It’s not very difficult to connect the NRA’s screeds against gun control in the United States with incidents of genocide in the world (Rwanda, Congo, Serbia, even the Nigerian/Biafran War in the late 1960s) or even as a call for jihad against those who would attempt to impose any controls on gun ownership.This idiot put the NRA in the same box as machette wielding people in Rwanda who thought of their victims as “cockroaches”. Really. He did. Personally, If I were running Counterpunch and took a cursory glance at this piece, I would not have allowed it to grace the page. Of course this is par for the course for people who misuse the term Jihad and apply it to anyone who has a strenuous objection to their supposedly guaranteed rights being taken away because of the actions of the criminal few.
For many Americans (not for all gun owners but for too many), gun ownership has become just as serious an addiction and as out of control as alcoholism or the abuse of other substances.Well if we're talking addiction on the par of say crack cocaine, then Larson would be referring to criminals who will do anything to get a gun. Of course the law is already clear (in most places in the US) in regards to criminals accessing and using a firearm. And NOBODY, not even the most staunch gun rights advocate is saying that criminals ought to be free to carry. No, the point of that little gem was to paint gun rights supporters as not only genocidal maniacs but as persons on the par with those frequenting AA meetings. Read:
. Addictive personality factors—potential harm to one’s self and others, the inability to admit that the addiction might, indeed, even be harmful, the need for increasing the actual number of lethal objects in one’s possession—all demonstrate co-dependency and an obsessive need for more guns, bigger guns, guns that have no justification outside of military contexts.Ahh the addiction. Having all those potentially harmful objects (knives duly excepted) is a sure sign that one has a mental disorder. Never mind that most gun owners dont' commit any crimes whatsoever. That their children do not pick them up and kill themselves or others with them. No, never mind all that. There are criminals out there who use guns for nefarious means therefore all gun owners are, mentally speaking, disturbed. Oh sorry, “not all” just the ones who have “an increasing number” of “lethal objects” (knives duly excepted). I suppose next the writer will claim that those of us who practice a martial art and are quite capable of dispatching a soul to his or her maker quickly, sans arms, are also addicted to, oh, being harmful objects.
The paranoia of gun addiction often culminates in dangerous if not irrational beliefs (“Obama is going to take our guns away from us”) and the endless need for more and more guns, presumably to defend one’s self the day Obama comes knocking on one’s door.Ahhh “paranoia”. First off, let's be clear. Not a single gun owner thinks that Obama (or any other US president) will literally come to their door and demand their guns. No, let me take that back, none of the sane gun owners, which the vast majority are, thinks that's going to happen. What they do fear is that a US President, or State governor, will sign legislation, rushed through some legislative body, with little public notification or input, having not been read by the vast majority of said legislators, that will outlaw some gun (or ammunition) which they purchased lawfully, stored lawfully, transported lawfully and used lawfully, and there will be a sherrif (or other state representative) who will show up at their door and demand they turn over said arms. And yes, THAT does happen. And if that were not enough, a US president or State governor may pass a law in which if some person thinks another person is “unstable” (possibly because that person is pro-gun rights) they can report said person to the state and the state will therefore have a right to confiscate that person's arms “pending an investigation”. Oh yeah, THAT happens too. Or perhaps a man who owns guns falls out with his wife. Say she wants out and decides to follow the advice of not a few lawyers out there who instruct her on how to make a fake domestic violence claim. Oh yeah, in that case, here comes the Sheriff who, following the law will remove the guns (to protect the “battered” wife) and him from his home. No need to substantiate the claims you know. Yeah, this happens too. So knowing all this, how do you call a person paranoid when what they fear is not only rational, but actually exists? Oh right, better to throw out the totally irrelevant “Obama at the door” argument that no one is making.
All of these aspects of gun ownership characterize an American society in which guns have become the means of dealing with the most trivial incidents of daily life.Really sir? It is simply not the case that “guns have become the means of dealing with the most trivial incidents of daily life”. That statement is delusional and, as a matter of fact a sure sign of actual paranoia No, the fact of the matter is that gun use to settle “disputes” is rare. Yes, rare. Relative to the total US population (over 350 million) very few people who have disputes (which would be 99% of all adults) do anything worse than cuss the other person out. What you have are a set of people (unfortunately largely populated by African-American males) who lack decent conflict resolution skills who obtain guns illegally (they are either minors and/or persons with criminal records) and use those guns to “settle up”. The next smaller subset of those with poor conflict resolution skills are those who go to public places such as malls and schools, and take revenge out on persons (or groups) they feel have hurt them emotionally. So sorry to burst Larson's bubble but his entire thesis is bullshit.
Those who do not possess them may conclude that they are becoming the victims of jihad and/or genocide conducted by dangerous fanatics who—according to recent incidents—will shoot to kill for the slightest provocation.That statement right there is what we call actual paranoia. Genocide? Jihad? Counterpunchj saw fit to post this to their site?
Texting in movie theaters may be annoying to others, but is it criminal to the point of homicide? Why does a retired policeman need to take a concealed gun to a movie theater? Granted, he may have observed many killings during his career, but does he believe that he needs to carry a gun everywhere he goes?I see. It must be the case that the retired officer (who was totally in the wrong) merely steps out of his house and into a theater. He doesn't drive there. Doesn't walk there. Doesn't go anywhere else but there. But aside from that is the gall that Larson has to assume that HE has to approve of why and wherefore that that citizen chooses to do with his right to carry a concealed weapon. The shooter had every right to walk with his weapon. When bad things happen they don't up and announce themselves before hand. It's not like the people playing the knockout game wear a sign on their chests that say “I'm about to knock you the fuck out”. It's not like common criminals who will assault and steal your shit send you a letter in the morning that you should perhaps walk with your weapon today because today is your day to get knocked unconscious and left for dead. It's not like school or workplace shooters announce a week in advance that they will be coming in to kill the boss and the secretary might get one to the head. No Larson, when bad shit happens on the street, fortune favors the prepared. I'm not going to justify the movie shooter's actions. He was right to go complain to the management. Apparently the management failed in their duty to take the customer's complaint seriously. They should have. People in theaters are really out of order with their phones. I sit in the very back of theaters and those bright ass screens are very very annoying, particularly since I'm paying. And yes, sometimes I want to see the previews. The theater shooter completely overreacted and should pay dearly for his actions. That does not excuse the entitlement pricks who think they can't go 2 hours without looking (and occasionally speaking) at their phones. And lastly:
We are not ALL under attack—only those who do not possess guns. Ergo, gun owners—and especially NRA spokespeople who have never demonstrated one iota of concern for the innocent victims of gun violence who are killed every day in our country—have created such an atmosphere of fear that they have become blood brothers of religious jihadists, using virtually the same argument. And the thirty thousand deaths by guns (too many of them children) every year in the United States, what separates them from the victims of pogroms that kill off that many victims of ethnic disputes in Africa or even Europe?Larson is really paranoid. I do not own a gun and I do not feel “under attack” by any gun owner. I support a gun owner's right to his or her arms. I don't oppose concealed or open carry either. Guns do not scare me. My only concern is the state of mind of the person holding it. That person could be a police offer (or other agent of the state) or a private citizen. If you are walking around in a constant state of fear due to reported gun violence and you do not live in a place where that gun violence regularly happens (usually poor African-American communities) then you sir (or ma'am) should see a professional about your mental illness. And in regards to those 30,000 dead children (taking his word for it), most of those children are teenagers engaged in gang violence meaning they did not obtain their guns legally and they used them in illegal acts (ie: not self defense or defense of others). In other words many of those “children” willfully engaged in behaviors they knew could get them killed. Sorry Larson but I don't saddle the responsibilty for those bad decisions on law abiding gun owners. Charles Larson is a fear monger plain and simple. His comparisons to civil wars in various countries are totally out of order and Counterpunch can do much better in what it approves for it's site.