Sunday, July 22, 2012

jason alexander steps into gun debate, takes fire

Posted by Christian  |  at  22.7.12

different model of the ar-15
 Jason Alexander, of  Seinfeld fame, decided to share some of his thoughts regarding the recent tragedy in Aurora, Colorado . As is usually the case when mass shootings occur, the debate between those who call for stricter regulations on guns, and those who oppose them in the name of freedom, escalates. It is no different this time. 

According to Alexander, he commented that he couldn't understand why anyone would support public ownership of assault style weapons like the AR-15.  As expected, his tweet received plenty of attention. He received both positive and not so positive responses. In his TwitLonger (who knew?) post, Alexander does a decent job countering the standard right wing talking points. Talking points such as " But people die in car accidents! They don't take cars away!", and the equally idiotic "People can kill with machetes, too!".  He also takes on their 2nd amendment interpretation and offers his. An interesting read. 

Here is some of Jason's Tweet note: Alexander later corrected the "100,000 Americans that die every year" to "100,000 incidents of death or injury with guns per annum."
Clearly, the angry, threatened and threatening, hostile comments are coming from gun owners and gun advocates. Despite these massacres recurring and despite the 100,000 Americans that die every year due to domestic gun violence - these people see no value to even considering some kind of control as to what kinds of weapons are put in civilian hands.

Many of them cite patriotism as their reason - true patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. Constitution says citizens have the right to bear arms in order to maintain organized militias. I'm no constitutional scholar so here it is from the document itself:

As passed by the Congress:
"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."
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
"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."

So the patriots are correct, gun ownership is in the constitution - if you're in a well-regulated militia. Let's see what no less a statesman than Alexander Hamilton had to say about a militia:

"A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss."

Then there are the tweets from the extreme right - these are the folk who believe our government has been corrupted and stolen and that the forces of evil are at play, planning to take over this nation and these folk are going to fight back and take a stand. And any moron like me who doesn't see it should...
a. be labeled a moron
b. shut the fuck up
c. be removed

And amazingly, I have some minor agreement with these folks. I believe there are evil forces at play in our government. But I call them corporatists. I call them absolutists. I call them the kind of ideologues from both sides, but mostly from the far right who swear allegiance to unelected officials that regardless of national need or global conditions, are never to levy a tax. That they are never to compromise or seek solutions with the other side. That are to obstruct every possible act of governance, even the ones they support or initiate. Whose political and social goal is to marginalize the other side, vilify and isolate them with the hope that they will surrender, go away or die out.
And as I am posting this, the attacks on Jason continue.


  1. I am so tired of the both sides argument. When we actually have a progressive President then we can talk. The only people ever asked to compromise is the left.

    I am so sick of the mushy middle pointing the finger and doing nothing.

  2. Anonymous, I'm tired of comparison, myself. I must get back to work, however, I will add more to my response, later.

  3. Okay, so Anonymous, to pick up where I left off. In my opinion, you already have a progressive President. He is far from perfect, but how, faced with an opposition whose only goal is to destroy him, hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign (and domestic) interest groups convincing Americans that government is the cause of all their ills, Democratic members who side with republicans, how do you propose Obama goes about implementing policies he is in favour of?

    Can you share the name of your progressive President? Do you honestly believe if he or she were in office today, in this political climate, they would suggest new gun control laws? I have my doubts.

    There are two things I learned, following the discussions over this past weekend. One is, having a conversation with gun enthusiasts is like trying to reason with a brick wall. The second is, you're absolutely right, those on the left (which I am) are expected to concede at every turn. No matter how logical, how beneficial the issue may be for a majority of the populace, the imbeciles always seem to come out on top.


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