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Monday, April 23, 2007

Nuts & Opportunists: The Right's Take on Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech shootings have given the right an opportunity to show just how insane they are. And they've taken it. As a result, we find out that Cho Seung Hui was a liberal, driven by being taught about evolution in schools, abortion, the lack of school prayer, easy access to condoms, and the Lewinsky affair to shoot 31 people. We also learn that he could easily have been stopped if everyone and his brother had been armed or if the victims hadn't been such terrible cowards.

In other words, they've become so excited by the crime that they can't help but demonstrate just how squirrelly they really are.

And then there are the whiny and completely off the mark comparisons:

Melanie Morgan in a WorldNetDaily column, reported by Media Matters:

But make no mistake -- the campaign by Media Matters of America [sic] against Don Imus is part of their way to send a message to conservatives on the airwaves and in print: "We're comin' to get you. We got Imus. And we'll get you, too." It is a chilling threat to our free speech rights in this country.

Now, with their current crusade in support of the gun control lobby, Media Matters is targeting our Second Amendment rights as well.

Like that mentally unbalanced and angry gunman at Virginia Tech, they'll methodically march through the domiciles of the conservative movement, targeting the movement's leaders for career elimination -- until and unless we stand up and fight back against their campaign of mayhem against conservative leaders and causes.

Yeah, having a website reporting the crap that comes out of your mouth verbatim -- complete with clips and links documenting it all -- is exactly like being shot dead by a lunatic.

But comparing being held accountable for your spew is just whiny. Others are offensive and transparently opportunist. The religious right has been right on top of this. It's not surprising, they've always been the first to pounce on a pile of corpses. Remember Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blaming 9/11 on pretty much everybody other than themselves? Well, the rapture right wants in on this tragedy, too.

Right Wing Watch:

American Family Radio, a part of the American Family Association, read over the air an anonymous e-mail, updated to include this latest tragedy, that blames school shootings on the lack of school prayer and Bible-reading in public schools, on abortion and access to condoms, and on the Lewinsky affair. "We reap what we sow." published an article featuring letters from readers outraged that a Muslim spoke alongside President Bush, Gov. Kaine, and others at Virginia Tech's convocation after the events: "How are we to know this wasn't a signal to a sleeper cell?"

So, not only will these opportunists jump at the chance to blame this all on every damned thing they complain about, but they get to engage in bigotry as an added bonus.

Right Wing Watch also reports that American Family Association posted a rant by Grady McMurtry of Creation Worldview Ministries, which puts the blame squarely on -- wait for it -- evolution. "If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people," McMurtry says, "Then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies."

Here's a weird thing though; Japan has very few christians, pretty much everyone accepts evolution, they have abortion and condoms and all of this stuff that supposedly caused this nut to go kill a bunch of people -- including violent video games and movies -- but do they have people gunning each other down in schools? No, they have one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world. They're off playing with robots and Dance Dance Revolution and stuff.

What these people are missing is a very simple fact that's been accepted for centuries -- people who are crazy do things for no good reason at all. See, that's why they're freakin' crazy.

But what's really getting me are the morons who argue that the answer to gun violence is more guns. "What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon?" asks Michelle Malkin. "It darned well isn't too early for me to raise questions about how the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials may have put students at risk." Here's the thing, Shelly, Cho's guns were legal. They just weren't legal on campus. And the idea that someone may be armed without anyone knowing it isn't likely to make someone like Cho think twice -- mostly because he was completely insane and didn't even think once. And when he was done, he shot himself -- the fear of death isn't much of a disincentive for the suicidal.

Personally, I think this is the most dangerous argument. Blaming the actions of a nutcase on evolution and abortion is only ridiculous, boobish, and insulting. But it's not really much of a problem -- no one's listening anymore. I haven't seen it yet, but sooner or later, someone's going to blame it all on gays. No one will take that seriously, either.

But the idea that arming everyone and their brother will 'solve' something is as dangerous as it is idiotic. Altantla Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker injects a bit of reality:

[People who make the 'arm everyone argument are] indulging their childhood fantasies, remembering the movies in which the Caped Crusader or John Wayne instantly dispatched the bad guy.

In real life, police officers -- trained to fire in the heat of battle -- hit their intended targets only about 40 percent of the time, according to University of South Carolina criminologist Geoffrey Alpert, an expert in police shootings.

"You can train all day in simulated situations ... and you think you can hit a target. But it comes right down to it and someone is pointing a gun at you, and it just doesn't happen,'' he said.

Whenever I wind up talking to someone who buys the 'arm everyone' argument, they always bring up some scenario where they shoot the bad guy and save the day. When I ask, "What's behind him?" I always get a blank stare. "What the hell difference does that make?" they ask.

But if trained police hit their target 40% of the time, then what's behind him makes a big difference. It also makes a difference whether the target's above you, whether other people are around, etc. These are all things that these Rambo wannabes don't think about at all.

Where do I get these crazy liberal ideas about gun safety? I took an NRA gun safety course in the Boy Scouts. Apparently, the stuff they teach you about guns and the stuff they advocate you actually do with guns are two entirely different things. Be careful with a gun if you're hunting, but blast away without thinking at all if you feel threatened.

We've established that if you're trained with a gun, you'll only hit a shooter 40% of the time. We also know that states with higher rates of gun ownership have higher rates of gun deaths among children. In areas with higher concentrations of gun ownership, homicide rates are higher, not lower. A firearm is 43 times more likely to result in the death of a friend or family member than to be used in self defense.

Sounds to me like guns don't make anyone safer. And it's no wonder. We've got people who believe that if you miss -- which you'll do 60% of the time if you're good -- the bullet magically vanishes and it makes no difference what's behind the shooter or near them. They seem to think a pistol is as reliable as a remote control; you just point it in the general direction and it does what you want it to.

Rather than arming everyone with a pulse, how about we make sure that nuts like Cho don't get guns? He should've been flagged in a background check, but apparently the only thing that will keep you from arming yourself in Virginia is being an actual wanted fugitive. Otherwise, any old basketcase can buy and buy and buy.

Isn't that the problem? Why on Earth would keeping frothing lunatics who've been in and out of the legal and mental health care systems from getting guns be a bad thing? What could possibly be the downside of that?

Personally, I think that a big part of the answer to this question is that a lot of the people on the right are completely out of their freakin' minds. And they're afraid they'd be flagged.


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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

check out this article about the variety of condoms available to college students