Tag Archives: Gun control

Water, ummmmmmm

Am I the only one who thinks that this waterfall might just be a metaphor for the way the world is going right now?

Back-asswards if you ask me.  Which of course you didn’t.

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Guns: A “Right” or an “Addiction”?

Who do I think I’m kidding.  You already know, without anything to back it up, which side of the title question I come out on.

About a month ago, I came across an editorial in an online medical journal that has been on my mind ever since.

Is American Gun Ownership a Form of Addiction?

In it, George D. Lundberg, MD, persuasively argued that maybe the vehemence of gun owners protecting their so-called “right to bear arms” isn’t so much an intellectual argument as one fueled by addiction.  And I think that Dr. Lundberg may be on to something.
He first listed the nine symptoms of substance addiction:
  • Availability of the agent for experimentation;
  • Initial use producing pleasure followed by subsequent pleasant episodes of use and positive secondary reinforcement;
  • Psychological dependence or habituation;
  • Tolerance, with need to use more to get the same effect;
  • Chemical physical dependence;
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the agent is taken away;
  • Drug-seeking behavior;
  • Continued use even when obvious harm has been experienced; and
  • Rationalization and denial.

Then, Dr. Lundberg states that, like addictions to gambling and sex, with an addiction to guns, there is no physical/chemical addiction.  But the other symptoms?  Check, check, check.  Check-mate.

Here, in fact, is Dr. Lundberg’s gun addiction checklist:
  • Availability? Check;
  • Positive reinforcement? Check;
  • Habituation? Check;
  • Tolerance? Big check. Once someone becomes a gun owner, adding guns is usual; one is not enough. The average American gun-owning household includes 8.1 firearms, up from 4.1 in 1994. The NRA goes bonkers about any suggestion of limits;
  • Chemical dependence? No;
  • Withdrawal? I have not personally seen a convulsion in a gun-owning doctor when confronted with the possibility of losing his or her guns, but pretty damn close. I mean….;
  • Weapon-seeking behavior? Check;
  • Continued use despite harmful results? Check; and
  • Rationalization and denial? Check.

I think that Dr. Lundberg is on to something.

I think the issue of gun addiction deserves some attention today, as President Obama unveils the measures he can take towards sane gun control laws because Congress won’t.

Obama and gun control

President Obama hugged Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, before announcing his executive action on gun control in the East Room of the White House.  Photo Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Thanks, Mr. President.  Because 90% of Americans believe in stronger gun laws.  And because 100% of us remember this:

Sandy Hook Elementary

Sandy Hook Elementary School, 2012.  Wikimedia Image

The Medscape article, with the video of Dr. Lundberg delivering his editorial, is free, but by subscription.

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The NY Times — Right on Target

On the front page of today’s New York Times is an editorial I could easily have written. If I could write that well.  If I worked for the NYTimes.  If I had millions of readers who’d nod and say “Right On!”

Silence on Guns - Eiko Ojala NYT

Image credit:  Eiko Ojala – for the New York Times, 12/4/15

Actually I’m mixing this image from an editorial published yesterday in the NY Times.  Because like me, the NY Times believes that we need sensible gun laws.  And so they, like me, keep beating that dead horse.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here’s today’s front page editorial reproduced in full:

End the Gun Epidemic in America

Half staff - Doug Mills - The NYTimes

Doug Mills for the New York Times

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How To Get Gun Control Legislation Enacted

It was a Sunday night in, I think, 1982, and I arrived home from my late night walk with Goliath at the U.S. Capitol grounds.  We’d had a lovely walk, on the always safe grounds.

US Capitol

US Capitol at night. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/intrepid00/14504378266

 

When I got home, my roommate Keily met me at the door.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I responded, thinking she was weird.

“They just reported on the 10 O’Clock News that a bomb went off at the Capitol.”

“Oh!” I responded, and sat down to watch the news.

If I had heard or seen anything, I would have reported it. But in fact, there was nothing unusual about my walk that night.  Nothing at all.

Tuesday morning, I headed to the Rayburn House Office Building bright and early to attend a hearing.  I was stopped by the guard on my way in.  My briefcase and my purse were searched.

36 Hours Later.

Stupidly, I cracked a joke to a security guard who was suddenly actually guarding security.

“Now why did you have to say that?” he said. “Now I really have to look.”

As the days went on, more and more security was added.  No longer could I be at two places at once.  I (and half of the other twenty-somethings in DC) had long been leaving my briefcase in one hearing with a tape recorder running while my body attended a second one.  That became a thing of the past.

Within a very short time, security increased by leaps and bounds.  Metal detectors were installed; the life of a low-level lobbyist became more of a pain in the ass than it had been.

Our Congressional Representatives and our Senators were protected, though.  For a long time, I thought that was fine.

Until mass shootings became common.  And until those very same Congressmen and Senators refused to act to protect people in the US from the danger of random gunfire.  Until fealty to the National Rifle Association (the NRA) and keeping their jobs — became more important than the safety of regular people.  More important than protecting students in their schools, shoppers in their stores, workers in their offices.

So here’s my idea:

Let’s take down those metal detectors.  Stop paying for them to have security guards at every door.

The real world is a dangerous place.  And the folks who refuse to make it less so, should not hide behind shields the rest of us don’t have.

*     *     *

 I am not advocating violence against Congress or against anybody.  I oppose violence — and I am strongly in favor of sensible gun control laws.  But until the folks who make the laws — or in this case, DON’T make the laws — have the same concerns as the rest of us, well, nothing is going to happen.

And in fact, in the 1960s, Governor Ronald Reagan actually repealed open carry laws when Black Panthers led by Huey Newton made the legislators a wee bit nervous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yup. Let’s Fear 3-year Old Syrian Refugees. 

Yes, it is much better to give in to manufactured terror from folks we don’t know, than terror from the very same folks — the ones with guns and ‘God on their side’ who keep killing people.   To donate to Planned Parenthood:  https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2?df_id=12913&12913.donation=form1

 

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Before they Lost Their Minds, they Used Them

I just saw this video that shows reasonable Republicans (before that meteor made them extinct) agreeing with reasonable gun laws.  Imagine!

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My Candidate for Speaker of the House

I understand that things are a bit wonky over there in the GOP-led House of Representatives.  And by “wonky” I mean “ungovernable.”

So I figured I’d offer the GOP a suggestion:

 

Nancy Pelosi — Google Image

 

Whaddaya think?  Am I on to something?

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