Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
60 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts

The Stronger the Public Outrage After Bloodshed, The Greater the Gun Surge

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Funny 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 2/13/13
Become a Fan
  (26 fans)

opednews.com


by click here

And the envelope, please. Winner of the elbows down, muzzle up award for the Most Predatory, Most Immunized American Industry . . . yes, consumer firearms. After all, corporate raiders like Romney limit plundering to jobs, tax loopholes, pensions, and businesses with credit lines. Most kindergarteners need not fear them, unless parents were outsourced or pensions stripped. Not so the firearms industry, playing both ends against the middle by leveraging mass shootings into paranoia about dire, looming reforms, spurring a sale surge unanticipated before the calamity.

Hats off to any business model that capitalizes on the direct, if criminal execution of products they tout for immense power and range. Some sharpshooting devices use computer-guided scopes that turn amateurs into top snipers, firing off armor-piecing ammo dangerous a mile away. Unlike corporate predators, arms makers boast blanket immunity against all consequences, whether from their choice of retailers, how its shadiest operators do business, the destination (say, Mexican drug lords), or all subsequent domestic carnage. No doubt, they deserve special treatment for doing a public service, as their PR proclaims: "guns make us safe." Of course we'd have more than anecdotal assertions were Congress to reverse its NRA-driven prohibition against federal agencies publicizing the mounds of key gun/crime statistics they dutifully amass each year.   

Tragic Opera in Full Sway

And the cycle of violence is in full sway, as Sandy Hook terror hangs in the air, inciting both sustained revulsion and chatter by Democrats on nominal "gun control" they avoided like the plague. Curiously, however, the louder the reform demands, the more overwrought the lobbyist-gun propaganda. Why, NRA gun owners end up as victims, too, punished for exercising their rights.   And positions are both reversed and not open to debate, whether obvious background checks (the NRA once supported) or armed school guards (which it once fiercely opposed). In no time, gun advocates clamor that all registration intrusions mandate government control, presaging punitive taxation, outright bans, even the horror of confiscation. This commotion from dog whistles and blatant sirens drives the now inadequately-armed NRA members rushing to clear shelves of any weapon in the media bullseye.

Until we appreciate the dynamic circle of violence here, plus move beyond simply demonizing self-interest parties, don't expect more than marginal change. Until we widen the scope beyond the virtually impossible task of "gun control" (with 300 million home firearms), what are the chances to balance the rights of a vociferous minority against the human rights of a majority, especially innocent children? Of course, if more guns actually made us safer, why isn't America a nearly violence-free mecca?

Our "gun violence problem" thus transcends guns alone. Since trained hunters and gun veterans conscious of safety are presumably stocked up, tossing millions more handguns into the fray only arms the less expert, less safety-conscious users. Plus, if we don't check varieties of widespread gun trafficking -- and how to reduce criminal exchanges -- rest assured guns will "trickle down" to the unstable agents of social disorder, like militant secessionists or Confederates replaying the Civil War.

Unwanted Exceptionalism

Two straightforward questions arise: why is this industry shielded from liability from any consequences of gunplay? Second, how do we break up this eerie dance of death by gun opponents and owners alike that ends up ironically serving arms industry growth? Other industries profit from disasters, but few (excluding military suppliers) cause the results. Construction firms need not drum up hurricanes to keep busy for years afterwards. Security firms need not commit crimes to swell anxiety and demand. What other industry, crudely speaking, offers a superior Carnage to Sales Ratio? And yet, with Orwellian duplicity, the nastier, more armed the "bad guy," the more fully-armed must be the "good guy."

What food, drink, or tobacco commodity would last ten minutes if inextricably linked to fatalities or permanent disability? When else is the answer to something unsafe more of the same? Any imputation that a product imperils the general welfare, from candy to cabbage, or cars to baby carriages, and bingo, immediate recall. Any snack food tied to a fraction of the accidental handgun deaths would be confiscated and incinerated. Our "gun culture problem" worsens because firearms have special status not given foodstuffs. It's easier to recall a dangerous toy gun than a defective real one.

Plus, even guilt by association that shreds brand names leaves weaponry unfazed, sometimes making them more prized. If crazed terrorists only drove red Hummers into schoolrooms, how great would the negative sales be? If any named product, from cell phones to soft drinks, was incessantly linked to secessionist militias, imagine the PR pushback, pooh-poohing "mere coincidence." When cigarettes only smelled of death and disease, they grew filters to accommodate addictive, terrified smokers. In short, other products that damage bodies lose credibility and face fallout. Why are guns so special, especially handguns whose home access facilitates thousands of suicides, the highest national category for gun deaths?

Let's make it simple: life vs. death

Perhaps the gun debate will mature, shedding simplistic Second Amendment bombast, even reach this core equation: yes, gun owners have rights but not so absolute to violate the higher rights of children to survive childhood. When do we reverse the NRA's veto on gun death research, so we can move from "gun control" to proposals for "violence reduction?" Certainly, let's address violent games and movies, explaining in detail why a worldwide phenomenon doesn't reproduce our mortality rates anywhere else. And more mental health monitoring, by all means. 

And when do we talk handguns, causing over 90% of gun violence? Assault rifles remain a drop in the statistical bucket, but that bucket fills evermore with innocent blood. As with other daunting moral conundrums, like abortion, the issue does not distill into absolute commandments or Constitutional fixations, but how to balance the legal right of self-defense (or hunting and practice shooting) against that other more valuable, more universal human right called staying alive.

Even this backward Supreme Court in '08 understood the tension between rights. "Like most rights the second amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner and for whatever purpose."   Hear that, Wayne LaPierre? Guns ultimately are either worth more than human life, or less. All the rest is noise.   

 

Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92. From '92-02 he did marketing (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Summer in the GOP Asylum: "Who are these guys?"

Trickle-down Gulf Wreck-onomics

"Apocalypse Now' Vogue Engulfs Chicken Littles

Moses Kaput -- Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy

"God Particle' Refudiates the Religious Right

Tea Party Palin Is Toast, Forfeiting Senate Supremacy While the GOP Romps

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
9 people are discussing this page, with 60 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

But ultimately ridiculing the propaganda machine b... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 11:10:05 AM
Guns stores across America are sold out. If those ... by Bill Johnson on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 1:57:38 PM
That gun sales spike after reform talk tells me th... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:15:04 PM
... driving gun sales, Bill.  But it gets lit... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 8:40:26 PM
I agree with your conclusions but I am probably th... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 9:10:52 PM
"... exactly how does your scholarship apply to my... by Michael Gillespie on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 11:12:40 PM
The U.S. regularly exports numerous iterations of ... by Paul Kibble on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:05:44 PM
... several decades of scientific research and tho... by Michael Gillespie on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:48:41 PM
You don't need to reprint the same extracts again ... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 6:33:53 PM
Over 80 percent of the gun deaths in the world's 2... by Michael Gillespie on Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 7:52:56 PM
The problem is that your argument for the swiss mo... by J. Edward Tremlett on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 8:03:54 AM
If you check out the NRA's "enemy list," as Lawren... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 10:58:18 AM
... but, with regard to homogeneity as a factor in... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 12:28:30 PM
We're getting nowhere. You still have not answered... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:21:57 AM
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a 3-0... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:24:58 AM
Henry Jenkins, PhD, Provost's Professor of Communi... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:27:13 AM
he Economist, in its Apr. 4, 2005 editorial "Chasi... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:29:12 AM
Frank Gaskill, PhD, and Dave Verhaagen, PhD, Found... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:35:35 AM
... apologists, and flaks are beneath contempt.&nb... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 12:52:42 PM
I flagged this because it does not advance your ar... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:32:22 PM
... that industry efforts to misrepresent the harm... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 3:25:33 PM
Thanks for the ad hominem assault, Michael! If I w... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 1:44:08 PM
Nothing like lucidly and logically putting in his ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:00:00 PM
This is an issue that engages passionate responses... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:04:33 PM
Who knew that under a cloak of such voluminous dat... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:38:04 PM
I can and do cite literally thousands of peer-revi... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:28:14 PM
There are many valid points being made here on all... by Gustav Wynn on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 4:10:45 PM
A guy who shames debating opponents (bereft of log... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 4:23:37 PM
"The only people responsible for mass murders are ... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 5:08:00 PM
Hardly!  Much of what you call expert opinion... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:10:00 PM
LOL---as in the pathetic sound of a lone man laugh... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 3:11:38 PM
...independent reviews by the U.S. Surgeon General... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 3:13:47 PM
So, your best evidence is a C.J. Ferguson article,... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 4:26:15 PM
Needless to say, I cited other evidence as well (i... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 5:42:14 PM
Oh, look, more "junk science" from "industry flaks... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 5:46:49 PM
Along with your inexplicable rudeness to each and ... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 6:15:27 PM
I just finished reading one Prof. Lott's MORE GUNS... by Jill Herendeen on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:55:02 PM
... just click on the citation number links in, fo... by Michael Gillespie on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 6:48:44 PM
See alternate sources posted above.... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:38:50 AM
For 1) taking the time to take a commenter's posit... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 12:44:29 PM
Why not cite a few specific examples? You are intr... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:45:43 PM
Lott is a gun pimp for the NRA whose central thesi... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 6:51:55 PM
Dudes!  You may well be overlooking the culpr... by Jill Herendeen on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 6:03:15 PM
Beware comparisons of very different entities, wit... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:56:19 PM
The notion that all teachers in Israel are armed i... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 8:25:19 PM
have killed millions, thousands, maybe even hundre... by molly cruz on Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:34:14 PM
there are more regulations restraining the intake ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:04:19 AM
Challenge their disingenuous, seeming-sincere rhet... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 5:45:45 PM
You really don't wear hysteria well. In my experie... by Paul Kibble on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 6:09:39 PM
I will follow your earlier commitment to not again... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 6:27:15 PM
... who shill for the mob that pumps lucrative, de... by Michael Gillespie on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 1:00:24 AM
Violent media product incites gun massacres. ... by Michael Gillespie on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 9:39:21 AM
This represents  a Guinness-book level of zer... by Paul Kibble on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 9:20:17 PM
Or, in other words, an Olympic performance in the ... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 9:39:25 PM
The entertainment industry's response to the Sandy... by Michael Gillespie on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 7:25:18 PM
Michael:I've been on this site for a number of yea... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 2:30:34 PM
Point by point:* Ad hominem attacks are ridiculous... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 2:31:39 PM
J.E.T.--Whatever your self-confessed (modest) indi... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 4:22:55 PM
I do what I can.I think there's a lot to talk abou... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 4:27:37 PM
Who knows, maybe Rob will include some in any intr... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 4:39:29 PM