Sunday, December 23, 2012

Worth quoting: Lawrence O’Donnell

In this video MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell slowly and methodically eviscerates the marketing speech delivered by Wayne LaPierre, head of the USA’s main gun lobby group, the NRA. No one deserved this treatment more than LaPierre, who tried to exploit the massacre of little kids to make money for his group and to try and prevent more sane gun laws in the US.

The most idiotic, moronic and vile thing LaPierre said was that there should be armed police in every school. What made it such a stupid thing to say wasn’t the estimated $6.7 BILLION cost, but the fact that he apparently seriously thinks we’ll believe that it would mean massacres wouldn’t happen. The graphic below shows how pathologically stupid that is and, by extension, how vile LaPierre is for thinking we’ll fall for his bullshit.

Yesterday, I got into a “discussion” on Google+ with an advocate of “armed citizens”, someone I don’t know at all. It didn’t go well. That person used illogic, served up a mild ad hominem attack on me and was full-bore aggressive because I dared to poke holes in the "armed citizen" fallacy. Then the person dismissively shut down the debate with "honestly I am tired of this nonissue being the focus while our kids are dying," because, obviously we cannot discuss gun issues to try and come up with a rational solution to prevent kids dying without first turning the US into the Wild West. As Lawrence pointed out in the video above, such an “armed citizen” was present when a madman opened fire on a crowd gathered to meet-up with former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, but the “good guy with a gun” couldn’t fire back because he couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t accidentally kill another innocent person.

All of which, in a nutshell, is why the gun debate never gets anywhere: The gun lobby won’t tolerate any regulation, not matter how sensible, and they declare their positions to be non-negotiable. The self-righteous stand they take, that anyone who disagrees with them isn’t merely wrong but mentally and morally defective and an enemy, represents everything that’s wrong with the conservative “movement” in general, the rightwing gun lobby in particular.

The lesson I learned on Google+ was to never engage in any discussion on this issue with strangers, since it's clearly pointless. But maybe if a few more people in the mainstream media and in politics had the guts to stand up to the NRA and demand rational regulation and policies, the US might get somewhere on this issue. I’m not optimistic that will ever happen, but I keep hoping it will.

Tip o' the Hat to The Daily Kos.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

"The lesson I learned...was to never engage in any discussion on this issue with strangers, since it's clearly pointless."

You got THAT right.