“In order to achieve national standards for gun control our leaders cannot continue to frame the issue in terms of political expediency,” Marda Dunsky writes at aljazeera.com. “As a people, Americans cannot continue to frame the issue in terms of narrowly defined freedoms. We have to think the unthinkable and recast the gun-control debate in personal terms: As things stand now, almost any of us can find ourselves in a nightmare scenario in almost any public place at almost any time. The statistical probability of that happening is not what matters. What matters is that it can and does routinely happen in the kind of ordinary places that most of us frequent.” Did you catch all that? Let’s back up a bit and review . . .
In her article – Will we come to our senses on gun control in 2014? – Professor Dunsky assumes we must achieve national standards for gun control. Why?
Recent headlines and morning news shows tout decreasing numbers of homicides in cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit, and so we bolster our sense of safety with these sound bites – even as Baltimore and Newark, among others, continue to struggle with rising rates of gun-related violence and death.
Strange that Dunsky didn’t spend thirty seconds Googling for facts before making her case. Here’s the dope on Baltimore’s firearms-related homicide stats from baltimoresun.com, January 2013:
As the Police Department’s leadership changed, the city recorded 217 killings, about 10 percent more than the 197 in 2011, but still the second-lowest homicide rate since the late 1980s. Police statistics released Tuesday show that total crime and most categories of gun violence continued to decline.
How about that? A little deeper delving (still on the first results page when searching “baltimore gun related homicides”) pulls up this interesting tidbit from baltimorecity.gov: “Forty percent of Baltimore’s homicide suspects and defendants charged with felony gun crimes – shootings, attempted murders, armed robberies – have prior gun arrests.”
Sounds like Baltimore need some tougher sentencing standards, rather than increased gun control for gun owners who’ve committed no crime. Swap out “newark” for “baltimore” in the above search and the very first link (city-data.com) provides a handy chart of murders per 100k Newark residents between 1999 and 2011. It’s been holding steady at around 90 for about a decade.
I could dig deeper, but why bother? Dunksy makes no secret of her disdain for the facts relating to the topic of gun control. Which brings us back to the non-sensical salvo opening this post: “Americans cannot continue to frame the issue in terms of narrowly defined freedoms.” In other words, screw the Second Amendment.
Yes, we have constitutional rights that allow us to bear arms and to produce and consume violent entertainment. Yet these freedoms have proven to have dangerous, if not fatal, impacts on public safety. Moreover, these freedoms are derived from a document written by human beings – and what people have created, people can change, for their own good.
Dunksy believes Americans must sacrifice their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms on the altar of public safety. It’s the same argument Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny recently used to uphold New York’s risible SAFE Act. It’s wrong on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s go with this . . .
The fact that a woman who relies on First Amendment protections to publish an anti-gun dietribe [sic] calls for the curtailment of violent entertainment and gun rights indicates her contempt for anything remotely resembling freedom. The article’s subhead tells you all you need to know about that: Americans cannot continue framing gun control laws in terms of infringement on their freedom. Never mind why the hell not, says who?
Says an adjunct lecturer at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (just outside of Chicago). Click here to see the list of the school’s notable alumni, a veritable who’s who of the liberal mainstream media (e.g., Joshua Green at The Atlantic and David Weigl of Slate and msnbc.com). Click here for an inside look at the school’s liberal bias.
It’s not clear if Dunsky caters to the students’ pre-existing anti-gun bias, reinforces it or instills it in impressionable minds. I’m thinking all three (when she’s not holding forth on the Palestinian question). What’s more clear: The People of the Gun are fighting an uphill battle. While we’re converting fence-straddlers to the pro-gun position, J-schools are cranking out hundreds of graduates who hold our gun rights in contempt. When it comes to influencing low-information voters, one of them is worth several thousand of us.
We can’t silence the misguided media elitists spreading anti-gun agitprop. Nor should we. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in Whitney v. California “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
Let Dunsky speak. But Tweet, Facebook and email pro-gun links within your social and professional circle. Don’t expect everyone to accept your 2A comms. The truth hurts, but it can also set you free. At the same time, encourage young guns to go to J-school. The sooner we change the culture in the Ivory Tower, the better.