Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TYT - Have We Reached the Tipping Point on Gun Violence?

YouTube - Have We Reached the Tipping Point on Gun Violence?

The Young Turks ... you gotta love 'em.

TYT is a "liberal radio and internet talk show airing on Sirius satellite radio" (although they would probably prefer the term "progressive", if not "moderate") which never misses a chance to stick it to the "Right Wing Nuts".

If I seem to overstate my estimation of their political position, go to their website. They have a constant-running podcast during which the expressions "Right Wing" and "Progressive" are rarely omitted during interviews. Or if you don't want to listen to any more of their political agenda than is minimally necessary, just look at the blogroll on the left sidebar.

Well, their sidebar would be on the left side of their webpage, wouldn't it?

Still, they work hard to present their point of view, and you can't help admiring their energy.

(Excuse me while I pause to stop their annoying constantly running podcast. There doesn't seem to be any way to shut it down except to cancel the website.)

In this particular YouTube presentation (April, 2009), the presenter describes five " Shootings over the weekend", and then asks whether it isn't time for the NRA and the Gun Control Advocates to get together and say: "Hey, things are getting a little out of hand!"

Here are some of the points presented:

"... he committed suicide after he murdered his children, I aways wish they would reverse it."

"You know when your guns get taken away? When you use them against police officers. (...) So he killed three cops, basically in an ambush. (...) Look, I don't know how much we're suppose to say or not say it, but obviously he bought into the Right Wing ideology ... come on, the guy is clearly a Right Wing Nut that thinks Obama is going to take his guns away so he uses them against cops. ... So look at it, we had someone who is basically a Right Wing Nut who shot three police officers in the head."

"So that's five massive shootings within the span of a couple of weeks. (...) When do we get to the point when we say: 'We've gotten to the tipping point?'"

"Hey, wait a minute. Maybe it doesn't really help ... if all these people are armed. That if we don't allow everybody to get a gun so damn easy in this country, that perhaps it doesn't help that one (turns up hurting?) in terms of violence."

"I don't know if it's in the American tradition to ban all guns. But do we have to get stricter on guns? Absolutely! These should be the hardest things to get. You should have to go through a helluva lot of (trips?) to make sure that you're a guy we can trust. Instead, they hand them out at WalMart! They're the easiest thing in the world! You come in, you're like I'd like a gun here da-da-da boomp boom you're walking out with a gun."

"So my point of question in this regard is this: what will it take for the NRA and Gun Rights Advocates to say 'hey you know what? Maybe this is getting a bit out of hand. Maybe we should have some reasonable regulation of ... of guns in this country."

"At some point you say hey you know what? Maybe it's a dumb idea to give everybody a gun ... really really easy. Because it turns out a certain percentage of the population is a little unbalanced."

"Uh well I'm sure that politically we have NOT got to that point, so our politicians will continue to bow down to the NRA ... because the Democrats are so deathly afraid to touch this (stuff?) ... so we're going to get NO action on it and I don't know when we finaly say 'enough is enough'."

Okay, so I've been grabbing sound-bites like mad and I'm afraid I may not have transcribed the talking points as precisely as I might have wished. You view the video, let me know where I've quoted it incorrectly. But I'm pretty sure I've got the gist of it.

I'm not going to tell you what to think about this video. Still, there are a couple of points which just cry out for response.

Guns should be the hardest thing to get. Instead, they're the easiest thing to get.
I don't think so. Name one single consumer product, the acquisition of which is more fraught with government regulations.

Your car? I don't think so. You only have to pass a driving test, which is in your Skills Suite, not among your Legal concerns.

If you have had a Domestic Violence charge levied against you, you cannot legally possess a firearm ... even though you legally possessed it before the charge was accepted by the courts. You must dispose of weapons if you are convicted of a felony, and there is no mechanism for reimbursement of the value of the objects.

No, a firearm is the only object which absolutely requires that your personal record be reviewed to insure that you are not a felon (past or present), do not have a Domestic Violence charge on your record, and you are not ... for want of a better phrase ... a "Mental Case".

You can be a convicted felon, a wife beater and a pedophile, and psychotic: and you can still own a car and legally drive it if you can pass the driving test.

Might we point out that driving a car is legally a "privilege", while owning a firearm is a "right". There are distinct legal differences between the two terms, and if you don't understand the differences ... just try to buy a shotgun in America.

Some of the points made in the video are not controversial in my mind.

* Are you feeling grouchy and unloved, inclined to take up a weapon to kill your family and then yourself? I agree with the presenter. Why not kill yourself, and if that doesn't resolve your upset THEN look around for victims. (No, I don't advocate suicide except in situations when the alternative is homicide.)

* Killing other people is bad; killing policemen undermines our thin veneer of civilization and should be universally condemned.

*"At some point you say hey you know what? Maybe it's a dumb idea to give everybody a gun ... really really easy. Because it turns out a certain percentage of the population is a little unbalanced." Yeah, we don't allow crazies to own guns. So you tell me, Mr. Presenter, how we determine who is crazy and who is just eccentric.

I think this last point is seminal. The Young Turks advocate for " ... making it really, really" difficult to buy a firearm. There should be some sort of checks on who can buy a gun.

Well, there ARE background checks against everybody who buys arms from a licensed dealer, and still there are "mass murders" of innocents by people who in retrospect should not be allowed to possess a firearm.

The Young Turk we see here today has NO solutions to offer. All he has is rhetoric and emotion. Sure, we feel sorry for the children and the Alzheimer patients and the other innocents who fall victim to Gun Violence. We're all looking for a solution. The Young Turk has nothing at all except the old familiar Liberal Left admonition: "If it saves just one child ..."

Here, as an alternative, is a list of solutions:

  • Marry and love your spouse
  • Support your family, nourish your children
  • Teach your children that some values are absolute, teach them the difference between Right and Wrong, and encourage them always to Do Right
  • Give a fair day's work for a fair day's pay and admonish your children to do the same in their turn
  • Love your brother and your sister, keep them happy and prosperous
If you find that difficult to remember, there are always the Ten Commandments to keep as a moral guide.

NOW let's go to the video.

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