Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Dave Weigel wasn't very impressed with Piers Morgan's Alex Jones interview:
Morgan's job is to make an example of the worst possible advocate for gun rights, and he doesn't even pull that off.
Is Weigel's characterization of Jones accurate? Is Jones "the worst possible advocate for gun rights"?

I don't think so. I think he's the typical advocate of gun rights. What he did was what gun zealots do every day. The debate on CNN last night was America's gun debate over the last couple of decades in microcosm. It was every legislative gun debate we have. It's every gun debate we ever have online.

The primary tactic Jones used was intimidation -- that the main tactic of gun zealots in every gun debate. From the transcript:
JONES: ... I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms. It doesn't matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street begging for them to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?

... Piers, don't try what your ancestors did before. Why don't you come to America, I'll take you out shooting.
That's just an unsubtle version of the aggression that's been the subtext of the gun debate for years in America: gun-control advocates are soft, weedy, effete little intellectuals; gun fans are rough, tough, real Americans you sure don't want to mess with, if you know what's good for you.

That gets mixed with a pugnacious use of facts (and pseudo-facts) as weapons. If you advocate gun control and know one statistic, the gun zealot knows twenty -- and won't stop until he's shouted you down by reciting every one. All your facts are irrelevant, if not a distortion of the truth (especially if you compare U.S. crime rates with those of any country that has gun control); the gun zealot's facts are the real facts.

Again, from the transcript:
MORGAN: ... How many gun murders were there in America last year? Do you know?

JONES: There were about 11,458, and about 70 percent of those were gang related. Gang bangers shooting each other. You get three and a half to four --

MORGAN: OK. That wasn't --

JONES: How many people died from infections in hospitals? 197,000 ...

MORGAN: Right. How many gun murders were there in Britain? ...

JONES: Oh, wait, UK violent crime, capital of Europe. "London Telegraph." Here let me give you more.

... you've got hoards of people burning down cities and beating old women's brains out every day.
And if you're a gun-control advocate, you personally are the one killing and tyrannizing people. You won't address the real issues, so crime is your fault. Jones supposedly looked like a crazy man last night for blaming crime on anti-depressants, but how different is this from other gun zealots' attempts to shift the blame to America's lack of involuntary institutionalization of the mentally ill (with the implication that gun-control supporters are diverting attention from this, the true cause of crime, as a result of which innocent people die)?

And if you're a gun-control advocate, it's not because you're against guns -- it's because you want all the guns for yourself, while disarming people you hold in contempt, you effete bastard:
JONES: Do you have a body guard?


JONES: Why do you have body guards?

MORGAN: I don't have a body guard.

JONES: Yes, I've seen you on the news with them.

MORGAN: I don't have a body guard.

JONES: Don't you want to protect your wife from hoodlums or you want to call the police?

MORGAN: Let me ask you this question?

JONES: Why does Dianne Feinstein --

MORGAN: Alex. Alex.

JONES: -- tell "60 Minutes" that she plans --


JONES: -- to try and take Mr. And Mrs. America's guns?
How different is all this from every discussion we've tried to have in America in recent years between the gun community and the rest of us, in every forum? How different is it from every congressional debate, every debate at the level of state or local government, every debate in the media, every debate among individuals online?

Alex Jones ranted and raved and declared his absolute rightness, and the gun-control side's absolute evil, at great length and at the top of his lungs, until he'd effectively reduced Piers Morgan to silence.

That's precisely what the gun crowd has done to the rest of us for years.


Ten Bears said...

Like the crotch-shot every thirteen minutes, it's just kool-aid. Bread and circuses keeping the rubes sucked in. Keeping us all sucked in.

Must be some kind of conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Well this makes sense as the gun industry has capitalized on our nation's growing population of crazy assholes to make up for the hunter/farmer shortfall in the last generation: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/20/167694808/assault-style-weapons-in-the-civilian-market

Philo Vaihinger said...

What America doesn't need is another f-ing conversation about guns. Time to stop talking. We already had the election. Confiscate the guns. If the idiot actually does resist put him in prison. Or an asylum, as may be more appropriate.

Victor said...

To Mr. Jones,
Most fishermen follow the laws that the government has regarding how many fish you can catch in a set period of time.

And most hunters abide to the limit of deer or ducks, or whatever, they can shoot in a season.

Maybe, if we can’t eliminate military weapons from the arsenals of gun enthusiasts, or the number of bullets in a magazine, we can set a limilt on how many children, or mall shoppers, or movie viewers, or fellow employees, a killer can “bag” in an incident.

How about, say, 6?
“Ok, Mr. Lanza, stop firing. You’ve reached your limit!”

No one wants to stop hunters from having a few rifles.
No one wants to stop homeowners from having a shotgun or handgun, or two, to “protect” their family.

But there are many of us who want to stop people from having more arms than the Union Forces had stored at Harper’s Ferry.
Many of us want a waiting period and mental exam, before someone can purchase a gun. Oh, and mandatory annual safety classes, registration, and insurance - all paid for by the gun owner.

And many of us want to prevent a family or individual from owning weapons that only a military force should have access to – and yes, that means fighter jets, aircraft carriers, tanks, bazooka’s, drone missilis, automatics, semi-automatic’s, and magazines that hold more than 6 bullets.

Is that too much to ask?
Probably so.
So, maybe, instead of asking, we tell you through Congress, via laws.
Now, all we need is a Congress with some cojones.
Oh well...

Phil Freeman said...

Why don't you think it's possible for "the worst possible advocate for gun rights" to also be "the typical advocate of gun rights"? That seems to me to be pretty obviously what's going on here. You've got Alex Jones, Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent versus, well, nobody.