Newtown, the Media, and the PTO

Beware the conservative echo chamber!  

I hope the coming weeks prove me wrong, but I fear they won’t. The local news played a clip of a pro-gun guy saying that cooler heads will prevail, people will realize these bans are crazy, and move on. I think he is wrong.

I went to a public school PTO meeting in “the heart of Texas” this morning which, while suburban, is the deepest red possible, as our county went for Romney 80-20 versus Obama.

At the meeting, the tone amongst some of these mothers…

  1. jt

    I’ve been listening to SF Bay Area NPR and your experiences sound familiar. It’s understood that we need to “do something” about high capacity “clips”, and assault weapons.  They have some mildly pro-gun points of view but the whole underlying premise is that guns should and are going to be severely restricted.

    They don’t seen to be spreading fear so much as presenting gun control as the only reasonable point of view. There is no principled or practical defense of gun ownership. The best they seem to do is get a guy to say something like “I’m a gun owner but I don’t see why anyone needs a [assault weapon/30 round magazine] for hunting”.

  2. Chris
    concerned citizen: As with so many of their causes, the Left gets their way by manipulating people’s emotions and preying on their fears.  The facts become irrelevant.  That this issue can be sold as protecting “the children” is just icing on the cake for them.

    Importantly. these moms are, if not native Texans, women who went to college in Texas and have likely been here 20+ years since.  They were not the import northern moms who get the vapors when talking about “how things are different here”.

    My aunt in metro Boston had coyotes seen on her street and dogs had gone missing.  She walks for fitness, so I asked her if she carried pepper spray just in case.  She looked at me like I was a Martian – “You can’t buy that at the store!  It’s not legal!”  

    On the gun control issue, she and people like her are likely beyond convincing with rational argument.  When it’s cold here, we joke about how much colder it is up north.  Same with gun control – if our moms are saying this, how deep is the emotion and drive in places where even pepper spray is beyond the pale? 

  3. Blue State Curmudgeon
    My logic of “the gun free zone does not make you safe” doesnotcomfort these moms.  

    My observation that bigger magazines is not the issue doesnotcomfort these moms.  

    My observation that there are millions of guns in the country and statistically few deaths by guns does notcomfort these moms.  

    Your mistake is to assume that logic and reason have any place in today’s politics.  Not to sound like a misogynist, but this reflects the feminization of American politics such that every issue is to decided on the basis of emotion and every candidate elected for their ability to feel our pain.

  4. DrewInWisconsin
    Chris:

    . . . and God bless our Senators and Congressmen on the front lines of this battle.  It will not be easy for them.

    When I consider who we have on the front lines, I think it will not be easy for us.

  5. Crow

    Completely agree, Chris. And not only have we seen this time and again from this administration, we’ve seen a similar responses abroad the world over: Australia and the UK come to mind as nations which have responded to a murderous rampage with draconian gun control policies and which got immediate public support.

    Public officials are supposed to be responsive in a moment of crisis, but they are also supposed to legislate not from fear but rather from sober far-sighted consideration. Fat chance of that happening in soccer mom land (for all the reasons you describe) or from the crop of pols that gave us Jim Messina with his delicate milky-white hands displaying “Obama, Care” in black marker.

    Alas, instead of refining and enlarging the public’s views and reminding it of its long term interests, we have an administration that will use this tragedy, and the trauma and anger in its aftermath (not only the “we’ve got to do something” urge, but especially with the killer himself dead, the “we must blame someone!” urge) to restrict firearms ownership. As though that was the cause of and responsible for the massacre….

  6. Patrick in Albuquerque

    Visit your gun show NOW.

  7. Nick Stuart

    “If it makes us safer, it’s worth it” brought us the TSA and airport strip searches of 12 year olds in wheelchairs.

    Same thing will obtain with firearms if we don’t fight it.

  8. Western Chauvinist
    Blue State Curmudgeon

    My logic of “the gun free zone does not make you safe” doesnotcomfort these moms.  

    My observation that bigger magazines is not the issue doesnotcomfort these moms.  

    My observation that there are millions of guns in the country and statistically few deaths by guns does notcomfort these moms.  

    Your mistake is to assume that logic and reason have any place in today’s politics.  Not to sound like a misogynist, but this reflects the feminization of American politics such that every issue is to decided on the basis of emotion and every candidate elected for their ability to feel our pain. 

    Let me defend you against charges of being a misogynist. I’m a woman with two daughters. I think this reflects the feminization of American politics (culture), such that every issue is to be decided on the basis of emotion and every candidate elected for his/her ability to feel our pain.

    American liberalism is almost entirely comprised of cheap counterfeits. Counterfeit compassion being primary among them. But, hey, as long as it makes you feel good…

    We are in so much trouble. 

  9. S

    I feel as if the ground is falling away beneath me. I was, until recently, a pretty mainstream person. I have not changed, but in very short order I am an extremist. I’m talking just a couple of years. I think that within another couple of years I will be toxic to my friends (I work at  University). This is all very strange.

    How did I go from being Ronald Reagan to Ted Nugent without changing anything I believe or espouse?

  10. The Mugwump

    I think it was the late, great Jeff Cooper who coined the term “hoplo-phobia.”  A phobia is defined as an irrational fear.  When a phobia spreads through the mass culture, it becomes a panic.  One of the characteristics of a panic is that it allows emotion to prevail over logic.  The deliberate dissemination of panic to promote a political agenda is known as evil.  Individuals who participate in evil are called evil-doers.  When laws promote evil, we are not morally obliged to obey them or those who promote them.  Such is the logic of the situation.     

  11. Crow
    Western Chauvinist:

    Let me defend you against charges of being a misogynist. I’m a woman with two daughters. I think this reflects the feminization of American politics (culture), such that every issue is to be decided on the basis of emotion and every candidate elected for his/her ability to feel our pain.

    Good on you, WC, for recognizing this and not shying away from saying so.

  12. Cornelius Julius Sebastian
    ~Paules: I think it was the late, great Jeff Cooper who coined the term “hoplo-phobia.”  A phobia is defined as an irrational fear.  When a phobia spreads through the mass culture, it becomes a panic.  One of the characteristics of a panic is that it allows emotion to prevail over logic.  The deliberate dissemination of panic to promote a political agenda is known as evil.  Individuals who participate in evil are called evil-doers.  When laws promote evil, we are not morally obliged to obey them or those who promote them.  Such is the logic of the situation.      · 3 minutes ago

    Jeff Cooper of Scout Rifle fame?  Very appropos if so. 

  13. dittoheadadt

    Regarding gun-free zones I found this passage from a recent John Fund column to be extremely important in countering emotional, ignorant, claptrap:

    “The Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.”

    Astonishingly, and in further evidence of the abject morons we have to battle on this issue, “…shortly after the Cinemark attack in Colorado, the manager of the nearby Northfield Theaters changed its policy and began banning concealed handguns.”

  14. The Mugwump
    Cornelius Julius Sebastian

    ~Paules: I think it was the late, great Jeff Cooper who coined the term “hoplo-phobia.”  A phobia is defined as an irrational fear.  When a phobia spreads through the mass culture, it becomes a panic.  One of the characteristics of a panic is that it allows emotion to prevail over logic.  The deliberate dissemination of panic to promote a political agenda is known as evil.  Individuals who participate in evil are called evil-doers.  When laws promote evil, we are not morally obliged to obey them or those who promote them.  Such is the logic of the situation.      · 3 minutes ago

    Jeff Cooper of Scout Rifle fame?  Very appropos if so.  · 3 minutes ago

    The same.

  15. Scarlet Pimpernel

    This might be a good issue to fight back, and to play the long game.  The Left has captured the schools.  The GOP controls many legislatures just now.

    How about inserting something about self-defense, citizenship, and guns into the high school curriculum–including an individual liberty friendly understanding of all of the above.

    Beyond that, how about adding a gun knowledge section to teacher certification.  Again, the curriculum would be developed in coordination with the NRA.

    This is the model that the Left has used with great effect for the past century.  It’s time to use it for ends that are not Left wing.

  16. BlueAnt
    Chris: 

    There is a move afoot amongst the political and media elites to make gun control the new abolition or civil rights movement

    It’s already going public.  They are comparing gun control to the move to desegregate the south.

    ZeroHedge has a rather, uh… colorful, response to the idea.  The most CoC-compliant synopsis:

    The article attempts to promote the idea that desegregation was achieved due to the actions of the Johnson Administration, who supposedly used the threat of cancelled supplemental funds to state schools as a means to force them into enrolling black students.

    The goal here is to promote a worshipful attitude towards the Federal Government as the sole arbiter and savior of the people.  It’s funny, but I thought it was the dissenting protests of millions of civil rights activists that ended desegregation, NOT Lyndon Johnson, who by all accounts was a racist who only wanted to use the black community as a voting bloc to revitalize the Democratic Party. 

    Point being, legislation didn’t change the culture that produced segregation, and it won’t change the culture that produces mass murders.  But it will infringe on important Constitutional rights.

  17. Chris O.

    Something seems different this time and I can’t help but wonder if it is simply geography. Notable incidents in Kentucky and Colorado took place far away from the liberal elite and media. Connecticut is a lot closer to home.

    I don’t like thinking that way, but I can easily envision many of the same individuals’ reacting to those tragedies by thinking them a product of a gun-happy culture present in flyover country. Now, of course, it has to be the weapons themselves because it couldn’t be a failure of community or a failure of policy or even a prevalent parenting culture that eschews authority in such matters.

  18. Roberto
    Chris: Our adversaries are not idiots – they know the prior ban was political kabuki.  They are not going to let this crisis go to waste without a fight.  Think that rich white guys is an overused meme?  Try crazies who would prefer to put your kids at risk than give up their antiquated notion of rights.  It will resonate more than we think, and God bless our Senators and Congressmen on the front lines of this battle.  

    You are not wrong and events are moving faster than we think.  From my reading of the situation the NRA press conference tomorrow will be crucial. If there is any capitulation, any move towards “compromise” on  ”sensible” legislation well then stock up now because who knows what might follow. However if there is a robust defense of the 2nd Amendment and a compelling statement on how futile it is to hope we can legislate safety by abandoning our freedoms, then… well then we can hold the line, but get ready for a fight. 

  19. Roberto

    Well I am rather impressed, CEO LaPierre did not give an inch:

    “It’s now time for us to assume responsibly for our schools,” he said. “The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be permanently involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection.” 

    He added: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

    Finally some push-back against the anti-2nd Amendment zealotry consuming Washington and the Media. With the NRA showing they are committed to fighting, members of Congress who were hoping to steamroll something through quickly may be finding a roadblock.

  20. BlueAnt

    Coincidentally, on a different conversation about argumentation and free speech, I’ve been haphazardly making the case that emotion is a bad thing to take seriously when creating policy.  Namely:

    Forming policies based on emotion–whether offense, anger, or fear–rarely leads to positive outcomes.

    And now to resurrect another thorny topic plaguing Ricochet for the past 2 weeks.

    The men in that room should have spoken up and shut down those fearful mothers.

    We endlessly argue about traditionalists vs post-modern gender roles.  The overly broad yet true generalization is that women are the more emotional of the sexes.  This is great for many things, but (per above) bad for policy… which was the justification for excluding women from suffrage for thousands of years. (No, I don’t want to repeal the 19th Amendment.)

    The mothers’ fears are not invalid.  But they should be dismissed when creating a rational policy for their children’s safety.

    Wither the manly men? Where were the stoic, more rational fathers, who considered defense of their family & friends as the fatal duty of their sex?  The ones who should be experts in such matters, able to answer fearful, emotive overreaction, with cooler rationality?

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