Saturday, 29 December 2012

NRA Stupidity

  Last week NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, made a set of stupid and blatantly false statements in reaction to the Newtown shooting.
"How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk."
  This is false.  By in large the shooters target the places they do because they have some tie to that location.  In fact Columbine and Virginia Tech both had armed police officers at them.  Virginia Tech not only had armed police officers but a whole police station.  The other thing is schools all over the world don't allow guns in them but you don't see the number of shootings at schools that the USA has.

"The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?
A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?"

  Did you know that 1 in 4 people require or receive treatment for mental health issues. Look at you and a handful of your friends and if you think they are all "completely sane" then it is probably you that has some mental health issues.  I myself have seen a few different psychologists over the years and have even scene both psychologists and psychiatrist while in the U.S.M.C. with a large number of other Marines.  

  The fact is that if you try to instate some national register then you have to think about who decides who goes on it and who doesn't?  Most military that encounter combat would fit the criteria for requiring mental health treatment in some form.  I'm not saying we are all nut jobs just stating the truth.  Our training involves very specific techniques to make us able to function properly in combat conditions.  Conditions which are horrific and most people that have ever been in them wouldn't wish them on anyone else ever.  Basically the human brain is designed to stop higher order brain functions, including memory retention, in times of high stress.  Through training members of the military and certain other professions, without even knowing it, become accustom to high stress situations allowing them to think, and unfortunately remember, in these situations.  This is why military, police, fire fighters, ambulance drivers, doctors and other similar professions have such a high rate of P.T.S.D.   Are you ready to label most military members coming back from the middle east as mentally ill?  Are you ready to label many police officers as being mentally ill because of the very trait that allows them to function while under stress? 

  Don't get me wrong.  Mental health is important to me.  I don't hold a stigma with mental illness any more then I hold one against someone that has cancer because so many people have these health issues and just because someone has had an issue in the past doesn't mean that they are changed for the worse for the rest of their life.  I think we as a society need to embrace those around us that need help not make them feel more ostracised.  But that is a whole other rant for me to go into in the future. 

  Basically if you think someone is struggling with emotions reach out to them and or someone that can help them.  The facts are clear too.  People with "mental health issues" are not statistically more likely to be the perpetrator of violent crimes on others.  But they are more likely to be injured or killed by fire arms.  The fact is depression actually inhibits people from violent acts because they lack the motivation and drive to carry out acts of self harm.  Sadly it is when they start to get better that they are more likely to take their own life.  You might say "but how can a sane person kill so many people?"  Stereotyping everyone with mental health issues as violent and dangerous is like saying all young men should be viewed as potential rapists because they are so interested in sex.  It is like saying "Every gun owner is a reckless homicidal maniac because they like guns!"  The statements are blatantly false.

"Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization."

  This is a deliberate ploy to conjure up images in the mind of some mad max society where only those with guns have power.  Guess what, all these dooms day prepers aren't doing any good.  They aren't going to save us in some post apocalyptic  society.  They aren't going to save you from the next Adam Lanza.  In fact Adam Lanza's mother was one of them.  So in one breath Mr. LaPierre screams that those with mental health issues, like those that believe the world should have ended on  the 21st of December, should be put on a list but then wants us all to be that type of person who prepares for the end of civilized society.

On to Mr. LaPierre's idiot notion that movies and video games are to blame.
"And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here's one: it's called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment.""

  I know many Americans have no real understanding of the rest of the world but guess what.  The rest of the world see's the same movies you do.  The rest of the world plays the same video games as you do.  Yet the rest of the world doesn't have the same level of problem.  So either people in America are more easily manipulated and twisted mentally by "entertainment" or that isn't a significant factor in these shootings.  Video games an movies don't make people into violent killers tho violent people may be drawn to those as a form of release.  

"A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.

  I question that stat.  That means from the day a person is born they would have to see 3 murders in entertainment a day, every day until they are 18.  I wonder if they count watching a video of Hiroshima being bombed as counting as multiple that case they are off by a factor of 10 or more.  

  In the NRA's mind playing a game with violence is worse then learning to use an item that sole purpose if for killing or maiming another person.  A .223 bush master is sole purpose is for killing multiple people quickly.  Not hunting.  Not home protection.  Killing people, at ranges where any normal person is absolutely no threat to you.

"The media call semi-automatic firearms "machine guns" — they claim these civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers ... when all of these claims are factually untrue. They don't know what they're talking about!"

  I think everyone knows that journalist aren't perfect but a .223 is very similar to the rounds I used while in the Marines with an M16A2 rifle.  The rounds are designed with the same purpose.  Not for taking down a rabbit like some will make you believe because the .223 isn't much bigger then a .22 which most people think of as small.  The issue isn't just the size of the projectile but the amount of power behind the round.  As you can see those 2 rounds can have the same amount of gun powder behind them.  Ask a normal person which they'd rather be shot by if they had to choose do you think that one of those would be picked a lot less then the other?  Ask a average person the difference between a M16A2 and a Bushmaster .223 do you think they would know?  Do you think there is enough of a difference to care when one is being pointed at you?

"As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away ... or a minute away?"

  Again Columbine High School had armed police officers in the school and it DIDN'T HELP!  Why because the cops are not equipped to go up against someone with assault rifles and have to deal with the fact that the people that go on these sprees with these weapons all to often don't care if they get killed.

  This next bit is rich.
"A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the President isn't a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn't a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you."

  There is a HUGE difference between cops with guns and a neighbour like George Zimmerman that is a bit to trigger happy.  Part of what I want to see for better gun regulation is mandatory classes for gun owners.  Classes mostly in how to safely carry and more importantly store a fire arm.  Testing on the laws regarding their firearms wouldn't go astray either.  You'll also notice most police don't carry assault rifles and the ones that do have even more firearms training on the use of them.  They didn't just go down to the gun convention, when it rolled through town, and buy a AR-15 for their squad car.

"The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.
I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January"

  Yea law enforcement budgets are strained because the GOP is happy to cut back on that "discretionary spending".  You know what else is also stretched to the limit...educational resources.  His plan would cost an estimated $5,000,000,000.00 a year.  Yes FIVE BILLION DOLLARS!  How about we raise that money on yearly licences fees on firearms.  The more dangerous the fire arm the more you pay per  year towards this safety fund. We do similar things with cars so why not firearms.  

  So  $5,000,000,000.00 to put an armed security guard in every school in the nation thinking that will solve the problem.  How did that work out for Columbine High School?  The whole statement is deflection from the real issue here and that is the U.S.A. needs to decide if it wants a safer society with sensible gun regulations or if it is happy letting almost any Tom, Dick and Harry buy assault rifle at the cost of these still of mass shootings.  The U.S.A. needs to decide if one child killed by guns every 3 hours of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year is worth more then making sure gun owners are qualified and responsible enough to own the firearms they wish to possess.  They have to decide if it is ok that a child under the age of 5 is killed every 4 days by firearms.  If a child killed every 2 days because of an "accident" by a fire arm is acceptable.  People keep telling me thinks like "cars cause more deaths then guns!".  Well guess what ... we've regulated the fuck out of motor vehicles and deaths from them have gone down.  That little thing called a seat belt...REGULATION.   That speed sign saying 55...REGULATION.  Making someone take a drivers test before driving...REGULATION.  Inspecting cars to make sure they are road worthy...REGULATION.

  Why should assault rifles, which unlike cars don't have a valid every day purpose, be exempt from better regulation?  Simple answer is they shouldn't be exempt.

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