20 January 2013

Rantin' and Ravin'!

With respect to the current gun control arguments, I've been seeing a  lot of fuss and bluster on both sides.  I say "both sides," because there are very few who are in the middle.  In fact, one group or the other would claim that if "you're in the middle," you're part of the problem (a position I hold, by the way).  Nonetheless, I'll try to leave those folks out of this discussion.

I'm great with people being passionate about issues, as long as they can back it up with logic and facts.  What I don't have patience for is foaming-at-the-mouth, spit-slinging tirades that are no more than emotional rants based on one person's opinion of how the world should function.

After reading the Dallas Morning News today, there's no shortage of face-palm inducing, head-shaking, sheer bewilderment over what passes for logical arguments.  There's an interview titled "In search of sensible gun control," in the Points section with Tom Diaz, a former senior analyst at the Violence Policy Center, touted in the article as "a think tank that studies the gun industry."  Just like the Taliban is a "think tank that studies American lifestyles." But I digress.

Needless to say, Diaz is pro-gun control, in spite of claims that he's a one-time NRA member, and has fired actual firearms, including AR-15s and AKs.  His answer to "if you had your way with Congress, what laws would you pass to address gun violence?," is "An effective ban on the production, import, and transfer of semi-automatic assault weapons, and high-capacity magazines and a universal background check on all gun transfers."  I think that defines what he views as "sensible."  

When asked if the majority of Americans know what an "assault weapon" really is, he states, "No...and that is precisely the axis of the problem of crafting sensible public safety laws."  Public safety laws, not gun control laws.  Nicely crafted, but also a deflection of an answer to the question.  He doesn't define what an "assault weapon" is, but he believes that banning them is the answer.

When asked about Gov. Rick Perry's reaction to the President's proposed legislation, he had this to say, "I think many Americans and many Texans would disagree, as I do, with Perry's assessment."  No hint of a suggestion for a better course of action, just a dismissal.

Here's what sums up the whole interview for me, a quote from Mr. Diaz, "What has changed?  Have Americans gotten crazier? No. The profile of gun ownership in America has been changed by a cynical gun industry that has flooded the country with military-style killing machines - namely, high-capacity semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic assault rifles."

And there it is.  Your foaming-at-the-mouth, spittle-slinging assessment of where the problem lies.  All in spite of the facts, statistics, and laws already in place.  It's the gun's fault. 
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