The 2014 Gallup poll on gun ownership reveals that 54 percent of American gun owners are either black or non-white. While I love me some OWFG gun owners – they believe in individual liberty for all Americans regardless of race, color or creed – you can’t say that Old Fat White Guys represent firearms ownership in America. What’s more, as our “I am a gun owner” Facebook gallery proved, gun owners are not old, stupid, fat, ignorant, paranoid Southern racists. Someone should tell that to Mark Morford . . .
After portraying the last sales surge as a racist reaction to the election of an African-American president, the sfgate.com blogger fingers Ferguson as the “secret” motivation for record Black Friday firearms sales. Morford’s anti-ballistic biles flows freely . . .
So. Want to try and unpack this creepy factoid [the record number of NICS checks over the Black Friday weekend]? Break it down a little? It’s not difficult:
You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.
You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.
“But it’s not only Missouri!” squeal a number of crudely pink-faced blondes on Fox News. “Angry black people – and white liberals too! – are protesting everywhere, from Oakland to Chicago to New York, perhaps even somewhere within, say, 200 miles of where you live!” Too close for comfort, that’s for sure.
I forgot to mention that Morford bases his puddle of consciousness anti-gun owner rant on “at least one shop owner” who said “a large percentage of gun buyers mentioned one singular event as a motivating factor for their purchase.” The thing of it is . . .
I agree! I reckon the rioting in Ferguson did drive much of the Black Friday ballistic bonanza. The event showed millions of Americans that the police (and the National Guard) will let lawless thugs burn and pillage a city without lifting a finger to protect life or property. When push comes to shove, we law-abiding [well-travelled book reading non-racist] Americans must defend ourselves. By force of arms.
The fact that firearms prices have cratered since the last sales surge, when demand outstripped supply by a wide margin, was also a contributing factor. Never underestimate the general public’s ability to sniff out a bargain, and their desire to capitalize on one when they see it. Anyway, Mark, tell us how you really feel . . .
There is, to date, no obvious fact, no impossible-to-deny piece of data that will convince the scared, paranoid gun fetishists of America that firearms are not merely dangerous, but also savage and cruel, tools of hate that invite not only more violence and suffering, but their own inevitable destruction.
We know guns do not make you safer. They do not prevent crime. They do not protect families. The NRA cannot trot out a single stat that proves guns improve society in any conceivable or measurable way; in fact, it’s just the opposite. Every piece of data we have proves guns are spiritual, moral and social poison.
How about this, then [via wikipedia]?
Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary, depending on the study’s population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Higher end estimates by Kleck and Gertz show between 1 to 2.5 million DGUs in the United States each year. Low end estimates cited by Hemenway show approximately 55,000-80,000 such uses each year. Middle estimates have estimated approximately 1 million DGU incidents in the United States.
Morford’s rant relies on the Big Lie propaganda technique. Civilian gun ownership is bad. Period. Those stories of Americans saving lives with guns? They don’t exist! Well, not if you close your eyes, plug your ears and say “nananananana!” I mean, Morford really is that childish. Only a lot more mean-spirited.
The more scared you are, the more isolated, the less educated and the less traveled and the less exposed to unfamiliar ideas, to different modes of life, to the Other, to the staggering and effervescent variety of human existence, the more you will see a gun as an obvious and necessary choice.
But here’s the surreal catch: it’s not for protection, per se. It’s not about the childish fantasy of how the gun defends against the rapist, or the drug dealer, or the Russian mafia kingpin who kidnapped your daughter for the second time, and this time it’s personal.
The gun is uncomplicated, primitive defense against something far more terrifying and murky: everything you do not know. Guns provide an illusion of security, a violent, make-believe defense against a world that’s too complex, with injustices too prodigious, rage too tempting and calm, peaceful acts of love far too difficult to locate. They make you feel, in short, like you might have a chance.
But as the Ferguson/Michael Brown tragedy proved (for the 10,000th time), despite all that savage promise, the gun fails. Like it always has. Like it always will. Every. Single. Time.
Morford’s underlying theme is the same one we encounter every single time gun control advocates get their dander up. Gun owners are emotionally immature, intellectually ignorant provincials. Gun control advocates are smarter, wiser, more sophisticated and emotionally stable. Therefore the anti-gun elite must force gun owners to do the right thing: give up their guns. For their own good. And that of society as a whole.
With certain low-price exceptions, the gun doesn’t fail. It does what it’s designed to do. Americans use guns – if only as a deterrent – to protect themselves, their families and their communities from criminals, crazies, killer cops and tyrannical governments. They use guns to put food on the table. They use guns for fun. As for Morford, I refer him to Mark Twain. “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”