News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

There is this idiot in Idaho...

People throughout the world are ridiculing and looking at the U.S.with derisive humor.  On Christmas Eve, the BBC night service program took up the matter of the White House petition to deport CNN's Pierce Morgan.  Part of their report involved a man-on-the-street interview with a man from Idaho,  getting his opinion on the affair.

The background of the situation is that Morgan is very critical of America's gun culture.  He began his criticism of U.S. gun laws after the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Tuscon,  and in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook child massacre, he has been strongly critical of the pro-gun stance and has ridiculed the contention that more guns are the answer to America's gun violence;

"There are nearly 12,000 murders a year from guns in this country. When are you guys going to focus on that, and stop telling me the answer is more guns? It is not the answer! How many more kids have to die, before you guys say, 'we want less guns, not more?'"
Morgan called the executive director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, an "unbelievably stupid man" and a dangerous idiot, in an interview on CNN.   Pratt replied, "It seems to me you are morally obtuse.  You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.” Morgan said Pratt had "absolutely no coherent argument. You don't actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America."

The prevalence of guns in America and the rate of deaths from guns is what advocates of regulation cite as the major concern..  America has 5 percent of the world's population but owns 50 percent of the world's guns.  The deaths from guns stands at
Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600Of the murders by guns, 8 each day are of children.  The Sandy Hook elementary massacre of 20 first graders and the circumstances through which the shooter obtained the guns is sparking the call for some reasonable control of what kind of firearms should be outside the military and law enforcement agencies. 


“British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment.  We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”
The reporters from the BBC night service interviewed this guy from Idaho in regard to deporting Morgan.  He agreed.   When the reporter asked him about the First Amendment right to free speech on political matters, the man said Morgan was using the First Amendment to undercut the Second Amendment.  While the reporters from BBC discussed this, they did not offer any opinions on the conversation, but one could hear in their voices an amazed-amused shaking of their heads in disbelief.  

Of course, they White House cannot deport Morgan because his political belief offends the gun lobby.  It does call into question the interpretations of the Constitution regarding the Second Amendment.  If people have such a mistaken grasp of the First Amendment that they think a person can be deported for expressing his view on a poltical topic, how can one trust their interpretation of the Second Amendment. In fact, the preponderance of evidence in regard to the intentions of the Second Amendment is that the current loose interpretations are in error.  The main intention expressly stipulated is that the arms-bearing militia be "well-regulated."

But what the proponents of the gun culture seem unaware of is that it in engenders and expands a culture of violence as the stock response to social problems.  The adolescent bravado and belligerence of those who think their manhood and freedom issues totally from the barrel of a gun is a dangerous mentality that is self-fulfilling.  And America far exceeds any other culture for the number and magnitude of suicides and murders committed with guns.  Guns are a public health issue.  A public mental health issue.  As David Frum, former speech writer for George H. W. Bush and commentator, points out, the gun faction believes there are two classes of people:  law-abiding gun owners and criminals who design to prey upon them.  This is a paranoid schizophrenic view of the nation which might well disqualify its believers from owning guns.   It is the same kind of two-prong false thinking that contends that half the nation believe it is a victim and expects to live off the earnings of others.  It is not just that this kind of belief is false, but that it is held in the face of a constant stream of facts and evidence that it isn't so.  

The culture of violence propagates incidents  like the Aurora theater shooting, the Sandy Hook massacre, and the New York state killing of fire fighters  booby trapped by a loon.  For those who suffer mental problems, the only thing our culture of violence offers is solution by killing with guns.  It is very significant that the Aurora, Sandy Hook, and New York state shooters all used the same weapon,  The .223 Bushmaster seems the only answer to the questions in their troubled minds.  It is noteworthy that they do not look for solutions to their pain in books or religion  or any other cultural factors that build the human community.

Those who sign petitions to have someone they disagree with deported are engaging in the same kind of thinking that seems to motivate the mass shooters.  It is not a culture war.  It is a culture that only knows and thinks in terms of war.  An absurdity to this is that many people who abhor the violence committed with guns are concluding the  only protection they have against those who pack guns is a gun.  That is how far down into the reptilian pits our culture has descended. 

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Seems to have something in common with the wingnut right in South Dakota who often respond to any criticism of South Dakota with an attack suggesting the author or speaker who doe not see only the wonderfulness of South Dakota should leave the state.

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