(Image by Les femmes de sport : Preface par ArsÃ¨ne Houssaye et lettre de Catulle MendÃ¨s (1885). Scan of 2 d images in the public domain believed be free to use without restriction in the U.S.) Permission Details DMCA
(A response to Steve Rendell at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog organization.)
Subject: "You are also arguing on faith"
Steve Rendell (FAIR.ORG),
Your faith is that the several allegedly scientific tests and studies mentioned on gun violence and training have relevance to the real world, that they model actual situations as occur regularly. On faith you believe they are valid and true and beyond question.
But it appears as though you decided the conclusion and then cherry- picked pseudo-science to support that conclusion. Real incidents are not able to be reduced to statistics. The actual actions, motivations, causes, participants, outcomes, and reporting methods really do matter. Self-defense across the entire population is not a simple issue to put on a data chart. That's asinine.
The roots of America's gun violence stem primarily from something you don't even mention at all. The drug war. Forty-plus years ago the federal government declared war on the citizens of the United States over prohibition. The extreme wealth disparity, lack of job prospects for large swaths of the largely minority populations, is also central, crucial, intrinsic, fundamental to this violence. You have previously heard of gang wars and the competition for turf in the cities? That this doesn't even warrant a mention in your slanted piece is quite telling.
As for your bogus college classroom-shooting setup... if the shooter fires shots in a different location, such as another classroom first, thus alerting the students all over the campus, it's obviously a different scenario than having a trained marksman bust in and surprise people sitting at their desks. Oh, but far more likely.
Your false blanket statement about the people automatically being helpless in the face of the military ignores realities on how wars unfold and how people make decisions. According to you, "no sane person believes individuals armed with handguns and rifles would stand a chance against a trillion-dollar 21st century military backed by vast surveillance systems."
An armed population, however Steve, is less likely to be occupied by their own military in the first place, because the costs of such occupation are much greater than rolling over an unarmed population. Ergo -- it is less likely to happen, something that apparently never occurred to you. Your supposedly all-powerful techno military has been effectively defeated by the Taliban, who at one point numbered a couple of thousand guerrillas at most. The prospect of military occupation and civil war also implies multiple sides to the conflict, where military units would also face the choice of which side to throw in with. Any casual examination of modern conflicts should make that point clear.
This issue of gun rights is simply not as you presented, and I find your biased appraisal dishonest in its smug self-assuredness. Would you declare null and void the right of people to defend themselves? In their own homes? Is that not a right you believe in?
Even the framing of your title is loaded. "Owning guns doesn't stop gun violence," but that's a straw man. It doesn't "stop" gun violence, but it would take a highly deluded person to assume that home firearm ownership cannot serve to defend individuals and their families -- at all. You do seemingly acknowledge that a gun does not need to be fired to be used defensively. You do so by trying to dismiss the other side's data however, without a convincing logic to support your own position.
Your piece attempts to present nearly half of the nation (the armed half) as inept buffoons only capable of shooting themselves and their loved ones, but never to use a gun responsibly as clearly you believe the police, military, and security guards do. Far from "fair and accurate" this is one of the least fair or accurate assessments I've seen from your organization.
Your implied conclusion is disarmament. Your article leads to the idea that guns should be removed from private hands. This has happened before. The gun lobby likes to mention Nazi Germany, although I haven't verified that claim. Other nations have done similarly, and these are always lauded as successes. But we don't live in any of those countries.
I made a point about Rwanda once, as in the genocide of 1994. The weapon of choice, used to murder the bulk of the 700,000 victims, was the machete. Had that targeted population been armed, large numbers could have survived, and even more likely: the rampages wouldn't have happened in the first place. You don't charge a house with a machete when bullets can be returned.