Book of the Month

Another stab: Fashion and gun control

If we're talking about increasing gun safety through numbers reduction, the most effective words in the English language will be "Ewww," "So 2011," and "Jesus, what a pain in the ass."

 
Our discussion of which weapons and ammunition to ban (See "Black Rifle Blues") is fraught with inconsistencies and plagued by the reality that sometimes, making something illegal increases its appeal.
 
But MADD and the anti-tobacco folks understood that the perception of unfashionableness is among the world's most powerful forces, and used it to their advantage. It took a long time, but fewer people drive drunk now, and these days, you can go to a bar in quite a few places without coming home smelling like smoke. In the case of tobacco, this was accomplished by some lawsuits, a few bans, and a lot of encouraging people to see cigarettes as just not as cool as previously thought.
 
Those of us who would prefer to see fewer people die of bullet wounds have an opportunity here. Because nothing makes people change their minds about stuff, like seeing other people change their minds about stuff.
 
The weapon used by Adam Lanza to kill the children of Newtown is in many ways no different than any other weapon used by any other person for quite a variety of purposes. And even if it were, bad gun does not necessarily equal bad gun owner. But perception and marketing don't work that way. If, between now and Christmas, we can make thousands of people decide not to put a BabyThresher under the tree for their adolescent son, that cuts the total number of guns in the country by a little bit. Moreover, it throws a wrench into the unquestioned meme that gun ownership is an independently good thing all by itself.
 
A-man said:
My conservative friend at lunch today tells me he will never own a gun because he understands that the probabilities of it killing him or his kid are greater than saving him. ...The number of gun deaths in America are not an acceptable trade-off for so many people's badly mistaken belief that they are net-protected by guns, instead of net-endangered. 
 
Some people are moved by logic, others are moved by seeing people like themselves do things. Gun-owners, like most of us, like to believe they belong to the first group, but actually they fall into both groups. At the end of the day, most of the bans and regulations that end up being put in place will have little effect by comparison with the force of people changing their minds.

You'd need to begin with the toy manufacturers and I say good luck with that.  Get toy guns off the shelves.  Too much money in the balance.  Or maybe there's a back door.  A thirteen year old girl recently petitioned Hasbro toys to change the image of their play stove.  Got 4,000 signatures, this future president of the US did, and guess what?  Hasbro has agreed to include BOYS in the promotional and packaging pictures of the stove.  Chefs are cheering and I imagine sane parents are too. 

There was some picture of me aged 4? with a toy six gun and a holster and a cowboy hat...long gone.

I had this smirk on my face like I knew something; kind of like the smirk you might witness on the face of that kid Russert on MSNBC.

The Lone Ranger; Hopalong Cassidy; John Wayne....

I learned later that all of Europe and other areas all over the globe worshipped our Cowboy & Indian comic movies.

Now toy machine guns with magazines that hold 100 pieces of ammo?

When I see a movie nowadays I look for tech. Phones change and guns change and armour changes and cars change and...

Europe and Australia decided to change but there has been no concomitant changes in 'style' as far as movies and toys and...

America loves guns.

And we Americans decide to shoot ourselves more often than others!

Which is interesting when you think about it.

Just as a side note.

If we abolish the sales of multi-magazine carrying objects of mass destruction we cannot penalize those who own those wpm's.

But we can make it a felony to carry those weapons outside their homes!

I have no idea what I am talking about. hhahahaha

Because nothing makes people change their minds about stuff, like seeing other people change their minds about stuff.

This sentence carries more political insight than millions of pages of blogosphere commentary.

Here's another one...http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8761964/pat-kelsey-winthrop-eagles-men-basketball-coach-calls-social-change-wake-newtown-ct-shootings (another college basketball coach, who did not vote for Obama, calling for actions to prevent these kinds of tragedies, acknowledging he is not smart enough to know what those are):

...........

Kelsey, a Cincinnati native and Xavier alumnus, called on President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner to mend their differences and do whatever was necessary to prevent another such massacre.

"I don't know what needs to be done," Kelsey said. "I'm not smart enough to know what needs to be done. I know this country's got issues. Is it a gun issue? Is it a mental illness issue? Or is it a society that has lost the fact -- the understanding -- that decent human values are important?

"I didn't vote for President Obama. But he's my president now, he's my leader. I need him to step up. Mr. Boehner, the Speaker of the House, he's a Xavier guy, he's a Cincinnati guy. He needs to step up. Parents, teachers, rabbis, priests, coaches, everybody needs to step up."

His voice rising, and with his eyes welling, he finished by saying, "I'm proud to grow up American. I'm proud to say I'm part of the greatest country ever. And that's got to stay that way. And it'll stay that way if we change.

"But we've got to change."

Talking about "seeing other people change," Michigan's Republican governor has vetoed a bill passed by his GOP-led legislature that would have kept schools from banning guns from classrooms. It was enacted the day before the Newtown massacre. The optics have suddenly changed.

I think quite a few people have had similar changes of heart. I hope it's permanent.

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