Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wayne LaPierre's nightmare fantasy world

It's really unfortunate that President Obama isn't willing to use the extremism of the National Rifle Association and its main public face, Wayne LaPierre, to wreck the credibility of the NRA and do major damage to the Republican Party on a "culture war" issue by making use of the exceptionally ugly face of the gun issue presented by LaPierre.

Alex Seitz-Wald in Wayne LaPierre is very afraid Salon 02/14/2013 discusses the dystopian nature of the nightmare fantasies that LaPierre projects. And he points out that facts don't match up to the Mad Max scenarios LaPierre spins in order to sell more guns and ammo:

Violent crime is now at a two-decade low and urban centers are seeing a revival unlike any time in the past 100 years. But LaPierre chooses to ignore that. And he chooses to ignore the fact that most gun violence is suicide, while most homicide is inflicted by people who know each other (usually scorned lovers, angry relatives and criminals in dispute) — hardened criminals preying on innocents is relatively rare.

For instance, in his Daily Caller Op-Ed, LaPierre writes hyperbolically: "After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all."

In fact, crime dropped in New York City during Hurricane Sandy, with murders plummeting a whopping 86 percent over the same period in 2011 and overall crime down 27 percent. There was a single homicide on the Monday before the storm hit, then none for the next five days.

"After a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe like 9/11, we see conventional crime come down," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne explained. "A lot of people are indoors. Taverns are closed. You have less people out late at night and getting into disputes."

Eliot Spitzer harshes on LaPierre in 'Wayne LaPierre is a complete lunatic': Eliot Spitzer weighs in on the gun control debate Viewpoint 02/14/2013. This segment covers other issues, too; the gun regulation parts starts around 4:00.

From the program summary:

"Until we see Republican legislators responding to the 85 percent who agree with what we think is the more common sense view, then we've got to say, ‘Look, Wayne LaPierre is still holding the political cards,’ crazy as it may be,” Spitzer says. "If this guy six months from now has stopped anything other than a weak universal background check — if they haven’t limited the number of bullets in a magazine, if there isn't an assault weapons ban — then he will have won. And that is a very sad reality we've got to face."

Ta-Nehisi Coates conducts a discussion with Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago's crime lab in The Social Trends Driving American Gangs and Gun Violence The Atlantic 02/04/2013. The NRA isn't interested in discussing gun violence in any other context than selling more guns and ammo. But this is a real-world discussion of some of the actual problems around gun violence. It also contains a sensible discussion of violence in popular music, a favorite culture-war target, especially when it's African-Americans singing or listening to the songs.

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