Wallowing in the dirt: Internet debates about the Colorado/Dark Knight shootings | Street Jazz

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wallowing in the dirt: Internet debates about the Colorado/Dark Knight shootings

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Article II. A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the States to maintain Armed Militias shall not be infringed." Bill of Rights, United States Constitution

I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment (hell, if you don’t start a piece with that line these days, you get demands to be investigated by the defunct HUAC) , but I also don’t believe that anyone I know needs to be able to arm themselves with all the trappings of a small army. So, yes, I’ll tell you at the outset of this piece that I believe in gun control, even though we have a gun in our home for protection.

The shootings in Colorado, after their initial horror, have given way to the insipid debates over the Second Amendment we so often see on the Internet, though this time completely divorced from reality. The dead in the theater are an inconvenience to some who push the hard-core Second Amendment argument at all costs, no matter who is in the body bags.

Though the debates I have read - and to some degree taken part in - have been online - in truth they take place in some vast graveyard, too large and too-peopled to be tended well, and expanding all the time. We lean against mossy tombstones and make witty remarks and score political points at our opponents’ expense.

We have a comfortable myth in this country that gun owners are repelling invaders on a daily basis, but aside from the occasional news story, most of the stories you will read about in the news have to do with random violence.

Family members.

Strangers in restaurants.

Patrons in bars.

Church goers.

Shoppers in malls.

People going to work.

Oh, well. It has been suggested to me, by more than one person, that there is a “media conspiracy” At work here, and that the home-defense stories are just not getting any play in the “lame-stream media.”

And just perhaps there is something worse at play?

From the website of Alex Jones, a man it is impossible to express enough contempt for:

On this Friday, July 20, edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex covers the shooting in Colorado and breaks down how it will be used to push through ratification of the United Nations' gun-grabber treaty in the Senate and also manufacture anti-Second Amendment hysteria in the corporate media. Alex also welcomes back to the show country and southern rock music legend Charlie Daniels. Earlier this month, Daniels went on record stating that the UN's Arms Trade Treaty will be used to register and ultimately confiscate all privately owned firearms. “If the Senate ratifies this treaty you can say goodbye to private ownership of firearms because an international treaty supersedes sovereignty and America will be bound by it's provisions and disarming America will strike a major blow for global government,” . . .

http://www.prisonplanet.com/

It has been suggested by several that we should not punish “the innocent” (gun owners/supporters of the Second Amendment) for the actions of the “guilty.”

In this case, in all the intense excitement, many posters seem to have forgotten that the innocent are ones in the morgue, and their families.

The guilty - aside from the killer - would be those leaping in on both sides to reduce this tragedy to just another Internet debate, and I am just as guilty as anyone in that regard.

I quoted the Second Amendment at the top specifically because it seems to be posted all over Facebook, websites and various listservs (yes, Virginia, they still exist) by those who feel that they must give a civics lesson to anyone whose grief over the shootings may be pushing them into an unwarranted position - more regulation of firearms in this country.

And then the debates start in earnest, with much insulting on both sides.

The terror of the supporters of the Second Amendment, who see monsters behind every doorway, is pretty silly; we have a government held completely in thrall to both the gun industry and the National Rifle Association.

The spectre of Congress holding up health care reform when poll after poll showed that a majority of Americans wanted it would be nothing compared to a Congress (or White House, to be honest) ignoring the overwhelming numbers of Americans who want the gun problem solved in this country.

Still, it sells books and magazines.

We have already begun to see the snarls that somehow the people in the theater weren’t “brave” - this is something we hear after almost every shooting anymore. Again, this is from a poster on the Alex Jones website:

Part of the blame for the Colorado massacre is on liberals and “politically correct” policies as embraced by the theatre company of a “gun free zone” (how’s that working for ya?) that resulted in nobody having a firearm with them except, of course, for the criminal. As is so typical, the sniveling coward offered zero resistance once other people with weapons came on the scene. The loss of lives is always potentiated by a lack of firearms when defending against those who have them.

http://www.infowars.com/dark-knight-shooting-to-be-exploited-for-political-grist/

You can dismiss this by saying, Drake, you are just pulling stuff from Crazy Town, but read the letters to the Editor in the coming weeks. Listen to how many of your friends and neighbors - people you once thought filled with compassion and common sense - and note how many will echo these words, only in perhaps slightly different terms.

Well, the Alex Jones site just reports you say, it doesn’t promote violence:

Woman Pulls Gun To Prevent Smart Meter Installation
Homeowners reject unconstitutional intrusion.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/woman-pulls-gun-to-prevent-smart-meter-installation.html

The racist crap has already begun on certain sites, questioning whether, like Obama, the shooter might be a Muslim.

The most despicable comment I found almost completely by accident, on the website of the Sy Fy Channel. When I was a younger man, science fiction was then the home of well, perhaps the nerdy crowd, but the kids who knew really stuff.

The moment section on the Sy Fy site features posts a lot of the time from SF fans who might otherwise be on the Free Republic or the Maxim website.

It is a site where one can truly find posts from people with names like “Deathstar12.” Here is a post left under the news story:


Dark Knight Rises tragedy: 12 killed, 50 injured at midnight screening


Lickalotapus420 on Jul 20, 2012 03:13 PM

I can thnk of a worse tragedy...the movie itself.

http://blastr.com/2012/07/12-killed-in-shooting-at.php

To say it’s not nearly as cool a site as it used to be would be an understatement, but that is a story for another day.

The more days that pass by, the more the debates will become detached from the horror of that night, which is the real nightmare, I think.

******

Isolated incidents? Only to those who wallow in ignorance

I have also been reading about how such shootings are “isolated incidents.” Well, true enough - if you don’t read newspapers, magazines, or watch the news.

Yes, there are people of all stripes who proudly proclaim that they don’t pay attention to local news; avoid them like the plague. They have nothing to add to your life.

Mayor Bloomberg was roundly criticized by those who fear a United Nations plot to disarm America when he spoke on the radio about gun violence in this country. After all, they read the writings of the Founding Fathers; what does he read every day?

But he knows the truth, and in their hearts, they know it, too.

******

Second Amendment News:

Reported on July 23: In Allen Park, Michigan, the 39 year-old houseguest of a suburban Detroit couple has been charged with murdering them, dismembering their bodies and dumping them in the river.

He is also charged with having a firearm in a felony.

*****

One the Air - Scott Eidelman/“Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism”

Are we really smarter because we are liberal?

Perhaps not-so-bright because we aren’t?

Maybe you should think again . . .

An author of a study which has been both widely misrepresented and misunderstood by people of all political beliefs, Scott Eidelman (“Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism”) is the guest on my show this week.

The authors of the study set out to test the hypothesis that low-effort thought might promote political conservatism, in a series of four different studies.

Eidelman will discuss not only the study, and how researchers reached their conclusions, but also some of the reactions the study received - before it was even published.

“Study ‘Proves’ Conservatism Linked To Stupidity” was the title of one conservative blog, warning readers about the study, while many liberals have been using the study to “prove” that they are somehow smarter - all without reading it first.

Show days and times:

Wednesday - 6am/6pm
Friday - 6am/6pm

Fayetteville Public Access Television is shown on Channel 218 of the Cox Channel line-up in Fayetteville, and on Channel 99 of AT&T’s U-Verse, which reaches viewers from Bella Vista to Fort Smith.

Fayetteville Public Access TV can also be seen on line at:

http://www.livestream.com/fayettevillepublicaccesstv

****

Quote of the Day

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it... Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

sdrake@cox.net

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