Did you read Ben Shotzberger’s excellent post over the weekend about the protesters at the NRA convention? No? Go. Read it now. He didn’t spend a weekend in Pittsburgh for his health. Ben talked to one of the protestors to find out what it was they wanted. She told him that, in addition to enforcing current laws (duh) and dialogue with the NRA (mkay) she wanted to “fix/improve the NICS background system.” As a helpful Pittsburgh constable relayed to Ben, about 90% of the guns involved in actual shooting events are stolen. Meaning all the NICS ‘improvements’ in the world won’t stop those guns from being involved in a shooting. But no matter. That’s not really what the protesters want anyway . . .
No, if you point out facts like that to the majority of those protestors, they’ll tell you that we really need to do something about gun violence. That what they want to do is ineffectual and an expensive waste of time really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that SOMETHING will have been done. And they’ll feel better about themselves for it.
It’s not unlike the grope-a-dope process anyone who flies now has to endure at the (rather cold) hands of the TSA. The process is also affectionately known as ‘security theater’. Has TSA ever discovered or stopped a terrorist or hijacking attempt? Not that we’ve heard of. And you can be damned sure we’d have heard all about it if they had. TSA would have trumpeted that news like Louis Armstrong on a Saturday night in an effort to justify its existence. So what’s the point of it all? We’re doing something about airline security. At tremendous cost to the federal budget. Feel better?
And this is by no means an American phenomenon. Let us take you now the exotic city of Imphal in India’s northeast state of Manipur. Manipur has been a less than quiet part of India since it was annexed after World War II. A variety of violent armed separatist groups wanting an independent Manipur have plagued the area for decades.
How does a determined community action organization deal with all of this? Well, if you’re a member of Women’s Action for Development, the Centre for Social Development , the Life Care Foundation or the Social Action Development Organization, you have to DO SOMETHING about the ‘gun culture’ in the area.
Last week, they rounded up as many toy guns from neighborhood kids as they could get their gun-grabbing little hands on, had themselves a bonfire and chanted anti-gun slogans. Because nothing scares off violent separatists like burning children’s toys, right? And just look how happy the kids (above) are about this little exercise!
To keep the little darlings busy, these Asian variants on the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center handed out books, pencils and sports equipment. No report yet as to what will happen to the first little urchin who forms his thumb and forefinger in the shape of a gun and yells, “BANG.”