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January 25, 2013

Steven King on Guns: Guns Are Scary

Steven King wants you to pay $0.99 on Amazon to read his scary-novel (see what I did there?) thoughts on gun control.

He concludes with what he calls “a trio of reasonable measures to curb gun violence”:

1. Comprehensive and universal background checks.

2. Ban the sale of clips and magazines containing more than ten rounds.

3. Ban the sale of assault weapons such as the Bushmaster and the AR-15.

I heard that from Dianne Feinstein and she didn't charge me a buck, neither.

I have a completely-obvious observation but I bothered to write it up anyway. If Steven King is going to write obvious things, and charge a buck for the job, then I can write extremely obvious things and give them away for free.

The measures being proposed are so obviously inadequate to accomplish what they purport to accomplish that a gun-righter could almost say, "Sure, let baby have his bottle, if you want these cosmetic, symbolic, futile actions to convince yourself you're a Good Person, and then you'll shut up about it, fine."

But a guns-righter can't say that. Because he realizes something: These proposed measures are in fact so obviously inadequate to accomplish what they purport to accomplish that that must not be the reason they are offered at all.

Because these measures would accomplish nothing directly, one must then wonder why they would be advanced at all; and of course the immediate realization is that they are advanced to accustom people to the ritual of giving up this and that freedom in response to some new Moral Panic.

That is, the only way we could really see gun-control benefits would be to implement an England-style complete ban.

Even there, there are still gun murders, and lots more murders with knives and pipe-wrenches! But still, that sort of complete ban would have an effect on gun violence (even if the major effect is to increase non-gun-violence).

But they cannot agitate for that, for the public would not hear of it; so instead they push measures which are deliberately calculated to be perfectly useless for attaining their stated goal, but in fact are quite useful for attaining their unstated goal, which is to say, conditioning the public to give up gun rights on a piecemeal, this-one-and-then-that-one basis such that that which cannot be accomplished in one great step can be accomplished in 40 or 100 smaller ones.

And hence the shouting, because we are, in fact, not talking about these measures in reality; we are on both sides really talking about the intended endgame of complete disarmament of the public.

If we were talking about achieving the goal of reducing the number of people killed by guns, why on earth would a gun-control advocate be extolling the shotgun as a more efficient and deadly person-killing weapon than an AR-15?

Suddenly the high lethality of the shotgun is a reason to endorse it and the relatively lesser lethality of the AR-15 is the reason to ban it?


Again, this makes no sense as the measure is completely disjoined from its alleged object. If shotguns are more deadly killing machines, and we want to reduce deaths-by-guns, then we should outlaw those.

But of course that's not what we're doing. We're just picking out some guns that are currently in the news and look kinda-scary and pushing to outlaw those because those are the only ones the public would agree to ban.

And it's the "public agrees to ban" which is the important consideration, not the stated purpose of "reducing gun deaths" which is important.

The latter isn't even considered... except in the long view.

Obvious enough, I guess.

I should sell this shit on Amazon.

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posted by Ace at 04:59 PM

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