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Reality vs. Rhetoric

As a generation with access to more information than any other, we now have the grinding task of rummaging through and discarding the liars.

 

I would like, on behalf of all gun owners, to offer an apology for unreasonable gun owners (please don’t misinterpret the last three words as an indication that gun owners have a monopoly on great potential to be “unreasonable”) and maybe the seemingly insensitive and ill-informed remarks and attitudes we have had towards firearms and violence in general .(Again; gun owners do not have a monopoly on being insensitive towards violence either; I am simply parenthesizing what should be common sense because I have lost faith in Common Sense’s ability to counter a vile little weasel named Bias.)

First off, gun owners are not heartless bastards with no regard for the damage bullets have caused. We do not believe the Second Amendment exists purely to curb overpopulation and ensure a survival of the fittest world. We acknowledge that if banning all guns would somehow absolve us of all violent crimes without increasing the advantage of a potential tyrannical government (when are they not potentially tyrannical?), we would probably be all in on gun bans. We’d figure out other ways to hunt and sport shoot. (For those gun owners on the fence regarding the bold statement, I’d wait until Heaven’s angels occupy Congress and the incoming generations' ambitions are to create a real version of the motion picture, Pay it Forward, to worry about laying your weapons down.)

But we must not let emotion and inverted-logicbased rhetoric override reason and facts. Reality is real no matter what we would like the world to be, or what major media has told us it is.

Allow me to illustrate.

I have been informed more than once that I do not live in the Wild West. I have also been clued-up that I live in a civilized society. Ironically, both information dispensers dispensed said newsflashes in response to my stance on guns (I am for ‘em).

Some of my favorite movies are Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, and pretty much anything by the stranger with no name who does all his talking with his revolver (which always seems to hold more rounds than physically possible). If we rely on Hollywood for our history lessons, we have no choice but to deduct that the Wild West was an unchecked time of constant saloon shootings, Indian attacks, rampant prostitution, constant train robberies, and many a suspenseful squinting of eyes during frequent gripping duels in the middle of town (see The Quick and the Dead for illustration). It was a wild time.

While train robberies were common (especially when compared to the rate of today’s train robberies) and “honor” duels are historically accurate, according to historians like Roger D. McGrath, “it appears ordinary citizens may have been safer in the Old West than in modern cities such as New York, Detroit, and Washington.” McGrath analyzed the towns with the most notoriously violent reputation, Aurora and Bodie, where virtually everyone carried a gun. While the murder rates sometimes exceeded that of modern Washington D.C., the historian found the violence wholly confined to drunken young men in saloons. Attacking women and children in the Wild West were reasons for being shot to death. How's that for irony?

Another study by Robert A. Dykstra showed that the combined murder rate in Dodge City, Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, and Caldwell- all notorious, wide-open cattle towns- was less than two murders per year FOR ALL FIVE TOWNS COMBINED!

The moral of the story, ladies and gentlemen, is as much as the media and gun control stooges would want you to perceive the period when everyone had guns as a real-life Bonanza marathon, there is substantial research to say," Not so fast, partner."

The other point; We live in a civilized society. In the words of the learned philosopher, W. Axl Rose,” What’s so civil about war, anyway?”

Are we a civil society because a very small portion of Westerners never have to lift a hand to protect oneself, or are we civil because that same small portion doesn’t live in a perpetual cycle of survival? Are we civil because not a day goes by when an individual’s life isn’t taken by another individual?

Just because some of us have good jobs, are well-read, and posses opportunities and reasoning abilities to stay out of poverty and in influential circles, does not change the fact that such is not even the majority in the U.S... the civilized that is (see my blog post on culture). On top of that, the criminal exists. He’s real. And just because you argued that guns are for the uncivilized does not cause the criminal to spontaneously combust, nor deter him from assaulting. He doesn’t care how you filter reality. His reality is that he has a weapon and you look like you have something to offer, and he will use that weapon to persuade you into giving him everything you have. How civilized is your world now?

I’m sorry folks. We do not live in a civilized world, despite what married words like "civil" and "war" may imply. There may be portions and aspects of civility but a world where even the most advanced countries have a “rough area of town” in every major city should be ample proof that we haven’t arrived. Have you ever heard someone say the bread is good despite the moldy part?

 

Banning firearms has nothing to do with creating a safer and more cordial world. If you want a civil world, push for education and economic reform. Boycott stupid TV and lying media. All change starts in the mind of the individual, and stripping citizens of power does nothing but shift more power to politicians who have proven themselves greedy, corrupt, and easily manipulated over and over. 

You cannot legislate good behavior.

We, as a nation, believe too many lies. Although such is the case for many different reasons, the damage is incurred nonetheless. It is hard to sometimes separate truth from myth. Things get twisted and arguments become persuasive in the fog. We must understand that we do not live in a binary world. Most things, as we often try to simplify them, are not either/or. In fact, most arguments- no matter who they come from- will almost always have some truth to them. That is how the lie part is swallowed up. We must learn to separate and take the good and leave the bad. This will require work on our part.

Stop swallowing the lies. We need to put aside biases and preconceived notions so we may see things as cler as humanly possible. In the recent words of Morgan Freeman:

Turn off the TV. It lies.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paul L. Dragu December 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Right after I submitted this entry, I ran across this great many people a gun owner in Texas saved but it's yet to make the news. Objective journalism my ass. http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/12/media-quiet-about-san-antonio-theater-shooting-2524596.html

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