Thursday, May 28, 2009

Leftist Media Bias of the Day

NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is co-founder of an organization called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Now, I, too, am against illegal guns--but Bloomberg's phraseology begs the question of the permissible scope of gun control consistent with the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. And I'm suspicious of those making the rarely examined, much less established, assumption that restricting the possession of guns by law-abiding citizens reduces violence.

Which brings me to the Gotham Gazette, a web site focusing on NYC law and policy, funded by the liberal Citizens Union Foundation. On May 18th, it featured David King's long article titled New York's Gun Battle, which included this (para 8):
Bloomberg's push to rid New York City of illegal guns has seen results. The number of guns recovered from crime scenes in the city dropped by 13 percent from last year. The number of people shot to death dropped from 347 in 2007 to 292 in 2008. Overall, murders increased from 2007 to 2008, but only due to an increase in crimes committed with knives.
I agree with Kurt Hoffman in the Examiner:
The implication is that Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun jihad has been successful, despite an increase in murders, simply because fewer of those murders were committed with guns. Somehow, we are to believe that murders committed with knives are less tragic than those committed with guns. That's something in which to take comfort in your last seconds of consciousness, as you bleed out from your slashed carotid artery.

So as not to appear to be picking on the Gotham Gazette, I should point out that the above paragraph is merely a particularly illustrative example of my point. Another example can be found in the fact that in an average year, approximately half of the deaths by gunshot in the U.S. are suicides. These deaths are very often lumped in with the "gun violence" statistics, despite the rather questionable characterization of suicide as "violence." One does not, for instance, generally hear of a person who washes down a fistful of valium with a fifth of vodka as having committed "pharmaceutical violence," or of a swan dive off a penthouse balcony described as "gravitational violence."

But I digress. Let us not quibble with the notion of classifying the deliberate shooting of oneself to death as "gun violence," despite the fact that other methods of suicide are rarely, if ever, thought of as being "violent" acts. Instead, let us consider the fact that in Japan, where private ownership of firearms is regulated to an extent that even extremist anti-gun organizations like the Violence Policy Center only dream of, suicide rates are significantly higher than in the U.S. At least, though, very few of those suicides are committed with firearms. Apparently that is something from which the Japanese should take comfort.
My point: the contention that gun control makes us safer is--at best--unproven. As the liberal Gotham Gazette confirmed--albeit unintentionally, and only by overlooking the logic of its own language.

BTW, the GG article didn't mention DC Attorney General Peter Nickles's March 15th Washington Post op-ed on law enforcement since the Heller decision overturned the District's gun ban:
The D.C. police department's aggressive gun recovery efforts and the office of the attorney general's coordinated emphasis on prosecuting gun-related crimes are showing strong results: In the past year, robberies with guns have decreased 12 percent; assaults with guns have decreased 14 percent; and overall violent crime has decreased by 5 percent in the District.
(via Maggie's Farm, Never Yet Melted, SayUncle)

13 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

> I'm suspicious of those making the rarely examined, much less established, assumption that restricting the possession of guns by law-abiding citizens reduces violence.

Carl, I believe we can win on this argument, but even so, you're playing into THEIR hands by allowing them to frame it that way.

The express, Constitutional reason for the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with crime or with violence by individuals of any sort.

It has to do with citizens, in the end, maintaining control over the Federal government, and its potential for excess.

If there is any doubt of any kind about that, one need only refer to Federalist #46 for clarity.

Why let them change the playing field to one more advantageous to them? One of the biggest reasons for supporting gun control is focus on the immediate threat of guns vs. the more inchoate threat of an overpowering government.

I can grasp, and agree, that we do need to fight them on that front -- but one should always -- always -- bring the real base argument into play.

NEVER let them ignore the true purpose for The Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In any discussion of the issue, always, always bring that up and focus, in the end, on the fact that this is more -- much more -- important than individual crime.

I, for one, really, really don't believe that it is in the interests of anyone on the planet that the USA be turned into a despotism. And the only way to be certain that can't happen is for the citizens to have the capacity to revolt in the face of any form of coup d'├ętat.

Carl said...

OBH:

I agree that the wording of the Second Amendment makes the legal ramifications of the policy issue largely irrelevant. Still, though I know many that agree with your reading of the purpose behind the provision, I actually stop a bit short of your argument.

OBloodyHell said...

> I actually stop a bit short of your argument.

Carl, I see no foundation for your disagreement. The Federalist Papers were expressly written to facilitate the passage of the Constitution. They thus represent the positions of the authors as to why, how, and for what reasons it was passed. It is clear from #46 that, in the end, the express reason for the citizens owning guns is specifically to curb any effort at an overreach of power by the Fed or any subsection thereof.

That does not mean, hopefully, that we actually need to revolt in order to fix things (though, personally, I suspect it's more and more the case) because the main point is that, when it comes to the will of the people the Fed knows it cannot win by force.

It's kind of like the reason why you give a cop a gun. You don't give a cop a gun with the intention that he use it to shoot people. In fact, in many, if not most cases, if he shot someone, he screwed up.

You give a cop a gun so people will take his authority, on the scene, without argument.

In this sense, where the actions of the Fed are concerned, the people are the cops. It's their job to supervise the actions of the Fed and make sure that they toe the line, and stay within the bounds of The Law.

Guns are an acknowledgment that, in the end, We The People, not some overreaching bureaucrat, are the authorities.


"Among other things, being disarmed causes you to be despised."
- Machiavelli -


By no means is this the only argument in favor of gun ownership... It's the primary one, however, and all others are subservient to it -- if the libtards could win against every other argument -- totally and completely -- somehow, then despite that they still could not justify a UK/Aussie style gun-grab and remain truly legitimate. Crime ain't the base issue. Maintaining control of government is.

OBloodyHell said...

In addition, I'd also point out the spectacularly effective way that this policy worked in the 2000 election.

We had a defacto Constitutional Crisis on our hands. The noise was louder than the signal on who was to be PotUS, something there is no legal provision for dealing with, it being thought so unlikely.

In many nations throughout history, the end result would have been for one, then both, parties to fight it out.

They didn't do that, here, because they all know, in their bones, that the American public would not accept a decision by force.

So the result was legal maneuver, counter-maneuver, and counter-counter-maneuver until one side ran out of ideas.

And, in the end, one side conceded defeat and yielded it up.

But at no point was any thought of tossing The Law out the window and resorting to arms even vaguely considered by either side, I think.

And that's because the Big Guy always has more weapons. And we all know, in this case, who The Big Guy is. You and me, and all the rest of the people who stand ready to act as sheepdogs, as needed.

suek said...

I'm familiar with the sheepdogs essay - an excellent one - and have it in my bookmarks. The link you supplied is not the same as the one I have, so I started checking a bit. I haven't got it all straightened up yet, but found this very interesting link in the process:

http://pajamasmedia.com/ejectejecteject/2009/05/19/the-truth-about-the-atomic-bombs-print-version/

suek said...

Correction: I _thought_ I had it in my bookmarks.

Now I _have_ it in my bookmarks - once again. Thank you!

bobn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobn said...

(Damn I wish they'd fix Blogger.)

The Federalist Papers were expressly written to facilitate the passage of the Constitution.
.
Yes but *that* constitution had no Bill of Rights, hence no 2nd Amendment.

It wasn't until the Anti-Federalists raised hell that James Madison produced the Amendments.

Given what the government has done, even with the rights enumerated, where would we be without them?

bobn said...

You and me, and all the rest of the people who stand ready to act as sheepdogs, as needed.
.
How you planning on being a sheepdog with no guns, OBH?

Oh, and the Whittle piece on the A-bombing of Japan was beyond excellent.

OBloodyHell said...

Yeah, suek, Bill's old webpages got redone for the pajamas switch, and a lot of them remain apparently broken (he's aware of it, I don't know what the holdup is on fixing that). You can use the wayback copies, though, to access them... it's even easier if you have a link, since you can use the number in that link to find it on wayback.

> Yes but *that* constitution had no Bill of Rights, hence no 2nd Amendment.

It was passed expressly with the acknowledgment to the people that the BoR was to immediately follow.

> It wasn't until the Anti-Federalists raised hell that James Madison produced the Amendments.

Which is still in line with what I just said. Madison and the others probably thought it adequately understood without explanation.

As you suggest, thankfully, that presumption was not accepted, otherwise we'd be like Australia and the UK by now.

> How you planning on being a sheepdog with no guns, OBH?

If/When I feel that risk (i.e., the loss of the Right) is at hand, I'll be out getting one that day. That abrogation is not one which will happen overnight.

bobn said...

It was passed expressly with the acknowledgment to the people that the BoR was to immediately follow.
.
Only because the Anti-Federalists raised hell. The Federalists, under the presidency of John Adams, did not acquit themselves well on the subject of individual righs.

The express, Constitutional reason for the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with crime or with violence by individuals of any sort.The express language of the Constitution is that, for the reason stated, the already existing right shall not be infringed. But that was only *a* reason for that right. Read Scalia in Heller - Heller was *not* desiring a gun to overthrow the government, but to defend himself from local hoodlums.

In any case, the facts about crime and violence are also on our side, see gunfacts.info. And we must make these arguments, in order to protect ourselves from those who, unknowingly, would "give up essential liberty in order to purchase a little Temporary Safety".

If/When I feel that risk (i.e., the loss of the Right) is at hand, I'll be out getting one that day. That abrogation is not one which will happen overnight.
.
Try buying ammo online, or at WallyWorld. Handgun ammo is virtually unobtainable. So are some popular semi-auto rifle ammo. It may already be too late. It is uncertain whether it is just Obamaphobia-based demand (justifiably) overwhelming supply, or whether more sinister forces are at play. One conspiracy theory has it that the gov't is paying ammo manufacturers *not* to produce.

Carl said...

OBH;

I do have some problems with your interpretation, but I'll leave them for another day. My departure is mostly tactical--I choose to emphasize a different theory, because it reaches the same result with equally valid reasoning (trading Blackstone for Hamilton), and might be less scary to those not necessarily allied with Second Amendment rights.

Carl said...

bobn:

I agree with your reading of the words of the Second Amendment, and--as you say--it reflects how the Heller majority treated it.