In light of Biden's absurd "gun control" speech, and the bipartisan nonsense I am hearing about "red flags," I re-post a couple of little somethings I wrote years ago. Two posts for the price of one.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The War on the Second Amendment: the Mental Health Gambit
Whenever we have a "mass"--a word with a highly flexible
definition--shooting in the US, we have the predictable calls for more
gun laws, for more gun "control." All the usuals put out their tweets,
go on the talk shows, pontificate from the legislative floor, issue
editorials, etc. The anti-second amendment crowd, generally the sort who
can find the right to abortion in the US Constitution but can't find
the right to bear arms, are getting more and more desperate. Despite
years of anti-gun propaganda and false statistics, gun sales are at a
record high in the US with manufacturers barely able to keep up with
demand. More people now own guns in the US than at any time in our
history; the courts have struck down bucket loads of anti-carry
legislation so that concealed carry is now a possibility in every state;
and, worst horror of all, the homicide rate continues to decline.
At times I get the feeling that the anti-gun boys and girls hope for mass shootings, which are actually quite rare, and for the shooter to be a white, good ol' boy Tea Partier who uses the n-word, hates women, gays, and liberals, and denies the "settled science" behind the theories of evolution and global climate
cooling warming change
disruption. The shooters in reality, of course, happen to be far from
that, and give credence to Ann Coulter's long-ago stated observation
that violence in the US comes from the left. The "mass" shooters,
including the Santa Barbara creep,
come from liberal/progressive backgrounds, and fall on the left end of
the political and cultural spectrum. They are often well-off
economically, and generally come from the sort of dysfunctional families
that form a core component of the Democratic party electorate.
The gun issue in the US is much more than about guns. It is about culture and about the role and scope of government in our lives. The gun controllers want more government in our lives and want to suppress America's gun, aka individual freedom, culture. They want to make it seem that gun violence is rampant, and that we all face horrible deaths in a cloud of gunpowder. They want us to ignore that homicide, including with guns, is not equally spread among all sectors of our country. Homicide rates are much, much higher among Democratic constituencies--I have written about this before--than among Republican constituencies--compare Detroit with Utah, for example. Above all else, there is an enormous racial component to murder in the US. Please note, for example, that 3/4s of those arrested for murder in Chicago is black, while blacks only comprise about one-third of the city's residents; the overwhelming majority of murder victims is also black.
Nationwide, even when "white" is loosely defined, black homicide rates are some 8-10 times those of the white population. All that presents a dilemma for progressives. Instead of trying to deal with the real problem, i.e., that the most likely victim of a murderer is an unarmed black person, the progressives find distractions on which to spend their efforts. As I have written endless times, the progressives don't give a hoot about our black citizens trapped in situations where they become prime candidates for murder--those situations, after all, have been created by decades of progressive policies implemented by progressive urban political machines. The history of the Democratic party, one of the world's oldest political parties, is one of constant warfare against black people: slavery, segregation, the KKK, opposition to black suffrage, making generations of black people wards of the state, are all Democratic party contributions to race relations in the USA. The progressives want power for the state and they intend to control that state.
Progressives focus on bogus issues such as "assault" rifles and magazine capacity. The latest bogus distraction is the mental health one. The argument goes something like this, "We don't want to take guns away from law abiding citizens but want to put into place laws, regulations, and procedures that keep guns away from criminals and mentally disturbed persons." They are quite vague about what exactly those new constraints will be, and we just have to take them at their word that they are not really out to stifle gun ownership at large, and that the new constraints will work better than the old ones.
Mental health, really?
If you think the science of global climate whatever is up in the air, wait until you delve into the looney world of mental health. The mental health profession is full of quack "therapists" and quack theories; few things there are settled science; and that profession is as subject to the vagaries of the winds and tides of fashion and politics as any other. Let us not forget the uses of psychiatry in the dead and unlamented Soviet bloc. Even, however, without going back to the USSR, I would point out that my father was a psychiatrist, and in his old Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) homosexuality was listed as a disorder, "a sociopathic personality disturbance" to be precise. It was a disorder or mental disturbance until it just wasn't--you can read the account of how that change happened here.
Would then those persons treated for homosexuality, and have that on their medical records, be denied their second amendment rights? This, in turn, leads to the raising of many other questions: What standards would be used to determine mental illness for the purpose of gun denial? Who would make those standards? How would authorities running a background check gain access to those medical records? How would we redefine the ancient notion of patient-doctor confidentiality? How would those mental health sessions be flagged in the Great Database? How would one prevent that information from leaking and from being used for political or blackmail purposes? How would this not dissuade people who need some help from getting it? I am sure you can think of dozens more questions.
We live--alas!--in a time that I never thought I would see in the USA. We see the IRS used to stifle political dissent; we see the ATF used to sell guns to Mexican cartels and to make it seem that lax US gun laws are to blame for the violence in Mexico; we see the NSA and FBI used for purposes for which they were never intended; we see local police forces with more firepower and sophisticated combat training and gear than most armies in the world.
Given the progressive track record, should we trust their "good intentions" when they seek to protect us from armed "crazy" people? I don't. I would rather rely on my old friends Messrs. Smith & Wesson.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
On Rebel Flags and Progressive Targets
Full disclosure: My view on the Rebel flag and other Confederate symbols is clear. I do not, never have, and never will fly or paste any Confederate symbol, flag, battle or otherwise, over my house, or on my vehicles, clothing, or coffee mugs, etc. I spent my professional life representing one flag, that of the USA, and have no loyalty to any other. I admire the courage and fighting spirit, as well as the tactical and strategic talents of Confederate Generals and soldiers, love reading about the Civil War and visiting battle sites such as Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I, however, am pro-Union, pro-Stars-and-Stripes, anti-slavery, pro-Lincoln, pro-Grant, pro-Sherman, pro-Frederick Douglass just about all the way. I do not share in the sympathy for and romanticism of some for the Southern cause in the, ahem, "War of Northern Aggression." Slavery was an inherited curse on our nation which we should have dispelled long before it came to war--and, yes, I do see slavery as the overriding reason for the great 1861-65 war, and, of course, as the proximate cause for the creation of the Republican Party shortly before that war. Men such as Washington and Jefferson, both slave owners, knew slavery was evil, but compromised with that "peculiar institution" to our long-standing misfortune. Great men, great flaws. I fully understand why black Americans could and would find Confederate flags and other symbols offensive. We, of course, can debate all this in saecula saeculorum and never reach consensus. End of Full Disclosure
OK, back to the issue at hand. All that said, I also think that the issue of the Confederate battle flag and whether to fly it over State properties is a decision for the people of South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas or anywhere else it flies. It has nothing to do with gun violence, and, let us remind the progressives, it was the Republican party that defeated that flag and for what it stood in the first place. In addition, the greatest practitioners of gun violence, of course, are found in liberal Democratic constituencies, e.g., Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, east Los Angeles, etc.
Understatement Warning: The practitioners of gun violence tend not to be whites. Whites, racist or otherwise, killing blacks is a rare phenomenon in the USA. The shooting in Charleston proved a horrid exception to that; so, of course, the progressives and their echo-chamber media seize on the exception, ignoring the many black on black killings that took place the same day, and look for ways to use it to advance The Agenda. They also pervert history by trying to tie the Confederacy to the Republicans--a grotesque distortion made possible by the low-information consumers of media and Hollywood nonsense. End of Understatement Warning.
While we should not forget it was Democratic governors who hoisted the Rebel flag, and that the KKK was the armed wing of the Democratic Party, and that Jim Crow segregation was instituted and maintained by the Democrats, and that it was a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, and a Republican Chief Justice, Earl Warren, who began dismantling the Democratic party's segregation policies, let's put all that history aside, for now. Let's, instead, look at the shooting in Charleston. The alleged killer, whose name I will not reproduce here, had a website (I won't link to it) on which he published a "manifesto." One of the things that comes through most clearly is that he could find no other male Southern whites to go along with his plan to murder black citizens. He complained that all he heard at school, yes, school in "racist" South Carolina, was talk about getting along with all races. Yes, "racist" South Carolina which has elected the daughter of Indian immigrants as Governor. His hatred for black people came from somewhere else in his twisted mind. He adopted the symbols of the Confederacy, Rhodesia, and apartheid South Africa, and posed himself burning the US flag--much as do many of the progressives who demand the elimination of the Rebel flag. He was no Tea Party "radical"; no member of the GOP; no fanatical supporter of Mitt Romney; no ardent follower of FOX News. Nope, none of that. The Confederate battle flag did not drive him to murder anymore than I, assume, the Black Panther flag drove the black mass murderer at the Washington DC Navy Yard nearly two years ago.
None of this, however, stops the progressives when they get a bone in their toothy jaws. They drove the media into a frenzy about the Rebel flag. As I said before, whether States remove the flag or not from their public properties is an issue for those States; but the crowd was whipped up and South Carolina's Republican Governor and legislature gave in. Democrats are very good at lynch mobs. That's not the way I would have liked to see the issue decided. The more important point, of course, is that progressives aren't stopping there. They already have Mau-Maued big retailers, e.g., Walmart, EBay, Amazon, into pulling merchandise with Confederate symbols. A major flag maker has announced that it will no longer make and sell Confederate flags.
No gun deaths will be averted by all this. Racism will not decrease because of this. Neither of those is the real target. The real target is attacking white male culture, especially the hated "Redneck" culture, which progressives cannot stand. The real target is trying to stigmatize white males and cowing them into politically correct submission. For you see, in the Hollywood movie that runs in an endless loop inside the heads of progressives, white males, especially in the South, are all Rebel flag-waving, pick-up driving, gun maniac racists just dying to kill black men and rape black women.
BOLD PREDICTION: THE NEXT STEP WILL BE TO DEMAND THAT CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS BE DECLARED HATE SPEECH. We will see kids sent home from school for having Confederate flags on their shirts; cars with Confederate decals will be banned from certain areas; and we might see the expunging of CSA symbols from movies and books and prohibiting Confederate flags at re-enactment events, etc. History must conform to the Progressive dictate of the day. END OF BOLD PREDICTION.
If that is to be--and it will--I, in turn, demand progressives stop wearing Che t-shirts. I insist they stop waving the "Palestinian" flag. I propose that we all demand that Maryland alter its flag which consists of the heraldic banner of Lord Baltimore. I find offensive the yearning for royalty and feudalism. The Union Flag must be struck from the flag of Hawaii. I find offensive this paean to colonialism. The Alabama flag has troubling similarly to the Scottish flag and might prove offensive to those of Welsh descent. Will Walmart stop selling items made in China, an offensive state if ever there was one? Will there be a ban on Mexican flags considering the horrid history of human rights in that country? What about the Japanese flag? Why should Japan be able to keep the flag under which millions of Chinese, Malays, Filipinos, Koreans, Pacific Islanders, Indians, and whites were tortured and murdered? I am sure we can turn this into a drinking game.
Meanwhile, the people of Charleston showed real class as they honored the victims and sought to promote unity rather than division.