23 June 2016

Sit on it: the gun debate today

It's a bit silly to see Rep. John Lewis, an authentic hero of the civil-rights movement, treat the Democratic demonstration in the House of Representatives as a "sit-in." That's a dubious assertion of moral equivalence, considering that the original sit-ins involved an element of physical risk that was almost entirely absent in the Capitol building yesterday. The whole point of a sit-in, some would say, was to call attention to the immoral absurdity of segregation by making someone arrest you or beat you up to enforce it. So unless the House Democrats were expecting Republicans or National Rifle Association members to charge in and shoot them, their little Occupy moment doesn't rise to the gravitas of a true sit-in. The most they had to deal with was an idiot Texas Republican with a short attention span who seemed to believe that only the last two highly-publicized mass shootings were relevant to the current gun-control debate. Rep. Gomer, or whatever his name is, presumably ranks among the opponents of the proposal to forbid people on the "terrorist watch list," aka the Terrorist Screening Database, from purchasing assault weapons. Such a proposal would seem to be the no-brainer of all time, but instead we hear Republicans and NRA hacks whining that the list is too large and some people are on it unfairly, or by mistake. I take this to mean that there are too many white conservative Christians on the list for their comfort. Too bad: if there isn't a process for applying to be removed from the list, make sure there is one and go ahead with the legislation. Instead, it seems unlikely that even a compromise proposal that would limit the ban to those on the more stringent "no-fly" list will pass. In President Obama's final year in office there seems to be even more clinging to guns (and in some cases, religion) than ever. The NRA even found itself to the left of Donald Trump at one point this month, gently reminding the presumptive candidate that it might not be the best idea to let people drinking in nightclubs carry firearms. They are not far behind him, however, in their longing for a return to traditional values and the good old days -- true or not -- of the Wild West. It makes you wonder what a modern Wyatt Earp would actually do.


Anonymous said...

Well, considering we are, for all intent and purpose, at war with islam (not muslims necessarily, but definitely with islam) and our President refuses to acknowledge this. I've watched a couple of videos wherein former "radical" muslims who now claim to be moderate and former muslims who are now either christian or atheist all claim the problem IS islam and by refusing to even discuss it, the left is inviting more disaster. Given that both the father and step-father of our current President are muslims, one wonders if he is capable of being at all objective on the subject.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, the right, in general, seems incapable of being objective on the issue of gun control. I've said before, sane and reasonable laws ensure that insane and unreasonable people can not get firearms. So the only people, logically, who would oppose such laws are insane and/or unreasonable.

Samuel Wilson said...

Like many people on the (broadly defined) left, the President probably can't address the problem of Islam without superimposing an anti-racist narrative on it. To use the language of 2001, while you reject Muslims for what many of them do,or for what all theoretically do, many on the left assume that people (whites especially) hate Muslims for what they are (foreign, dark-skinned, different dress, etc.)According to that narrative, Islamic terrorism only gives bigots an excuse to do what they wanted to do before terrorism or "war" started.

On the other hand, the challenge post-Orlando is to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time: dealing with both the specific threat of "radical Islam" and the ecumenical threat of easy access to firearms designed for mass slaughter. While the Democrats may be accused of exploiting Orlando (as they allegedly "exploit" every amoklauf or terrorist shooting) to push a gun-control agenda while dodging the Islamic problem, the NRA and their Republican stooges can also be accused of exploiting the Orlando shooter's religion and current hostility to Islam to dodge the larger issue of gun control.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "radical" islam. What the terrorists do is condoned, even demanded, in the koran. It is right there for everyone to read for themselves. There are muslims who lack the spine to do what is required of them, according to their own holy scripture, but that doesn't let the religion of the hook because some followers don't completely follow.

The fact is, there are over 100 verses in the koran inciting, justifying or commanding violence against non-muslims. There are verses in the koran stating the circumstances when it is allowable for muslims to lie: to their own spouses, to other muslims and to non-muslims. Historically speaking, the founder of islam took up arms, raised an army and set about conquering as much of the known world as he could and he did NOT do so "peacefully". As he conquered, he forced conversion and slaughtered everyone who refused. This is all right in the koran. He "married" a young girl of six years of age and consummated that marriage when she was nine years of age, again, this is right in the koran. So if the founder of a religion is a mass-murderer and a child rapist, how could any religion he begins, be "good"? If a religion begins violently, attributes a good deal of its growth to violence and its adherents continue to commit prescribed violence against non-believers, even against members of its own religion, how can that religion make any honest claim of being peaceful?

Finally, the stated goal of islam, according to the koran, is world domination. Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun
(Fitna or fitnah means "temptation, trial; sedition, civil strife")
(Zalimun means "polytheist" or "non-believer")

Islam is NOT peaceful. Certain of its adherents may be non-violent, but there is no denying that the religion is a religion of intolerance and violence. It's core beliefs are antithetical to the ideas of freedom held most dearly in the West. The culture of islam is completely incompatible with Western culture. Muslims know and understand this. Then why do they insist on emigrating to nations whose culture they despise? There is only one logical answer: Because their intention is to destroy Western culture and forcefully replace it with that perversion they call "islam". Trust a muslim at your own risk.

Samuel Wilson said...

Don't forget: two thoughts at the same time....

Anonymous said...

Those two thoughts don't necessarily follow. As we saw in Boston, firearms aren't the only manner of mass mayhem. Again, an attack by muslims whose community HAD to have had an inkling what those two brothers were up to.

So yes, gun control is a priority. A priority we could probably get the right to compromise on, or at least undercut a huge chunk of their argument, by banning islam and deporting all muslims, if necessary, rescinding the citizenship of any natural born or naturalized citizen. If at some point in the future, there is an islamic reformation wherein all violent doctrines are unanymously shunned and any thought of world domination is renounced, then we can talk about immigration.

Samuel Wilson said...

Oklahoma City proved your first point already, but it is a point worth repeating. I still doubt whether anything would persuade Republicans to compromise on gun control, but you could very well undercut a huge chunk of their voting base with your suggestions, as long as the voters don't take the position that those people shouldn't have anything, but we still have a right to everything we can lay our warm, live hands on because of crime, "gubmint," etc.

Anonymous said...

I have an ongoing debate with a self-described conservative at work on the gun issue. Even though he doesn't own a gun and doesn't have an interest in owning one at this time, his take is "you can't tell me I can't have one if I want one, because the second amendment."

My argument is that there are 3 main basis for pro-gun:
1) The hunter/sport shooter.
2) I need to defend myself and family from the "bad guys".
3) We need guns in case the gubbermint gits too big.

1) I have no problem with.
2) Then you should be supporting legislation to eliminate the root cause of crime, and support legislation to ban street gangs. (Yeah, I know, Constitutional rights - but I am tired of criminals using the Constitution as a shield to protect their "right" to prey on society.)
3) We have a thing called "election". If our government EVER gets to that point, where jack-booted thugs feel free to kick down your door in the night and drag you away, it's our own fault for continuing to support a corrupt two-party system; for continuing to support an uncontrolled, greed-driven capitalist economy; for allowing ourselves to become so divided and unwilling to cooperate with one another because of...reasons.

In other words, as others have said before - - - "Figure it out for yourself, or obey without question."