Monday, December 24, 2012

Guns, Pundits, TV-Gurus

Besides publishing a plethora of letters to the editor, the papers have been full of punditry since the school-shooting in Connecticut. As usual, the arguments have to do with whether or not to ban this or that type of gun, the latest villain being the “assault rifle,” a gun capable of spraying bullets so fast that no one can get out of the way. The murder-by-gun rate has been steadily going down nationwide for some time now, but that doesn’t stop the ban-the-gun crowd from being hysterical.

A local columnist (Lexington Herald-Leader) even dragged Jesus into the discussion in the 22 December Op-Ed section, citing the episode in which Jesus remonstrated with Peter concerning Peter’s violence toward an official of some sort. What he didn’t mention, however, was that only a few hours earlier during the last meal with his disciples, Jesus told them to arm themselves even if they had to sell part of their clothing to do so. Two of them had swords already. They were to be used for self-defense, not aggression.

The Peter episode was a special case having to do with Christ’s mission and nothing to do with circumstances occurring later to his followers. Tradition has it that all but one of the disciples were violently murdered anyway, not surprising since all of them, including Jesus, were slaves to the Roman Empire.

Though he’s done nothing about guns during the last four years (except send hundreds to Mexico, currently unaccounted for), the president held the usual after-the-fact press conference, which induced the predictable next-day result, to wit, gun stores selling more guns than ever. Indeed, Wal-mart announced that after the latest presidential conference, its stores – or at least some of them – just sold-out, at least of some of the types. This fear-mongering from the White House is good for little more than that.

People don’t trust government for much in the first place, and have no desire to be at any kind of mercy of the government, in the second place. People with good sense (lets out a lot of the pundits, if not most of them) understand that the problem is with people, not with guns. Laws mean virtually nothing when self-protection is the issue.

The TV-networks are among the guiltiest participants in fomenting unrest in the “gun-matter” (especially cable) by sensationalizing mass murders to a degree unimaginable among people having a grain of common sense. It’s practically a 24/7 thing among the cable outfits that goes on for days. It’s no wonder there are “copycat killings” as these murderers gain far more than a paltry fifteen minutes of fame.

There have been 484 murders in Chicago this year, but has any cable network documented the funerals as they took place? In Connecticut, however, the cable outfits especially, but the mainstreamers as well, have stayed on the matter like a dog on a bone, even to being on-scene for funerals, thus invading the privacy of these bereaved people to an extent that connotes gross insensitivity.

I don’t watch these things to any extent but I surfed over to CNN the other day and Anderson Cooper was interviewing a family of one of the victims so I surfed away only to surf back a while later and he was still at it…with the same family. It’s a sort of “Barbara Walters syndrome” – stay at it until you get everybody crying or give up and go on to the next potential weeper. This is disgusting. It’s sort of like asking a survivor what kind of tree he’d like to be if he wasn’t a mourner. Do these million-dollar TV-gurus have any common sense or sense of propriety at all?

So…the president has appointed yet another commission to “study” the problem and has even appointed the vice president to whip it into shape…sort of like telling a sailor to try spitting into the wind. Besides, the recommendations of various Commissions mean nothing to him. The members of the Bowles-Simpson Commission concerning the recession and something to do about the sad state of financial affairs in this country might as well have gone to Philadelphia. For Obama, it’s as if they never had a meeting.

Vice President Biden’s commission will meet and eat, produce a document, and everyone will have a warm-fuzzy feeling. The prez will pay no attention to it. Life will go on…sadly for many, but it will go on. Nothing much will change the statistics.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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