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Posts Tagged ‘gun control’

The NRA, in its Current Form, Does Not Have a Promising Future

September 10, 2018 6 comments

I am not the first person to point out that the NRA might not have a promising future. The big difference, however, between almost every article on that subject and this one is that I support the right to bear arms- and not just in some contrived “sportsman” context. For example- it is my opinion that ownership restrictions on short-barreled rifles in the 1934 NFA act and the 1986 FOPA act which banned the civilian ownership of select-fire (automatic) weapons manufactured after that year are classic examples of legislative stupidity.

As many of you also know, I have written more than a few posts in the past stating the reasons behind my belief that ‘gun control’ is a stupid idea with no real upside to the dumbfucks who support it. In other words, I am totally on board with the core purpose of the NRA. So why do I think that the organisation in question does not have a bright or promising future. Well.. there are a few reasons, but let me start by telling you what they are not.

Many coastal LIEbrals, who I hate with the same intensity as CONservatives, want to make themselves believe that younger generations will magically support gun control. Sadly for them, that pattern is somewhat true in less than half a dozen coastal states and even is mostly an urban thing. In other words, this pattern is meaningful only within the small social bubble inhabited by the incestuous “elite” and their professional class cocksuckers.

So why did I say that the NRA does not have a promising future? And why did I use that ‘in its current format’ conditionality? So here is why I said what I did..

1] As some of you might have noticed, a lot of the media outreach effort by the NRA today is about issues not related to defense of the 2nd amendment. For example, they spend too much time and effort on trying to demonize socialism, support “free” enterprise and denigrate populist ideas such as universal health care. Now, I know they are doing that.. *cough* corporate donors. But don’t kid yourself that supporting issues which are against the best interests of vast majority of their current membership and potential future members is a smart idea.

See.. the problem with being associated with bad ideas, bullshit and outright lies is that their stench rubs onto you. That is why, for example, people in 2018 are far more distrustful of the medical profession that they were in the 1980s. That is why Trump beat all establishment republican candidates and then Hillary in the 2016 election season. That is also why the non-stop concerted effort by establishment media to demonize Trump has paradoxically helped him by making him look like a victim. You get my point.. right?

Similarly the NRA, by publicly associating itself with pro-corporate ideologies, is digging itself into a hole. To be clear, this would not have been an issue as late as mid-1990s when most people in USA were doing fine or at least OK. But they haven’t been doing so well since 2001 and most certainly since 2008. There is a reason why the alt-right and many younger conservative-minded people are quite Ok with “socialist” ideas such as universal health care, inexpensive education, job guarantees, universal basic income and restricting corporate power.

My point is that associating yourself with ideas which your most likely followers don’t particularly care about, or actively disagree with, is not a recipe for promoting your main cause. In fact, doing so will certainly hurt the viability of your main cause in years to come- and that is going to be much sooner than you think. And yes.. once again, I know why they do it. I am just saying that they are taking a stupid and unnecessary risk.

2] The other big problem for NRA in the future is that it is still widely, and correctly, perceived as a white gun owners organisation. Once again, being an organisation which drew its membership almost exclusively from whites was a viable strategy till about twenty years ago. But as any person with more than half a brain knows today, that is not a great strategy- either in the USA of 2018 or any time after that. Any organisation which wants to remain relevant even 10-15 years from now better have a realistic strategy to recruit from other ethnic groups.

Of course, the incompetent “marketing consultants” employed by that organisation have managed to find a few non-white faces. Sadly, the losers they have found so far are.. to put it mildly.. laughably bad. People with infomercial level acting skills who can’t even read off their teleprompters and cue cards with conviction are poor brand ambassadors- plain and simple. Sadly, that is only one part of this particular problem.

The other part involves the almost complete unwillingness of this organisation to defend 2nd amendment rights of non-white people, especially those murdered by the police. Once again, I know they are doing that because a non-insignificant part of their core membership and supporters today are from the “law enforcement” agencies. But here is the problem.. it might work right now, but what about 10-15 years from now? The Stasi of former East-Germany also had a lot of power and prestige until that country lasted, but not much afterwards.

The problems I see in the future of that organisation, therefore, largely come down to significant irreconcilability between their current donor and membership cadre and the ones they attract in order to stay relevant in the near future. Frankly, I don’t see them being able to make this transition. Maybe some new moment or organisation, without legacy issues, will be able to exploit this opportunity.

What do you think? Comments?

Using Children as a Front for Deceptive “Causes” is No Longer Viable

March 26, 2018 21 comments

By now, most of you have seen or read something about the new astroturfed campaign to ban guns known as “March for Our Lives”. Leaving aside a host of inconvenient facts such as school shootings are less common today than during the 1990s, most “gun deaths” in USA are suicides, many countries with strict gun control have a higher incidence of suicide than USA and so on, we are still left with the reality that there is co-ordinated campaign by democrats to use non-black children as a front to ban private ownership of guns in USA.

So what do I think about the chance for this campaign to succeed in achieving its objective? The very short version of my answer is that this campaign will fail in a spectacular fashion- especially if the corporate media attempts to keep on pushing it over the next few months. In fact, it might very likely end up costing democrats their potential victory and control of the house in the mid-term elections of 2018. The much longer version of my answer and explanations for my predictions can be found in the rest of this post.

So, let me start by pointing out something that is obvious but appears to have forgotten by most people. Using children as a front for advancing deceptive “causes” has ceased to be a successful electoral strategy in USA since the late-1990s. However, establishment democrats dependent on their highly paid and out-of-touch political “consultants” seem to believe that we are still in the 1990s. Even worse, they have not learned anything from recent history. You might recall that HRC campaign in 2016 ran an unbelievably large number of TV and internet ads which were some version of “Trump is a bad, bad man” and “Oh.. won’t somebody think about the children”.

We all know how that one ended.. and while many “pundits” and “experts” were shocked by the election results- it was clear to observers on the ground that the 2016 election was always far closer than “official polls” predicted. One might think that such a humiliating loss might have caused establishment democrats to go through a process of introspection and analysis. However it is hard to see problems when your paycheck or sinecure depends on pretending that there are no problems. Consequently, establishments democrats just doubled down on the “Trump is a bad, bad man” theme with the addition of “Russia hacked the election for Trump”.

As I have said in previous posts (link 1, link 2 and link 3), blaming Russia and “Putin” for why a candidate such as HRC lost to a reality show clown like Trump is a sign of intellectual bankruptcy and rapidly approaching irrelevance on the part of accusers. This is not to say that Trump is a competent president. As some of you might recall- after predicting his victory in the 2016 election, I wrote a short series about how he was almost certain to fuck up badly regardless of whether he tried to keep his election promises or not.

Now, let us turn to how all of this and more is linked to the futility of using children as fronts for pushing deceptive “causes” after the late 1990s. Which brings us the question.. why was using children as a front for pushing deceptive “causes” a workable strategy until the late-1990s? Also, why did it start losing effectiveness after that and become virtually useless by 2016?

To understand what I trying to explain you next, ask yourself the following question- would you kill and eat a dog or cat unless you were in some extreme circumstances? If not, why not? And how is killing and eating a dog or cat different from doing the same for pigs or goats- two animals that are as intelligent as dogs and cats. The simple answer to that question is that dogs and cats are widely kept as pets unlike pigs and goats. In other words, extensive familiarity with dogs and cats is what allows most people to humanize and care about them. Now apply the same logic to understand why most people USED to care about the future welfare of children as a group.

Long story short- it comes down to the fact that in previous eras, most people had their own children with whom they had better-than-decent relationships. Empathy and caring for children is not instinctual for most people, especially men. The flip side is that people without their own children or those who have little contact with them simply don’t have an deep-seated desire to care for them or their future prospects. While they may be perfectly competent baby-sitters or otherwise normal in their interactions with the children of other people, they do not have any real attachment to them.

Perhaps more importantly, they are unwilling to sacrifice something which matters to them with the vague expectation that it might “help the children”. With that in mind, think about how many 30- and 40-something men today have a biological offspring with whom they enjoy a good and strong relationship. More importantly, how many men in those and younger age groups have a reasonable expectation of having children with whom they will enjoy a good relationship. And now think about how much this has changed since the 1990s.

The same is true, to a lesser extent, for women. How many highly educated women have maybe just one child in their late-30s to show others that they are “normal”? How many either postpone it indefinitely or just choose to have none? To be clear, I am not pushing traditionalism or any similar bullshit ideology. My point is that the percentage of people with kids of their own is directly proportional to how many would give a flying fuck about some “cause” which might “help the children”. And that, you see, is why deceptive advertising campaigns based on “won’t somebody think of the children” have failed so miserably after the late-1990s.

What do you think? Comments?

Recap of Previous Posts on Futility of Attempts at “Gun Control” in USA

March 25, 2018 4 comments

As more regular readers of this blog know, I have written more than a few posts on why attempts to implement “gun control” in USA are doomed to failure in addition to being worse than useless. While I often link to 2-3 older posts in each newer one on that topic, I thought it was a good idea to create a more comprehensive link list for the major ones. Also, it is Sunday and I am trying to finish up another post on a related issue.

Mass Shootings Occur in USA Because It is a Third-World Country (from February 2018)

First world countries are defined by the quality of life enjoyed by their median resident, as are third world countries. For example- Japan, South Korea, France, Germany etc are seen as first world countries because of the high quality of life for their median residents. Living in such countries is characterized by things such as excellent universal healthcare, fairly stable and well-paying jobs for the majority of its residents, reasonably good formal and informal social safety nets and an overall lack of extremely poor and desperate people. In other words, life for the median resident in these countries is very good and even the less fortunate are doing better than treading water.

Now contrast this to the overall quality of life in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India and yes.. USA. While these countries have no shortage of billionaires and lesser rich people with fabulous lifestyles- things are pretty shitty for their median residents. Most people in these countries have precarious jobs and livelihoods which often do not pay enough for the ever-increasing costs of sub-standard housing, healthcare and education. The government in these countries work solely for the benefit of the rich minority and does not provide adequate social goods such as healthcare, education, housing, sanitation or a usable social safety net.

On the Democratic Party’s Unfortunate Obsession with Gun Control (from August 2017)

And that is why the credentialed professional class, which is the 2nd most important constituency for democrats as well as the source of most of their party establishment cadre want to disarm “less deserving” poorer people. Parasites, you see, prefer hosts who are unable to stop the party. Credentialed professionals perceive the widespread ownership of guns as a threat to their cushy livelihoods which depend on theft and extortion via laws and regulations. However, unlike corporations, they are not powerful or singularly important enough to get special protection by the state.

Attempting to ban widespread ownership of guns, then, appears to be the second best option. And that is why the democratic establishment keeps on pursuing a policy that has brought it repeated electoral failure in parts of the country that are not New York or California. On a side note, I do not think that their obsession with gun control is going to change even if they perform poorly in the 2018 and 2020 elections. As long as they can still win a few coastal states, they will keep shooting themselves in the foot.

On the Futility of Attempts at Gun Control in the USA (from July 2015)

And this brings us to the second issue- namely, that a significant minority of people do not perceive the current government system as being legitimate. But why does that matter? Don’t people in other developed countries have similar views about their governments? Well.. it does matter, because people in other developed countries do perceive their governments to be significantly more legitimate than people in the USA see their own. But why? What makes people in Japan, Germany or even the U.K feel that their government is legitimate? The simple answer is that the perceived legitimacy of a government is directly proportional to the consistency and effectiveness of its efforts to maintain the quality of life for the median citizen.

It is therefore no surprise that gun control measures seem to work in countries where the government directly or indirectly intervenes in favor of the median citizen. I should also point out countries with such government systems always had very low rates of deaths by individual acts of violence- especially in the post-WW2 era. In contrast to that, countries in which governments routinely and overtly abuse the majority to benefit the rich minority always had rather high rates of non-state sanctioned homicides. That is why certain countries such as Mexico, Brazil and South Africa have rather high rates of non-state sanctioned homicides despite highly restrictive gun ownership laws. My point is that the USA has always been more like Mexico, Brazil and South Africa than Japan, Germany or the U.K.

LIEbrals push for more gun control laws because they do not want to acknowledge that the USA has always been an affluent third-world country and that they have greatly benefited from this situation.

Non-Gun Mass Killings Will Become the Next New Trend (from August 2012)

It seems that we can hardly go a week without some quiet, lonely and otherwise law-abiding guy shooting up a few people. Such mass shootings have created an outcry among morons who think that guns kill people. There is however considerable evidence that killing lots of people without guns is actually quite easy, if the persons doing it is so determined. Moreover there are excellent contemporary examples, such as the ongoing drug wars in Mexico, that show the inefficacy of legal gun control in preventing people from acquiring guns.

Now I don’t know whether these weekly mass-shootings will become more frequent (likely) or deadlier (somewhat less likely), but that discussion is best saved for another post. But there is another and far more interesting trend that I predict will emerge regardless of whether lawmakers try to pass more restrictive laws about gun ownership. I have partially tackled this issue in a previous post. People who are unhappy with the system, and see no viable future, will increasingly kill others through means that are not gun or explosive linked.

Why (New) Gun Laws Won’t Prevent Mass Killings (also, from August 2012)

Attempts to control the legal ownership of guns are superficial “do something” acts which so not address the underlying causes of the malady. The reality is that there is really no way a failing society can stop such acts. Do you really think that people who have nothing to lose will follow laws and regulations? Do you think they won’t get firearms through extra-legal channels? Do you think a failing government can control the system? Do you think James Holmes would have done less damage with a couple dozen Molotov cocktails and a few matches in a crowded theater? Are you going to regulate gasoline usage next? The only way to effectively reduce the incidence of mass killings is through the creation of a socio-economic system which treats people with a basic level of human dignity.

But I don’t think that will happen. The whole modus operandi of the USA as a society has been to abuse, steal and murder others to get rich and impoverish those who survive. For a long time, they mostly did it to outsiders and minorities, but they eventually ran out of them as far as profit is concerned. That is when they turned to (and on) each other. While it looked fairly harmless in the beginning (early 1980s), things have got worse with each passing year. The reality is human beings, especially the so-called clever ones, are too short-sighted to appreciate the effects of their own actions.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 2

March 17, 2018 1 comment

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about why manufactured internet “activism” is based in wishful thinking and why current attempts by “socially responsible” corporations to de-platform gun and ammunition sales were either meaningless or likely to backfire on them. Some of you might wonder.. how can anybody make predictions such as these? After all, corporate media outlets and “respectable” and “credentialed” talking heads keep telling everybody that “it is different this time around” (without explaining why) and how the younger generation has “no interest in defending the right to own firearms”, etc.

Then again, corporate media outlets and the same cast of “credentialed” experts also told their audience that HRC was certain to beat Trump (in the electoral college) in November 2016. They have, in the past, also pushed obvious fairy-tales such as how Saddam possessed “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in early-2003, how american military involvement in Libya would create a secular democracy or how North Koreans were too poor and stupid to develop thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, etc. My point is that anything coming from these official stenographers has been repeatedly shown to have a very high probability of being incorrect, false and misleading.

And this brings me to why idiotic ideas such as attempts to “target the NRA” through legislation and corporate behavior will have the opposite effect. Perhaps, you might have heard about the infamous and ultimately ineffectual Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. What many of you might not know is that it was simply the culmination of a number of anti-gun laws enacted in the mid-1980s and early-1990s. These included other ineffectual idiocies such as the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and the 1989 ban on importing “scary looking assault rifles”. As the gun owners know, these and other similar laws did have any real effect on overall availability of semi-auto rifles and handguns in USA. They, also, did not reduce the incidence of spree shootings.

These laws did however greatly benefit the NRA and did wonders for fundraising and membership drives. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that the NRA we know today was largely created by public reaction against stupid and ineffectual gun laws. Prior to 1980s, the NRA was a fairly mediocre organisation involved in things such as promotion of shooting competitions, training people to use guns safely and basically doing some low-key defense of gun owners rights. It involvement in the political arena was largely a non-issue since most democrats and republicans were fine with gun-ownership. That started to change in the 1970 after a small number of coastal politicians started pushing for “gun control” aka criminalizing private gun ownership.

It was obvious to people capable of independent though, even then, that “gun control” did not address the root causes of increased crime levels during that era. It is no secret that the late-1960s, 1970s and 1980s saw a large increase in levels of crime (as perceived by average people) largely because pent-up racial, social and economic tensions were rapidly unmasked in those years. The majority of gun owners, rightly, did not see a connection between their lawful gun ownership and crimes caused by poverty and racial discrimination. FYI, a previous post of mine talks about why establishment democratic and professional-types are so concerned about gun ownership by all those “other” people.

The passage of many ineffectual anti-gun ownership laws in the late-1980s and mid-1990s did however convince a lot of people that the government was out to get their guns. Between 1933-1974 things in USA were run to benefit average people (at least the white ones) in addition to corporations. However institutional changes and corporation-friendly policies since the late-1970s convinced many people that the government had stopped caring about their welfare and saw them as inconveniences to be suppressed and marginalized. Let us just say that the raft of anti-gun legislation passed in the late-1980s and early-1990s merely validated their beliefs. This is also when the current movement to defend private gun ownership started.

But why were gun owners so contemptuous of all these laws and regulations for “sensible gun control”? Well.. because they were not sensible and were about ultimately ending private gun ownership. Let me give you some examples of why those laws were counterproductive, in addition to being ineffectual. The 1989 law by the Bush41 administration to ban import of foreign-made “assault rifles” was intended to stop the importation of surplus AK-47 type guns in USA. The ban on importation of those and other rifles simply led to them being manufactured in USA. The end result of is that today you can buy pretty much any semi-auto firearm of foreign origin, because it is made in USA.

Similarly, the law banning select-fire (full auto) weapons made after 1986 from being registered in USA had no impact on their use in crimes because.. legally purchased full-auto weapons are almost never used in committing crimes. Also, well made guns last for many decades when cared for properly and used sparingly. Passage of the AWB of 1994 was, however, the biggest disaster for the “gun control” movement. As some of you know, the many regulations within that bill clearly displayed that “gun control” advocates had little real life experience with handling and using guns. And that is the most polite way to say they were clueless.

Between the bizarre,hilarious and ineffective regulations on magazine capacity, pistol grips, and gun barrel accessories and their supporters inability to distinguish between semi-auto and select-fire weapons, let alone the internal mechanisms- it is fair to say that the AWB of 1994 did more to increase public support and monetary contributions to NRA and other gun-rights organisations than anything they put out themselves. In many respects, the overall environment is even more unfavorable for similar “gun control” legislation, or other measures, today. As things stand now, establishment democrats are out of power at the federal level and in most states. Even worse, they have manged to lose to unabashedly pro-corporate and anti-populist republican candidates.

The socio-economic environment (for average people) is far bleaker today than it was even eight years ago. Between that and the now-overt loss of public faith in institutions and “experts”, it is safe to say that manufactured “activism” against the NRA and gun owners in general is not a pathway to win elections in most of the country. In my opinion, such “activism” is doing more for the NRA and similar organisations than the AWB of 1994 could ever achieve. To make a long story short, half-assed attempts at creating bad laws and regulations always end up having the opposite effect- and this is not exception. Might write another part based on feedback or further developments in this area.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 1

March 4, 2018 15 comments

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post about why frequent mass shootings are almost unique to the USA- at least among allegedly “developed” nations. The very short version of that post is that the USA is, and always has been, a third-world country.. albeit an affluent one. The way things work in USA, especially as it concerns how people view each other and the institutions around them, is similar to what one might see in Mexico or Brazil rather than Japan, France or Canada. People in USA, therefore, behave and react in a manner similar to those in the former group of countries than the latter.

But what does any of this have to do with the recent wave of manufactured internet “activism” targeting the NRA and gun owners? Why do I think that this wave of internet “activism” and worthless corporate displays of virtue are manufactured? And what makes me think that it will backfire in a spectacular manner, perhaps destroying the chance for the democratic party to win either the house or senate in the 2018 election? Also, why now and not after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Let us start by talking about supporters and enablers of this alleged wave of internet “activism”.

So.. what makes this incident different from that one which occurred about four months ago and resulted in the deaths of three times more people (59 vs 17) and many more injuries (422 vs 14)? Isn’t it odd that the corporate media and certain internet companies did not promote the views of those killed and injured in the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting to even a tiny fraction of what they did for this one? What accounts for the manufactured fascination and promotion of certain students in that school by the corporate media? The short answer to that question is the corporate media will only provide free promotion to those who will support whatever agenda they want to push.

That is why the corporate media does not like to talk about the ongoing genocide perpetrated by Saudi Arabia in Yemen but is totally willing to give tons of airtime and publicity to a 7-year old girl in Syria who allegedly tweets in perfect English though she can barely comprehend that language. Long story short, the first example casts a negative light on the policies of their masters while the later is a desperate attempt to legitimize western (mostly american) military intervention in the ongoing Syrian conflict. But what does this have to do with the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting?

I cannot be the only one who noticed that certain students from that high school who supported gun control were intensively promoted by the corporate media within less than 24 hours of the shooting? I mean.. how come something like this never happened after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Also, how do you account for the almost simultaneous publication of articles by corporate media which push the exact same narrative (example 1, example 2, example 3) about these “activist” students? And isn’t it peculiar that their small protests and meetings with state politicians were unusually well covered by the corporate media (example 4, example 5, example 6).

Why was so little attention given to the fact that the Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, was responsible for the botched response to that shooting in addition to inadequate followup of all those previous tips and complaints against Nikolas Cruz. You might remember that he was busy talking to everyone in the media, in the first few days after that shooting, about how ‘police should be given more power’ and how ‘he supported sensible gun control’. You might also remember how they initially cheered him on and then dropped him like a hot potato after the level of his incompetence and corruption was accidentally exposed.

But it gets worse.. or more darkly hilarious. Many of you might have heard or read about all those noises made by the corporate media about how big corporations are “cutting their links to the NRA”. First of all, the vast majority of such virtue signalling by corporations is meaningless bullshit. For example, one airline which stopped a program to give small meaningless discounts to NRA members had to acknowledge that only 13 people had used that particular discount in the previous calendar year. In other words, most of the manufactured news about how “corporations are cutting their ties with the NRA” is hogwash.

Secondly, all those breathless “news reports” about how certain large box stores deciding to stop selling ‘scary assault rifles’ or put new illegal age-limits on selling guns and ammunition are also meaningless because of the sheer number of small and medium size private business who will continue to do what they have been always doing. Also expect the big box retailers to quietly walk back from their current position within a few months or get sued and lose in court. Did I mention that this type of empty “moral” posturing by corporations has occurred many times in the past- especially in the aftermath of mass shootings.

Then there is the issue of banks and financial institutions trying to enforce gun control by de-platforming gun sales. Once again, there is the pesky issue of legal challenges to such actions. However, the far bigger problem for such actions is that many elected officials would lose their seats and political careers if they did not vigorously oppose such actions. Also, guns and ammo are far cheaper than cars and houses and therefore cash transactions would simply replace those through neoliberal financial institutions. And this brings us to the major problem with fallout of such pathetic attempts to use internet “activism” against the NRA.

Attempting to enact gun control in 2018 or 2020 is political suicide for democrats as well as “moderate” republicans. As many of you know, democrats are hoping that Trump’s failure to follow up on his populist election promises and generally ineffectual governance will result in a windfall during the 2018 cycle. That belief is however too optimistic, because they still have not come up with a better message than “Trump is a bad, bad man”. Given that control of the house depends on winning a number of very close electoral races, pissing off a fairly large body of single-issue voters who will come out in large numbers and vote against you seems like a really bad idea.

In the next part of this short series, I will talk about why every historic attempt at “targeting the NRA” has made it and the pro-gun lobby stronger and how these attempts have paradoxically led to the loosening of regulations on guns.

What do you think? Comments?

Mass Shootings Occur in USA Because It is a Third-World Country

February 22, 2018 18 comments

Regular readers of my blog would be aware that I have written numerous posts on the causes of mass shootings in USA (link 1, link 2, link 3) as well as the futility of gun control (link 4, link 5) in this country. While I encourage you to read the above linked posts, as well as others on related topics, we often keep coming back to the same question- Why are mass shootings and incidents of gun-related violence common in USA but almost unheard of in other first-world countries? Why is the USA so.. exceptional?

Well.. the headline of this post does provide a very brief answer to that question. Moreover, I am not the first to make the connection between socio-economic conditions in this country and mass shootings. Over a decade ago, Mark Ames wrote a reasonably well-known book on that topic. To make a long story short, he makes the case that social atomization and alienation combined with extreme capitalism, an inadequate social safety net and a system which takes pride in crapping on its arbitrarily chosen “losers” are the perfect conditions for creating spree killers with nothing to lose.

One of my older posts on this topic (link 6) put forth the idea that post-1980 USA is far closer to being a third-world banana republic that most supposedly “serious people” are willing to acknowledge. In the remainder of this post, I will develop that idea further and show you how USA is a third-world country, in all but name, for its median citizens. But before we go there, let us briefly talk about what I mean by terms like ‘first-world country’ and ‘third-world country’. While some believe that those labels correlate with skin pigmentation of people who reside in those countries, the reality is rather different.

First world countries are defined by the quality of life enjoyed by their median resident, as are third world countries. For example- Japan, South Korea, France, Germany etc are seen as first world countries because of the high quality of life for their median residents. Living in such countries is characterized by things such as excellent universal healthcare, fairly stable and well-paying jobs for the majority of its residents, reasonably good formal and informal social safety nets and an overall lack of extremely poor and desperate people. In other words, life for the median resident in these countries is very good and even the less fortunate are doing better than treading water.

Now contrast this to the overall quality of life in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India and yes.. USA. While these countries have no shortage of billionaires and lesser rich people with fabulous lifestyles- things are pretty shitty for their median residents. Most people in these countries have precarious jobs and livelihoods which often do not pay enough for the ever-increasing costs of sub-standard housing, healthcare and education. The government in these countries work solely for the benefit of the rich minority and does not provide adequate social goods such as healthcare, education, housing, sanitation or a usable social safety net.

Then there is the issue of state-sponsored or abetted repression and murder of its residents. First world countries tend to have very low rates of incarceration, favor restorative justice over revenge-based version and are not full of militarized police who go about robbing, raping and shooting the people they are supposed to protect. In contrast to that, third-world countries often have high rates of incarceration (for non-rich people), a justice system that is basically useless to average people and cops who act as if they are the law. Channeling money and power from everyone else to a few rich people is the main function of legal systems in third-world countries.

But what does any of this have to with the unusually high frequency of mass shootings in USA? And how is it connected to the certain failure of attempts at gun control in USA.

Let us compare rates of homicide by guns in USA versus other countries. If you follow this link, and go to the column titled ‘Homicides’ you will see that most first-world countries have very low rates (below 1 per 100,000 persons/ year) of such incidents compared to USA (almost 4 per 100,000/ year). Some of you might see this as an argument for gun control. But wait.. have a look at the rates of homicide by guns for Mexico (6-7 per 100,000/ year) and Brazil (20 per 100,000/ year). I should remind you that both of these countries have far stricter regulations for gun ownership than USA, and yet.. both have very high of rates of gun-related homicides. But why?

Why do tough gun control laws in first-world countries seem to correlate with low rates of gun-related homicides but have basically no effect on that rate in third-world countries? Also where do people in those countries get their guns from? The answer to the first question is linked to understanding why anybody would kill someone else, in the first place. The vast majority of people with stable, comfortable and secure lives have too much invested in maintaining the status quo to go around killing other people. People living precarious lives with little to no hope for a better future, on the other hand, have nothing to lose by breaking the rules.

Now apply that concept to attempts at gun control in USA. Do you really think that passing inane laws restricting scary-looking guns is going to change the overall downward trajectory for the average person in USA? Is it going to provide them with freedom from worrying about medical bills, housing costs, student loans etc? Is it going to provide them with stable, well-paying jobs or livelihoods? Is it going to change how american social system treats its non-rich members? To summarize, creating socio-economic conditions similar to third-world countries will always results in replication of other less savory statistics from those countries.

And by the way, most privately owned guns found in those countries were either “lost” from government arsenals or procured from some place half-way around the world. Are you so sure that something along those lines would not occur in USA in the aftermath of attempts at gun control?

What do you think? Comments?

On the Democratic Party’s Unfortunate Obsession with Gun Control

August 26, 2017 34 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a short series enumerating the many reasons why the democratic party, in its current form, has no worthwhile future. Some reasons, such as the nature of their core support base and institutional inertia, are systemic in nature. Others, like their obsession with promoting certain allegedly “social causes”, are a cover for the neo-liberal policies promoted by them. But a few do not fall neatly into either of these two categories. One of the best example from this category is the obsession of the democratic party establishment with implementing severely punitive gun control policies.

As some of my regular readers might remember, I have written many posts on why attempts at tight gun control are unworkable, futile and likely to backfire in more ways than at the ballot box. The very short version of those posts is that deaths due to guns in USA are largely the result of socio-economic factors (suicide, financial problems, lack of job security) and explicit government policies (“war on drugs”, abandoning poorer areas). To make a long story short, attempts at stricter gun control do not address the far larger and much more dangerous underlying systemic issues which drive the relatively high incidence of deaths by guns in USA.

However, time after time, we have seen the democratic party establishment try to use every newsworthy shooting to push for stricter gun regulations. Of course, we have also seen the democratic party lose election after election in many areas of the country during that period. As it stands today, the democratic party does not have control of any elected branch of the federal government and almost 2/3rds of state governments. The democratic party of today is so weak and impotent on the national stage that they cannot even properly exploit the ongoing train-wreck of the Trump presidency, which would otherwise be a god-send to a marginally competent opposition party.

Of course, there are many reasons why the democratic party has been on a downward path since the mid-1990s. Firstly, their embrace of neo-liberalism and its policies such as “free trade” and laissez-faire regulation of corporations which started during the Clinton era have antagonized a significant part of the population, especially in non-coastal states. Secondly, the leadership (and top cadre) of democratic party is full of people who either got in during the 1960s-1980s or are ivy-league credentialed C-grade actors who look ridiculous and phony in 2017. They would rather hold on to their premium berths on the ‘Titanic’ than change course and avoid the iceberg.

But none of this provides a satisfactory answer for why establishment democrats are anti-2nd amendment. I mean.. wouldn’t a political party in semi-permanent political wilderness prefer its supporters to be armed than not? Also, it is fairly well-known that taking an anti-gun stand was a factor in them losing the 2000, 20004 and 2016 presidential election- in addition to many more at the states level. So why persist in pushing a cause that does not make sense from the viewpoint of winning elections? And let us clear about something- politicians, regardless of their party affiliations and stated ideologies, are in to win power. Some are more corrupt and easily bought than others but basically all politicians compromise on their beliefs.

So how can you account for establishment democrats repeatedly pushing an electorally bad ideology? One theory I have seen being floated is that democrats think that decrease in overall rates of gun ownership will somehow translate into future success of their campaign to criminalize civilian ownership of firearms. While that might sound like a nice story, ground reality as measured by sales of guns and relaxation of rules and regulations surrounding gun ownership since 1994 suggest otherwise. It appears, then, that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was the high point of democratic success in legislating for greater gun control. It has been downhill for them since then.

Another theory, I have heard, suggests that the establishment democrat obsession with gun control is linked to institutional stagnation within the party. There is some truth to the idea that political parties whose establishment is led by people who are mentally in the 1980s and 1990s might try to maintain what they believe to be the status quo and keep pressing for more bad policies, especially if their positions within the organisation are secure from competition. But that does not explain why the somewhat younger establishment types (Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand etc) in that party are still pushing such disastrous ideas.

Well.. I have a theory that can explain the obsession of democrats with gun control. You see, it comes down to appealing to their core base of supporters and volunteers- to be more specific, the credentialed professional class. As I have said in some of previous posts, a lot of the odd behavior displayed by democratic party makes sense once you realize that its most important non-corporate supporters are people who owe their well-compensated livelihood to credentials obtained from “famous” educational institutions. It is also no secret that most of those who work for or volunteer at higher levels in that party have such socio-economic backgrounds.

But why would that translate into support for gun control? Why would such a socio-economic group, or class, be interested in gun control? Let me try to explain it in the nicest possible language.. never mind- because they are greedy and insecure parasites. The credentialed class (especially in USA) derives its income, livelihood and social status from thievery and extortion through law and rules. That is why doctors in USA makes much more money than other developed countries while not being any better than them. That is why tenured professors at large “famous” universities in USA can make so much extra money though side projects. That is why pretty much any credentialed or licensed professional makes more in USA than other developed countries.

The degree of parasitism displayed by the credentialed professional classes in USA is second only to outright legalized theft and extortion practiced by corporate entities. But why then are corporations not especially interested in gun control? Why the professional class but not corporations? The answer to that is simple- because corporations already have the full might of the state behind them. Credentialed professionals, on the other hand, are in that peculiar zone where they are visibly doing better than others in a rapidly impoverishing society but lack any special protection by the state. In other words, they can feel (if only on a subconscious level) that they will become targets for popular rage if the proverbial shit hits the fan.

And that is why the credentialed professional class, which is the 2nd most important constituency for democrats as well as the source of most of their party establishment cadre want to disarm “less deserving” poorer people. Parasites, you see, prefer hosts who are unable to stop the party. Credentialed professionals perceive the widespread ownership of guns as a threat to their cushy livelihoods which depend on theft and extortion via laws and regulations. However, unlike corporations, they are not powerful or singularly important enough to get special protection by the state.

Attempting to ban widespread ownership of guns, then, appears to be the second best option. And that is why the democratic establishment keeps on pursuing a policy that has brought it repeated electoral failure in parts of the country that are not New York or California. On a side note, I do not think that their obsession with gun control is going to change even if they perform poorly in the 2018 and 2020 elections. As long as they can still win a few coastal states, they will keep shooting themselves in the foot.

What do you think? Comments?