Monday, October 05, 2015

Fisking Johathan Alter

Jonathan Alter (over at The Daily Beast) puts up an odious post, exposing both his ignorance and his bias.  While I won't take iti apart line by line, it's certainly worthy of fisking because he cites so many of the strawmen that seem to become animated in these articles.  Let's begin, shall we, in the headline:
Time For a Showdown: Why Obama Needs to Debate the NRA President on Live TV
Mr. Alter is proposing a debate on national TV about gun control, yet in his headline he uses the word Showdown, a metaphor for an old-time gunfight.  Fitting?  I'll leave you to judge.

Then down around the seventh paragraph, we find:
I can hear the objections now: Why should the president lower himself to giving an equal platform to the odious head of the NRA? Why would Obama—who despises campaign debates—ever agree to it? Why do I imagine it would do any good in getting the bill passed that failed narrowly in the Senate in 2013?
 Wayne LaPierre, the long-time head of the NRA is odious?  Methinks you are exposing your bias, Mr. Adler.  Yes, the gun control bill failed in the Senate, largely because it wouldn't have done any good.  None at all.  You can review the various provisions of the bill here, and how they failed.  Interestingly, two provisions got widespread support.  The proposal to increase the privacy of law-abiding gun owners passed with at 2/3ds margin and the provision affecting federal mental health treatment passed with 95% of the Senate.

Let's move on, shall we?
But in the last two decades, not even the most heinous mass shootings have led to closing the gun show loophole that evades background checks, much less major new legislation. Instead, we get a dreary and familiar public narrative:
Allright, Mr. AAlter, explain to me the gun show loophole.  When I buy a gun at a gunshow, I have to pass a background check, just like I do at any retailer.  What gun-show loophole?  Expalain that to me, please.  I suspect what you want is full, universal, background checks for all transfers, whether I'm giving a .22 caliber squirrel rifle to my grandson for Christmas, you want the kid to trot down to the store and go through a background check.  You're a Grinch, Mr. Adler, who wants to destroy Christmas for much of America.

So, for the rest of America, there is no gun show loophole.  That's a false-flag red-herring that (to use one of Mr. Alter's adjectives) is odious on its face.  It's a damned lie.  There is no gun show loophole  What they want is universal background checks.

So, Mr. Alter, tell us what you really want.  Don't couch your rhetoric in the fashionably political.  Unleash your dreams. I've been playing this game for over 20 years, and the wish-list always looks something like this:

1.  Universal background checks.  Not the "gun-show loophole" that doesn't exist, but full-blown universal checks any time a firearm changes hands.

2.  Federal retention of ownership records.  By law today, NICS checks can only be retained for 24 hours.  After that, they're purged.  The has no idea who owns what, or if if they do, they are in violation of federal laws.  One of the wet-dreams of the banners is to know where every gun is at all times, which historically leads to;

3.  Confiscation.  Turn them all in.  Regardless of criminality or intent, or whether the gun has ever been used in a crime.  Mr. Obama alluded to such last week during his address, when he brought Australia's experience into the debate.  However, if you go to the Wiki page, they conclude that the Australian law has been a failure.  The final paragraph of that article states:
The law has been judged a failure by The Liberal Democratic party, which has a policy to scrap the National Agreement on Firearms and allow law abiding shooters to once again legally own semi-automatic centrefire rifles. [30]
It doesn't surprise me that our president and Mr. Alter want to enact a law that the liberals in Australia have judged to be a failure.  I'm convinced that most of Mr. Obama's tenure will be judged by history to be a failure.

But, Mr Alter should be honest enough to tell us what he really wants.  I suspect I know the answer, and shame on him for being obtuse.


Old NFO said...

He wants confiscation... Plain and simple...

JPG said...

Quoting a bumper sticker which was very popular a few years back:
"POLITICIANS PREFER UNARMED PEASANTS." It's SO much safer to keep down the little people if they don't have that last desperate tool to maintain a measure of freedom.

I like to believe that at least a slim margin of our legislators truly want to be public servants; that DO NOT WANT to be part of the bloc to come right out and say, "Quit messing around and ENSLAVE the proles!"