Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gun "Paranoia"

You may have seen the NRA's attack ad that was put out earlier this week wherein the organization criticizes Obama for both sending his kids to a school with armed guards and expressing skepticism about placing armed guards in schools across the country.

Actually, Obama expressed skepticism that armed personnel in schools was the "only" answer, suggesting that he was willing to consider it. To be sure, citizen disarmament is mostly pontificated by middle-class liberals living in safe neighborhoods, so there's more than enough hypocrisy and smug, self-righteous ignorance to go around. The NRA's ad isn't quite fair, though.

Just the same, some guy named Paul Waldman takes offense at the ad in a very interesting way:
A sane person might argue that the president and his family require special protection because they face threats the rest of us don't. But the NRA and many of its most fervent supporters don't see it that way. As far as they're concerned, all of us are just as threatened as the person in the Oval Office. The fact that you're an ordinary person and not the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth doesn't mean you haven't already been targeted by an al Qaeda death squad or a murderous drug gang, so you'd better be prepared, not just with a gun but with an entire arsenal of military-style weaponry.
I don't know what Waldman means about an arsenal of "military-style" weaponry (and I'm almost positive he has no clue, either). But his reasoning is nonsensical and contrary to very recent evidence. The murdered children and adults at Sandy Hook did not consider themselves "as threatened as the person in the Oval Office," but they're all dead nevertheless. It's not a "paranoid fantasy" to imagine that an elementary school shooting might happen. It happened a few weeks ago. It's as if Waldman wants us to remember Sandy Hook for the purpose of gun control, but also forget Sandy Hook lest we draw conclusions with which he disagrees.

Elsewhere, Waldman complains about the gun nuts
who can't talk about guns for 30 seconds without bringing up Hitler (who, for what it's worth, didn't actually disarm the German people, as so many gun advocates believe).
True, Hitler did not disarm the German citizenry---he only disarmed the Jews and other undesirables. And now I'm trying to think if there were any ethnic or religious minorities in Germany that were the victims of government oppression...hmm...having trouble here...

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