Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scapegoat Hunter - gun control

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Scapegoat Hunter
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Scapegoat Hunter - Gun Control
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Last night, Jon Stewart spent three-quarters of his show on America's gun control debate (and then, his guest, General Stanley McChrystal, made a valid comment about it, too).

Stewart summarizes the whole thing pretty well, doesn't he? I particularly liked that graph about drunk driving, which we have tried to do something about - with considerable success.

There are no magic bullets - pardon the phrase - but lowering the murder rate is a worthwhile goal, even if we'll never eliminate all murders.

But this is about paranoid fantasies of fighting off UN black helicopters or jack-booted government thugs, fantasies that might be appropriate for a computer game, but little else. The fact that we won't do anything to limit the number of real people being murdered, just because of such paranoid fantasies, is simply insane.

We take steps to lower the number of drunk drivers. We take steps to limit child deaths in auto accidents, accidental poisoning, fires,... any number of different ways. So why won't we take steps when it comes to gun control?

And don't give me the Second Amendment! First, a random lunatic with assault weapons has nothing to do with "a well-regulated militia."

And second, we have freedom of speech, too, yet that allows all sorts of reasonable restrictions on speech. We have freedom of religion, but you still have to follow the laws of this country.

The First Amendment is at least as important as the Second - and it's certainly far clearer in intent - but you still can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Inciting a riot is still a crime. There are still limitations on commercial speech, on libel, on fraud, on the protection of intellectual property, etc.

And you can worship as you wish, but within limits. You can't burn witches alive. You can't sacrifice even willing volunteers. You have to follow building and safety codes, environmental restrictions, tax laws, etc.

But sadly, we Americans are reality-challenged. We tend to be faith-based, rather than evidence-based, and our fantasies mean more to us than the real world. Well, it's the 21st Century now, and that's become increasingly dangerous, a threat to ourselves and everyone else.


Jeff said...

Something to add to this from Frank Schaeffer:

"The mainstream media don’t have the courage to say it but the Second Amendment “defense” is nothing to do with today’s loud defense of “gun rights.” The truth of the matter is that there is a subculture of white frightened Republicans who see their own government as a threat. They’ve embraced ignorance and a fact free life that denies evolution, gay-rights the demographic changes in America above all the fact that their fellow countrymen have rescinded our entire history of racist bigotry and voted for a black man for president. They just can’t accept this."

WCG said...

Thanks, Jeff. Wow, he makes me seem calm and mild-mannered, doesn't he? :)

He has a real point, but I have to say that he could have used an editor. The phrasing could be better, don't you think? It reads like it wasn't proofread afterwards.

Still, he's right. There's a lot of racism in the hysteria on the right, and sexism, too. White men used to be on top just... automatically. You were either born lucky or you weren't.

There's still an advantage to being a white man, but not like it used to be. And if they lose the advantage of being Christian and straight, what then? Will they have no advantage at all, competing only on their intelligence, hard work, and strength of character?