Thursday, June 02, was National Gun Violence Awareness Day. I nearly missed it, or at least, I wasn’t aware of it until I read about it in my daily Internet searches. Such occasions must have various symbols associated with them–these days that means a color–and the people behind this occasion have chosen orange. Perhaps they think themselves clever, associating their cause with blaze orange vests worn by hunters for safety purposes, or perhaps it’s just that the rainbow–much more eye-catching–was already taken by LGBTQWERTY folks.
I’ve long had a language problem with “gun violence.” Violence, a noun, requires activation; it requires a verb, as in “he committed violence.” One might add an adjective to clarify the degree of violence, but warping a noun into an adjective to describe an inanimate object–or an idea or concept, as in this case–is nonsensical.
If we’re going there, why not “car violence,” or “hand violence,” or “foot violence?” There could even be “fork violence,” “thrown ketchup violence,” or “hamburger violence.” Far more people experience violence through the application of force via motor vehicles, hands or feet than by firearms. Unsaid, because it is reasonably assumed, is that violence is committed by people using various instruments, when they’re not using their hands or feet. One can shoot someone, and normal people might call that act violent, but normal people do not say: “Bob committed gun violence on Steve.” They say “Bob shot Steve,” assuming any such act would involve violence. And why not “bullet violence”? After all, it was the bullet that did the damage, not the gun. If Bob stabbed Steve with a screwdriver, no sane person would think to say “Bob committed screwdriver violence on Steve.”
Why, then would anyone invent an “awareness” day using such a clumsy and strained bastardization of language? Aren’t people already aware that there are plenty of criminals out there and they sometimes shoot people, particularly in places like Chicago? Of course they are. It’s not because they seek clarity and education. On the contrary, they seek to control, conceal and mislead.
Who, after all, apart from sociopaths and psychopaths, is in favor of violence, regardless of which tool is used to commit it? Who champions “gun violence?” No one. So what do the people behind National Gun Violence Awareness Day hope to accomplish, other than further deconstructing clear, understandable English?
I’ll get to that in a moment, but one thing the Left has down pat is coopting the language. They know all too well how powerful the ability to name things is, and how effective choosing the right language–and relentlessly hammering it into the ears of low-information citizens–can be in controlling any debate. That’s why leftists currently prefer to call themselves progressives rather than liberals. While most people can’t accurately define “liberal,” they can judge the rhetoric, actions and policies of liberals, and liberals have given themselves a very bad name indeed. Thus, liberals have become progressives, because who can be against progress? That’s why they’re always talking about “moving America forward,” and maintaining the glorious progress they’ve achieved. When it gets down to actually explaining that progress, one usually finds that the progress consists of progress in working to maintain progressive progress so that we can continue to progress progressively, or in making life infinitely worse, as with Obamacare.
Eventually, the public catches up to the latest progressive deception. Hillary Clinton and others have been proclaiming the Republican “war on women,” for a very long time, but she recently stopped using that term when polling indicated it was no longer effective. Apparently progressives still think “gun violence” works.
Progressives are also good at getting celebrities involved in their crusades. A woman billed as an actress and comedian, Amy Schumer, was very much involved, posting a selfie of her torso, naked except for a athletic bra which looks sort of reddish-orangish. Obviously, she is making a statement that semi-naked, headless women in reddish-orangish bras are particularly aware of gun violence and if you pose that way, so can you.
As I already mentioned, no one is arguing for “gun violence.” There is no “More Gun Violence Association Of America” lobbying for more of something that does not, in grammar and fact, exist. “Gun Violence” is nothing more than the June, 2016 version of “Gun Control,” which long ago went the way of “Liberal.” “Common Sense Gun Safety,” is also becoming a bit long in the tooth.
Let’s let Ted Slowik, , who at least is not nearly naked, writing for the Chicago Tribune, explain it. After all, Chicago, a city in a state wholly owned by the Democrat Party, is perhaps America’s foremost recipient of “gun violence.”
As a journalist, I’m a big fan of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the rights to practice free speech, religion and peaceful assemblies.
Actually, I like all the amendments, including the second, which says, ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’
I say this up front because in all my years as a journalist and in many pieces in which I’ve expressed opinions, few topics draw a more passionate response from readers than the issue of gun control.
This implies that Ted is fair and balanced, a true blue supporter of the Constitution. It also lets us know he’s about to engage in the kind of common anti-gun rhetoric indistinguishable from those journalists and politicians that would, if they could, abolish the Second Amendment and put every gun owner in jail.
…I’ll speak out in support of measures to address the epidemic of gun violence, because I think it’s the right thing to do. By adding my voice to the chorus saying it’s time to adopt common-sense measures like a ban on assault weapons and requiring universal background checks, I hope to make a difference.
Ah yes. “Common-sense measures,” like universal background checks and an assault weapon ban. And why can’t we have these common sense measures? Why can’t we ban assault weapons? Why can’t we do away with gun violence?
I want people to understand the national debate about gun control is a political one. A majority of Congress resists legislation that would address gun violence because of political efforts by gun-rights advocates like the National Rifle Association of America.
The NRA is very successful at lobbying and politicking. We should be having a conversation about limiting armed violence while protecting the constitutional rights of sportsmen who want to pass along cherished family legacies, and property owners who want to guard themselves against intruders.
Instead, the national narrative on gun control plays on fears that the government wants to take away everyone’s weapons and constitutionally protected rights.
Slowik explains that Gun Violence Awareness Day apparently originated in Chicago, which is an appropriate bit of irony. Various Illinois politicians want to establish a national gun violence awareness month, so that Americans can be very, very aware, and for a month at a time.
At The Nation, Spencer Overton, who is also not naked, explains that black folk are very concerned about gun violence committed by black guns–oops, I mean black people–against other black people. The black people Overton interviewed for his article certainly follow the progressive line on gun violence. Progressives have been successful in that, at least:
Community members also emphasized other solutions that address structural factors that underlie gun violence.
For example, community residents recommended limiting access to guns by the small group of people at high risk of engaging in violence—sometimes no more than 0.25 to 1 percent of a city’s population.
The “community members” are speaking about “justice involved individuals,” also commonly, politically incorrectly called “criminals.” How do we know such people are “at high risk of engaging in violence”? Because they have lengthy criminal–Ooops! I mean justice involved–records of engaging in violence. “Community members” are correct, but can’t say it in the language of the common man: a very small portion of any population commits most of the violent–and felony–crimes. So how do we “limit [the] access to guns” of such people?
Rather than looking to greater penalties for handgun possession that could increase mass incarceration, community members emphasized universal background checks, mandatory reporting for lost and stolen firearms, and increased oversight of licensed firearm dealers.
Each proposal was supported by over 86 percent of African Americans and Latinos in the survey research. These restrictions are seen as reducing rather than fueling mass incarceration. About three-quarters of both African Americans and Latinos agreed that ‘if we keep guns out of the wrong hands, we can also help decrease the number of people who are in prison.
Of course! Why haven’t we thought of this before?! We establish universal background checks for people who buy their guns on the black market, or steal them from the law-abiding public. We turn law-abiding people whose guns are stolen by the people “at high risk of engaging in violence,” into criminals if they don’t immediately report the guns the “high risk” people steal. And best of all, we increase “oversight” of licensed gun dealers, precisely the people who never see people “at high risk of engaging in violence,” because criminals virtually never buy guns through licensed dealers, unless of course, those criminals are the Attorney General of the United States determined to give those guns to actually violent Mexican drug cartels. Criminals virtually never use “assault weapons,” which don’t actually exist, either.
Notice that these “community members” are most concerned that black criminals–the very people that relentlessly prey upon them–not be arrested or incarcerated. Progressives have been very effective with that sort of brainwashing. Actual common sense teaches that when such people are in prison, they’re not raping and murdering innocents, but these people are much more concerned that the people that would delight in hurting others with guns face no consequences for their crimes–ooops! There I go again! Naughty me! I mean, for their involvement in justice. I wonder if we could write a law requiring these justice-involved individuals to wear orange? Wouldn’t the symbolism cause them to more or less instantly reform? At the very least, they’d be aware.
None of these “common sense measures” would have had, for example, the slightest effect on the UCLA shooter, who would like his name mentioned here, and who killed his wife in Minnesota before traveling to California to kill a professor. He bought his unremarkable semiautomatic handguns legally, and did not use an “assault weapon” or a common semiautomatic rifle. He passed stringent local and federal background checks–just as everyone that buys a gun through a licensed dealer must–and no possible “universal” check would have made the slightest difference. Lost or stolen firearms played no role in the murders in two states.
So. “Gun violence,” like “assault weapons,” does not exist. The solutions of those pushing the “Gun Violence Awareness” movement to a non-existent threat are identical to the current wish lists of anti-liberty activists. Interesting coincidence.
Everything these people suggest as a solution to “gun violence” will not work, if for no reason other than that justice-involved individuals do not obey the law, and criminalizing the law abiding makes no common–or legal–sense.
“Gun violence,” is not the problem, and is certainly not a problem that can be addressed through more restrictive, ineffective gun control laws. Slowik ought to know. Chicago has some of the most blatantly unconstitutional, restrictive anti-gun laws in the nation. The law abiding are essentially unarmed, yet justice-involved individuals have no difficulty obtaining guns and killing each other and innocents. Slowik blames the NRA for its effectiveness, but it is effective not because of its magical ability to confuse the minds of congress critters (OK, that’s not tough), but because it represents a significant portion of the American public in defending a fundamental human and constitutional right. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with sportsmen and hunting, and if Americans are allowed to defend their lives only at home, their lives have value only within those walls, Chicago being a case in point.
It is criminal human behavior, not talking points and symbolism, which must be addressed, yet the Gun Violence Awareness movement seeks not to prevent violent crime, even that committed with the use of guns. It seeks not to incarcerate violent felons, particularly black felons, even though they are the very people that prey on black neighborhoods. Every one of its supposed solutions would do nothing more than to harass the law abiding to no public safety effect, and make the exercise of their Second Amendment rights more difficult, even impossible.
Their solutions aren’t solutions. They don’t want to catch and incarcerate known, violent felons. What do they want? What’s left? Mr. Slowik said it best:
…to take away everyone’s weapons and constitutionally protected rights.
It’s only common sense.