wikipedia.org defines an idée fixe as “a preoccupation of mind held so firmly as to resist any attempt to modify it.” That’s as good a description of the civilian disarmament mindset as you’re gonna get. For an example, check out the comment made by Mr. William Wesling Nagel above. He’s responding to a post on the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Facebook page which suggests that supporters . . .
Ask the Pennsylvania and national media covering this story: Where did Richard Plotts get the gun he used to kill caseworker Barbara Hunt, 53, at this hospital? Plotts had been committed three times before; had a lengthy criminal history involving gun, assault and drug charges; and had been moved out of at least one residence because of a history of violence. Where Did He Get the Gun?
Anti-gunners like the post’s author, Elliot Fineman, blow past the fact that Plotts shouldn’t have been on the street like a NASCAR driver passing a wreck at the bottom of the track. The fact that no law can stop a criminal or crazy from getting a gun – that bad guys can get guns in jail – is simply not acceptable to their world view and, so, invisible. For them, it’s all about the gun (to the point of Germanic capitalization).
Now clock Mr. Nagel’s inability to separate statistics – well, the idea of statistics – from his feelings. A defensive gun use “sure seems to be the exception than the rule.” “Seems” as in “I have no factual evidence upon which to base my conclusion but I’m making a conclusion that fits my preconceived ideas on the subject.”
“Statistically Speaking a Good Guy with a Gun turns into a Bad Guy with a Gun and uses it on the rest of us,” Nagel continues. Statistically speaking, anti-gunners turn their backs on statistics. This despite the large number of [heavily biased and scientifically flawed] studies supporting their cause (e.g., the work produced by anti-gunner and Harvard Health prof David Hemenway). The reason? If the antis are forced to argue facts, they lose.
How many “assault rifles” are used in crimes? Where’s the evidence that outlawing “high capacity” ammunition magazines, A) eliminates criminal access to these magazines, or B) reduces the number of people shot in spree killings? What quantifiable effect does a “one gun a month” law have on illegal gun use? The antis use the phrases “common sense gun control” and “if it saves only one child” a lot because fuzzy logic is all they’ve got.
Mr. Nagel’s comment also betrays a common belief amongst anti-gunners: that anyone with a gun is a potential murderer. The assertion that “A Good Guy with a Gun turns into a Bad Guy with a Gun and uses it on the rest of us” reveals a profound misunderstanding of American society. The vast majority of gun owners, the vast majority of Americans, are not now, and will never be, “bad guys.” A gun is no more transformative of their basic nature than owning a barbecue grill.
The phrase “rest of us” shows Mr. Nagel’s alienation from his nation. He divides people into gun owners and non-gun owners – as if gun owners are a homogenous group of proto-killers. As TTAG’s “I am a gun owner” Facebook gallery reveals, nothing could be further from the truth. American gun owners cross every social, political, sexual and demographic boundary. The only thing they have in common: they all cherish their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Like all anti-gunners. Nagel reckons that guns are too dangerous for Good Guys. Guns turn the Good Guys into Bad Guys (or at least they make their Bad Guy thing worse when they do). Good Guys with guns let their firearm(s) fall into “unqualified hands.” And Good Guys use their guns to blow their own brains out. All of these things are possible; none of these things are probable. It’s a distinction the anti-gunners can’t and won’t make, for it completely undermines their crusade.
There’s an even a bigger blind spot, though: Nagel and his anti-ballistic BFFs can’t see the positive side to gun ownership. They refuse to acknowledge the estimated 800k yearly defensive gun uses – even when the stats come from researchers who favor their position. So when Dr. Silverman stopped Mr. Plotts from killing more people at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital there was no way the antis could celebrate the victory. No matter what.
They say no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Unless it does. In which case, the plan is the enemy. Which makes those who adhere to it nothing more than dangerous fools.