Friday, September 11, 2009

Humor and Politics

A more liberal friend of mine sent me this Archie Bunker on Gun Control in good fun. I've been a bald guy since I was 21, I learned to laugh at myself a long time ago. I also find the human condition in general to have a lot of humor. So even though I know what Archie is "up to", he is still funny.

Carroll O'Connor, the actor that plays Archie, and Norman Lear, the producer of "All in the Family" are VERY far to the left of the political spectrum. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is exceedingly common in all of our media, from news, television, movies and music to be fairly far left. It is in fact "the dominant culture". News, entertainment, or even entertainers that are not generally left are in fact "called out" -- Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the late Charlton Heston, etc. The general media makes sure to tell everyone, "these outlets are biased -- they have an axe to grind, be careful". Again, it is a free country, that is fine -- although one wonders what it really means when the pot calls the kettle black. What does the claim of "bias" against those found to somehow be "conservative" say about those pointing??

The Archie character uses his malappropisms and bigoted attitude to malign and belittle the idea of "guns making us safer" by the assertion that "we ought to just hand out guns to people getting on planes" in order to stop hi-jacking. While Archie was well in advance of 9-11, I find it interesting as a CC holder thinking of those folks on the aircraft being flown into the WTC buildings faced relatively well trained men that had almost certainly killed or were holding a Stewardess or worse (maybe kids, we don't really know) under the threat that they would "slit their throats".

A 9mm slug to the forehead will pretty much abate throat slitting. If US citizen CC permit holders were allowed to carry on domestic aircraft, I sincerely doubt that 9-11 would have happened at all ... at least not the way it did. The non-us citizens could not have got a permit at and would have known that it was highly likely that their box cutters would have had to face one or more armed citizens that they would not have been able to discover in advance. Even if they DID manage somehow to illegally obtain a permit, not knowing who is going to draw a gun on you increases your difficulty.

The combination of educational system attitudes and the general media makes it seem like "legal gun owners are stupid" (I often wonder if they think that criminal gun owners are smarter than the legal ones?) -- BO's 2nd book has the quite laughable thinking that "conservatives think of their guns like liberals think of their books". It is always comfortable to think that folks that think differently from us are "less intelligent". Given the vast limits of human intelligence, the sad fact is that we are all stupid enough relative to the problems of existence, let alone meta-existence, that it is more than likely that ALL human positions are far more inaccurate to actual reality than we realize. On a universal scale, the difference between "Archie Bunker and Albert Einstein" is likely about as significant as the difference between the smartest ant in the ant hill and the least intelligent. From our vaunted position, we feel such discussions about ants are meaningless.

You can go look around the web and find a lot of evidence that CC laws seem to reduce crime. Like anything on the web, I'm sure you can find some counter examples, but it seems that if there was even a SHRED of evidence in the other direction, at least one of the 39 states that have liberalized CC laws in the last couple decades would have repealed the change. While my view is that criminals are generally less intelligent, one might think that the thought that your intended victim may be legally armed isn't all that comforting. As a criminal, it isn't very likely you get out to the range very often in order to improve your competence with your weapon, so the prospect of a gun owner that does silver dollar multi-tap groups on a regular basis is likely not to help your sleep. That seems like common sense to me, and when statistics and common sense go together, it seems pretty plausible.

More RTC, less crime: Since 1991, 23 states have adopted RTC laws, replacing laws that prohibited carrying or that issued carry permits on a very restrictive basis; many other federal, state, and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive; and the number of privately-owned guns has risen by about 90 million.2 There are more RTC states, gun owners, people carrying firearms for protection, and privately owned firearms than ever before. In the same time frame, the nation's murder rate has decreased 46 percent to a 43-year low, and the total violent crime rate has decreased 41 percent to a 35-year low.3 RTC states have lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country (total violent crime by 24 percent; murder, 28 percent; robbery, 50 percent; and aggravated assault, 11 percent).4