Illogic and Hypocrisy

Texas has more guns than any other state and also suffers more gun deaths annually than any other state. In addition, the states with the highest rates of gun ownership also have the highest gun death rates.

In the tragic Uvalde school shooting, while early reports stated that one armed school security officer was ineffectual against the shooter and allowed him to get into the school, later police statements indicate there was no security officer present and that police arrived fifteen minutes later and did not attempt to enter the school building after the shooter fired at them. More armed law officers arrived, and proceeded to dither around the outside of the school for forty minutes, breaking windows to help children escape, but not putting themselves in harm’s way, while the shooter barricaded himself in a classroom and massacred the teacher and 19 children, until a tactical unit arrived.

So all those guns weren’t terribly useful, or at least none of those upstanding personnel wanted to use them and risk their lives to stop further killing of children.

Yet Republican Texas politicians—and Republicans across the country – continue to claim that more guns are the answer when statistics clearly show that more guns are the major component of the problem and that more guns (and/or their owners) aren’t stopping the shooters.

These same Republicans claim they’re opposed to abortion because life in any state of development is sacred, and they’ll make it impossible for women to get abortions, often even if the pregnancy could cost that woman her life. Even where abortion is legal, they make it incredibly difficult, with all sorts of restrictions and requirements. Yet an eighteen year old can walk into a gun store and buy two weapons whose only real use is to kill people, with almost no requirements at all.

We don’t allow people to drive cars without licenses and driver’s tests, but you can buy a gun without either.

Interestingly enough, 62% of all U.S. gun owners are male, and 88% of all U.S. homicides are committed by males, three quarters of which involve a firearm. And, of all the women in the world killed by firearms in 2017, nearly 92 percent of them were women in the U.S.

The Republicans not only want to restrict women’s freedom to control their own bodies, but they also reject any measure that would restrict their right to weapons designed to kill people, including women and children.

19 thoughts on “Illogic and Hypocrisy”

  1. Bill says:

    The Republican leadership if you can call it that, is lying. We cannot believe what they say. We can look at their actions as noted and see that they are misogynists who don’t count female lives as much as male lives. But even that is conjecture. It seems they will do or say anything to stay in or gain power. This is a clear sign they should not be allowed in office.
    Any attempt to talk with them is insanity. People continue to make rational arguments that they reject. As too often said doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity. Any discussion or attempt at compromise is going to fail because they are not bargaining in good faith.
    I suspect that many of them are deeply afraid and that is what is driving their behavior. They may not admit it, but they are afraid of the world and are in denial. But the world continues to change. This cognitive dissonance causes the crazy behavior. Unless the source of their cognitive dissonance is resolved no argument will change anything. For some it is a lost cause. For others, they have to come to terms that their tribe is no longer in charge and that the world does not come to an end because of it.
    They face the choice of a world where everyone loses but they can imagine they are still winning or lose some of their power and everyone survives. Unfortunately, they seem to prefer their imagination over reality.

  2. Hyperion says:

    If people don’t have guns, they probably would use something else. Knives, broken bottles, crossbows, whatever.

    Moreover, the US has always had guns. The number of mass school shootings increased significantly since the 1960s. The question to ask is why.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, the number of people taking medications that have “suicidal thoughts”, etc as side effects has increased significantly.

    At this point 1/5 of the US population is on such drugs. This suggests either they are over-prescribed like opioids were, or that our society needs to be changed to cause less mental illness… or both.

    1. Lourain says:

      A bit more difficult to kill twenty-one people with a knife, broken bottle, or crossbow.
      Is the U.S. the only country where these medications are prescribed? Even if it is, my first sentence is still true. Guns make it too easy to kill.

      1. Hyperion says:

        You can do a lot with a bow and arrow (and training). But, of course guns are more “efficient”, which is why they took over.

        However there are other countries with many gun owners. 44% of people in the US have a gun, although it really depends on the state. (Having a gun where there are dangerous wild animals is quite different from having one in the city).

        Switzerland has the 3rd highest rate of gun ownership in the world, after the US and Yemen, with a ~25% gun ownership rate, but is one of the safest countries on the planet.

        The US prescribes drugs way more freely than other Western countries. For instance stimulants like Ritalin et al aren’t even allowed in many countries, and are prescribed at lower rates.

        This is something I’d like to see studied, but many powerful medical research bodies would probably prefer it not to be, since that would affect their revenues.

        The fact that a proper study might hurt some people’s revenues might explain why everyone has been trained to automatically talk about preventing people having certain kinds of guns instead of trying first to understand why the number and severity of attacks rose in the 1960s, and fixing that.

        In many countries, drug addicts and psychologically unstable people are prohibited from owning weapons. This seems sensible, even more so if the number of such people has been rising.

        Of course, those fighting against such measures, fear that some people (e.g. Judges) might try to ban guns by declaring everyone psychologically unstable. This is not an unreasonable concern in a country where abortion wasn’t legalized by law after a proper debate, but instead legalized based on a theory that it is a consequence of the right to privacy enshrined in the Constitution.

        So basically before anything will change in this country, people will have to talk respectfully to each other assuming they are all decent human beings, and come to some sort of reasonable consensus. Which is why partisan media that profits from dividing the population is a problem…

      2. Hyperion says:

        I did find a study from Sweden:

        SSRIs are significantly correlated with violent crime in 15-24 year olds. Apparently more than 8% of young Americans take SSRIs…

    2. Ryan Jackson says:

      You’re argument is actually bordering on illogical due to failure to recognize changing view. Prior to 1960, gun ownership was rifles and shotguns for hunting, occasionally a self defense handgun, it wasn’t AR15’s with bandanna clips and fun accessories.

      The reality is the 2nd Amendment says “A well Regulated Militia being necessary.” before it talks about gun ownership. In any other situation if you set up a statement that says “X is important, because X is important Y needs to be.” No one would argue that Y is an independent issue. The 2nd speaks to what is necessary for a solid state military, personal ownership being important because so many of the founding fathers envisioned a conglomerate of individual States with essentially a US style alliance, not a singular country. This is very apparent in the battles between Jefferson and Hamilton among others.

      You can see this everywhere in history. A fun example is an interview with Conservative Supreme Court Justice Warren Burge stated “The gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have seen in my lifetime”

      He then later in the same year wrote “The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires”

      The idea that everyone just deserves to have guns is not constitutional, nor is it something either Political Party or the original NRA wanted. It is only in the last 30-40 years that this began. Right around the same time you’re suggesting Gun deaths have increased.

      1. Hyperion says:

        I take your point about rifles. That’s interesting.

        However, I also think that your post is an example of why this problem has not been and will not be fixed.

        Telling people they’re wrong, and being closed minded to the fact medications cause increased violence (see that Swedish study) or any other aspect of the problem, is a great way to influence people and make friends to convince a majority to fix this problem.

        As long as ideological fervor is more important than treating others decently, and listening to them, you’re not going to get what you want. And if you do, it’ll only be because you converted the country into an ideological hellhole like a generation of Chinese did during the Cultural Revolution. In the long term, it is much more effective to strive for consensus than to impose your will on others.

        1. Ryan Patrick Jackson says:

          That, unfortunately, is also a false narrative. Notice your own response. You didn’t actually address the point, or the reality, you just used that I called your argument illogical as a way to strawman away and argue about that instead of acknowledging the point in question.

          The Republican party has been doing that for 40 years while the Democratic party has unfortunately stuck to the facts. You can’t claim we need open communication when one side deliberately avoids having open communication because they know they’d lose, so instead appeals to emotion and makes side tangents to divert focus away from how flawed their argument is.

          Again, the argument is not a nuance logical thing.

          Side A: Ready and easy access to guns leads to greater loss of life, statistics agree and putting regulation and stricter enforcement to obtain guns in the first place will reduce loss of life.

          Side B: How dare you try and regulate guns the way cars and a dozen other things are regulated, instead let’s arm the teachers and make it so there’s only one way in and out of schools!

          That’s not valid two point argument. If Side B actually cared or wanted a real solution we’d be discussing what those regulations Side A wants need to look like and what other steps can be done to actually deter and lower gun violence. Not shouting false arguments they’d never really support (Arming teachers means more school funding for training and equipping those teachers, the very teachers the Right insists are actually enemies of democracy when it comes time to talk about higher quality education). Or making suggestions that would clearly violate fire codes and never get off the ground.

          1. Hyperion says:

            Talk about projection. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. And I have no idea how you can possibly think the Democrats are paragons of virtue with regard to facts, after they wasted all that time on their unbelievable fabrication “Russiagate”. Anyone with more than 2 neurons to rub together would have noticed Steele was full of shit once they read his leaked memos.

            If you were to stop screaming how ideologically virtuous you and your tribe are, there might be a point talking to you. But the way you are behaving right now, there isn’t any.

            It’s frankly pathetic how the two main parties in this country have managed to convince the gullible that anyone who supports the other side is evil. The country would be a lot better off if parties were banned. It’s also pathetic how so many people get their nightly firmware update every evening when they watch TV. They really need to start applying a little critical thinking when consuming media.

          2. What you’re writing sounds like you’ve swallowed the Koolaid you’ve accused others of imbibing. While the Democrats are no paragons of virtue, they at least have tried to come up with solutions to real problems. In the past, the Republicans tempered the excesses of the Democrats, and the compromises often worked reasonably well, but the Republicans have become the party of “NO!” and refuse to offer any constructive solutions to almost anything, or for that matter reasonable cutbacks on Democrats’ proposals.

      2. R. Hamilton says:

        One can look through the history from the writing of the Bill of Rights onward and find considerable evidence that the 2nd Amendment WAS intended to be a specifically personal right (“the right of the people”), and that the militia clause was an example and NOT the sole permissible context for the right.

        1840, Justice Joseph R. Story (appointed by President Madison):
        The next amendment is, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular army in the stead of a resort to the militia. The friends of a free government cannot be too watchful, to overcome the dangerous tendency of the public mind to sacrifice, for the sake of mere private convenience, this powerful check upon the designs of ambitious men.

        The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and it will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well-regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our National Bill of Rights.

        You want solutions? Fund mental health, prosecute absentee fathers and neglectful parents, FUND school security (yes, we do unfortunately sometimes need government spending – but something PRACTICAL does not imply license to advance social agendas contrary to the consciences of many, two different scenarios ENTIRELY), etc.

        Maybe fund some research into both drug and other chemical factors (lead poisoning from eg. lead paint is said to contribute to later violent tendencies). But the REAL PROBLEM is INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY, whether as a parent or as a gun owner. That can ultimately NOT BE LEGISLATED, but needs to be consistently promoted by a variety of institutions both private and public.

        An AR most assuredly does not aim and fire itself. And there are SO many alternative ways to commit murder, ranging from bare hands, to clubs, knives (yes, multiple murders on a single occasion with just a knife, it HAS happened), pipe bombs, poison gas, arson, running through a crowd with a big truck, blowing up an entire building with a truck full of fertilizer/fuel mix, etc. Some of those at LEAST as deady as any rifle (even a full auto one), and not feasible to prevent, given that the precursors have legitimate non destructive uses.


        1. Exactly… but… some people can’t be fixed, and they shouldn’t have guns. Nor does any law-abiding citizen need a rifle that is effectively equipped with magazines that can fire anti-personnel rounds near-continuously at high speeds. and, by the way, none of the means of killing you mentioned are anywhere as deadly as an AR-15 modified into an automatic with massive magazines. Personal target shooting/ self-protection weapons and hunting rifles are one thing. Weapons that can be easily modified into mass-killing are another. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Workable solutions almost never are.

  3. KTL says:

    This issue has become far too intellectual and hypothetical for most politicians and for the general public. These weapons are reported to cause catastrophic bodily damage to the victim according to both first responders and the doctors treating injured at emergency rooms. I’m afraid to say that the public and politicians need to see more of the significant damage that these events cause rather than shielding the eyes of those watching for fear that it would hurt their feelings. Further, I would love to see the politicians (yes, that’s you Abbott and Cruz) forcibly taken through that classroom of victims before the bodies are cleared. Visceral emotions may be what it takes to turn the tide on this issue.

    A read of civil rights history tells us that the US public didn’t really get behind civil rights legislation in the 60s until they actually saw television footage of protesters being clubbed and beaten on the Edmund Pettus bridge in the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, ALA.

    Unfortunately, every new massacre has done nothing to change the positions of those blocking any sensible regulation on this issue. It may be time to change the way these issues are covered.

    1. Postagoras says:

      Sorry, I disagree. The problem is that the issue has become too emotional for a small subset of the population. They have a self-image as gun-toting pioneers of the old west, that don’t need any government.
      Gun ownership is a very big deal for these people. And because it’s so emotional, it’s no accident that politicians have latched on to it. That is, amoral politicians who would rather get a reliable vote than have these kids still be alive.

    2. Hyperion says:

      Some of us find seeing corpses after a war or after executions to be very sobering.

      But I wonder whether that is true for everybody. It seems that executions used to be a spectacle.

      1. Tim says:

        Executions in sixteenth and seventeenth century London were days out and attracted large crowds where refreshments were available.

        1. R. Hamilton says:

          It’s also emotional for their opponents, who act as if the absence of one of a limitless number of types of tools that CAN be used for murder (but has other purposes!) would cause people to all sit down together and sing Kumbaya.

          Contrast that with the straightforward points that nearly 50% of the population being armed DOES limit government power, that a granny with a gun CAN stop a thug from attacking her, etc. (yes, a rifle will have a hard time against a helicopter unless it’s a very skilled shooter with a big rifle, but a majority of the pilots of those helicopters may not be willing to fire on their fellow citizens)

          There’s a definite uptick in 1st time minority and female gun owners, so let’s not make it out to be mostly about white males clinging to power, either.

          There’s also statistics that contradict the idea that more guns equals more murders (anything by John Lott, who supposedly expected to find anti-gun evidence, but went where the numbers took him instead) and other statistics that suggest that numbers and strictness of regulations make little difference either way (perhaps more plausible than either argument in search of a constituency). And over 50% of firearms deaths are suicides…which could certainly be accomplished some other way.

          A Scary Black Rifle ™ is upgradeable, modular, mostly familiar in handing and maintenance to those with prior military service, and no more dangerous than a Ruger Mini-14 with a wood stock. There are certainly some people who own an AR-15 (or a full size truck – which can also be an effective murder weapon) or various other things out of some unhealthy fantasy, but there are surely far more that choose a particular item because it’s useful to them for legitimate purposes.

          In the 60’s, teens with trucks with rifle racks complete with rifles were not an unusual (nor banned) sight at rural high schools, and even if they thought that made them big men, they did NOT shoot up people, but went hunting or target shooting after school. To this day, there are still some (very heavily supervised!) shooting clubs or teams associated with some high schools.

          One difference may be over prescription of drugs, but I think even that is a symptom of parents (and teachers) that don’t want to be bothered dealing with un-drugged kids, and taking the responsibilities of parenting and behaving like a role model.

          1. Ryan Patrick Jackson says:

            In the 60’s rifles were not unusual. The NRA was for Gun Safety and Training, not right to own, and even Conservatives felt that the 2nd Amendment related to the need for Well Regulated State level militaries, not for everyone to have any gun they want.

            But sure, pretend the uptick is from prescription drugs and not that the Conservative Party and NRA slowly moved from Gun Responsibility and Safety to “The answer is to make ALL schools have only a single Entrance to funnel people through with an armed hit squad of teachers on the other side.”

  4. R. Hamilton says:

    The NRA still runs lots of firearm safety and training programs. The left does not invite them to present their safety programs in schools.

    And the Militia is NOT JUST THE NATIONAL GUARD. There’s also (in US code) the “unorganized” militia, consisting of all adult males between certain ages (and I think adult females that are inactive National Guard members, too). “Well-regulated” does NOT imply the presence of a supervising hierarchy, it simply requires SELF discipline and basic competence.

    IMO, millions of adults not disqualified should train, carry, maybe even seek being deputized. Not for glamor or western fantasies, but for good old fashioned (albeit voluntary) civic DUTY.

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