Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Well, don't you know happiness is a warm gun, mama?

The discussions with the Gun Guys continue (see 2nd post down.)

Since the email list is (sort of) confidential, I will quote me, but not them, I'll just paraphrase. But there are some interesting observations from Guys Who love Guns.

To recap, I wrote that John Lott is a pathetic fraud. I did not criticize the Gun Guys, but rather stated that their chosen Messiah-du jour was a pretty flawed vessel for their adoration.

Here is some of the discussion (again, paraphrased to protect the group):


Me:
FWIW, if you read what I posted on my blog, you saw that my issue was
with John Lott's fraudulent scholarship, and political hackery, not with
guns. Clearly the public has a right to own guns, and the fact that I
personally hate them doesn't change that. And I'm glad there are folks
who carry guns professionally to protect us.

Any movement or ideology would do well to police it's own adherents, to
keep out those who are intellectually dishonest. And that was my sole
point about Lott. He's not such a good poster child for either gun
owners or critics of party funded political expression.


Them:
John Lott: they say he's a righteous dude. His book "More Guns, Less Crime" is factual and exposes the anti-gun quackery. Read that book; it is a real education in manipulated statistics to back up lies. The book is a landmark because it supports my fervent wish (Oh please, that it were true) that arming citizens will have a harmful effect on their safety.

Personally, I can't see how anyone can love an Ampex machine and not be equally fascinated with firearms. To my thinking, firearms are the ultimate combination of form, function, and even art. The amazing part is that many firearms made in the 19th and early 20th centuries are still with us and as well as the day they were made.


Me:
Respectfully, Lott is anything but unimpeachable. Just because you share his beliefs doesn't make him a valid source. I documented on my blog, with many links available, several of the sources that take him apart.

Re: firearms as engineering, that might also be said for implements of torture, guillotines, animal slaughtering equipment, etc. There are way too many wonderful and fascinating engineering examples for me to concern myself with. Tape machines, mixing consoles, guitars, computers, I just don't like the death and destruction that can't be separated from guns.

Sorry, I just don't get the testosterone rush some of you seem to re; guns. Different strokes...Frankly, it always seems to remind me of the weird kid in 5th grade who ate his own boogers, and burned up ants with a magnifying glass.

But Lott is a tool, not a good spokesman for your viewpoint. Go, read, open your mind, learn.

Them:
Sorry. People kill people, not guns. Except cars, trains, ships, and airplanes kill people too.

Have you read Lott's book?


Them:
Some believe that loud music kills eardrums, so should Marshall 100-watt heads be outlawed?


Me:
Folks, pay attention:

Cars were designed for transportation.

Guitars were designed to play music.

Guns were designed to kill people.


Them:
So, you let others form your opinion without having ever examined the work in question.


Me:
We all do that. Anyone who has ever read any book, dictionary, encyclopedia, heard a lecture, has gotten information 2nd hand. NO ONE can get all the info they feel they need for developing a belief system first hand. Those of you who are Christians, or who adhere to any faith tradition that accepts a higher being or power do that on faith, as we do many times a day in life.

When I had life threatening major surgery a few years ago, I took it on evidence, most of it 2nd and 3rd hand, that the doc was competent. Call it faith. Don't preach to me about forming opinions without proper research.


I've tried to report the exchange fairly, with a minimum of snark. Lord, it was Hard Work. But there it is.

If you sincerely believe that "Something is something" (insert subject and object of your choice) then so be it. But my only point, which clearly got pushed aside, was that if I were writing in support of child care organizations, I wouldn't pick Michael Jackson as my spokesman.

And I still don't like guns. I don't like them because they appeal to what I consider our base instincts, the reptilian hind brain that, as expressed by adolescent boys, wants to rip the wings off flies, throw spitballs at the girls, hurt other people, and play soldier.

If you really want to play with guns, join the fucking army.