition. Ending that would do to violence in Chicago what repeal of alcohol prohibition.......did to violence in Chicago back in the 1930's.

We should end all prohibition. Drugs, guns, and whatever else people want to do that isn't harming others. Prohibition never works.

To Pa. D Laugh all you want. We don't care. There is no longer a civilized world anyway. it was a white patriarchal thing and you leftists have almost killed it. And if you want our guns, come and take them!

Chuck said...

" Pa.D"-- the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is 'ambiguous' only to those incapable of thinking clearly. Our Founders and the Authors of our Constitution understood that 'Personal safety' was a 'Personal responsibility'...and, additionally, that the only way to ensure that our God given rights were not usurped by a despotic government would be an armed populace.

lgstarr said...

Re: Dymphna's comment on Prohibition and the Kennedys. My first husband's family was old Boston money (DAR/Mayflower...started Radcliffe college) and they looked WAY down their noses at the Kennedys (bootleggers!!) and even Jacqueline (a whore!).

Anonymous said...

Daniel, you left a big one out ... Koolaide.
Jim Jones
Excellent article, as always. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the mass murder at the Happy Land social club in 1990. An ejected drunk came up with a "plan" in about 30 seconds, then returned with $1 of gasoline to burn the place down--killing 87 people. His "escape plan"? He went home to sleep it off.
Sort of makes "an evil genius", "bump stocks", "an arsenal of guns", "thousands of rounds of ammunition", "meticulous planning", weeks or months of preparation, and extraordinary financial resources... irrelevant.

ordude said...

Great piece. I've saved it for reference.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't one of the first things Nazi Germany did was to eliminate private ownership of firearms?
I've noticed that for some strange reason criminals and Moslem terrorists don't seem to respect gun control laws. It's surprising I know.
When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see is that the people who demand "gun control" already live in largely gun free "bubbles" on the east and west coast's and in isolated urban pockets around America. They don't understand (and don't want to understand) that ten hours after passage of a ban. ANY BAN the fed up red necks in "flyover" are going to start the systematic extermination of the left. The "rednecks" don't see guns as the problem, they see communist's and all the rest of the left as the problem. Most of them have come to believe that the only way to end that problem is through a radical application of starvation, rife fire, napalm and rope. The last time Joe Bob got this angry he and his buddy's burned all of Europe and Asia to the ground in 2 and 1/2 years. No one, of the senile fools in DC or the communist clowns in NY and LA have a clue what will happen when they try this.

fsy said...

Has anything come out in the past week about details on the shooter and his motivation? It really seems like this is being hushed up.

Anonymous said...

SK: Only tremendous respect for you, but please read investigative reporter Jayna Davis's "The Third Terrorist." OK City was NOT a "non-muslim-connected" attack.

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