We live in a world where perceptions are more powerful than reality, more powerful than facts, more powerful than what we know to be true.
As an example, we have a perception of how the war in Ukraine is going. We have no idea of the reality. One authority I trust pointed out that while there were lots and lots of videos of Russian tanks being hit we had very few BDAs for those hits. And he pointed out that in some cases the tank just drove away, unharmed.
We just don’t know. What I do know is that Ukraine has won the perception war. I perceive them as winning most encounters and the Russians doing poorly. Ukraine won the social media war.
There was a time when everybody knew that guns were tools. You had them because you hunted. You had them because daddy brought it back from the war. You had them because you wanted protection.
Then the war on guns started. I don’t know if it was a bunch of goody-two-shoes doing what they thought was right. I don’t know if it was a couple of politicians that found a cause they could run on. I don’t know if it was nefarious groups, working in dark backrooms in the dead of night to destroy my country.
Maybe it was all of the above.
Regardless, the assault on guns began. We saw the open salvo in the 1930s. Prohibition created a huge blackmarket with no sectioned law enforcement. I.e. the cops would not pursue and punish criminals that robbed people, some themselves criminals, selling alcohol. This lead to vigilantism, order by private security forces. In other words, the gangs hired “enforcement” to retaliate or rob or destroy their competitors.
This is the way of the blackmarket. In some foreign blackmarkets the owners of the market place provide security in exchange for the vendors paying for the privilege to vend. Heck, we see that at things like Ren Faires. There will be security provided by the faire that makes sure that people aren’t robbing patrons, vendors or performers. Security will hold ne’er-do-wells until they can be turned over to actual law enforcement.
Prohibition brought huge amounts of money into the underground economy with a running battle between gangs, law enforcement, and citizens.
When it was the case that you could make 50 gallons of bathtub gin by soaking juniper berries with denatured (poisoned) alcohol. That 50 gals could be sold for more profit than doing a week of hard labor. And letting that alcohol, berries and water sit in a large jar for a few weeks isn’t really working.
This meant that the enforcement of the blackmarket became extremely violent. Some of it was behind the scenes. When rival gangs destroyed a warehouse or hijacked a load, the citizen buyer didn’t notice. Unless they didn’t get their booze. Unfortunately, some of that did spill out into the streets, into the papers.
When it spilled into the papers the bleeding lead. The stories were told, not of criminal gangs murdering each other, but of exciting and scary gun battles with Tommy Guns.
Nobody but bad guys ever used Tommy Guns. This was true only because most people with guns didn’t want to dump hundreds of rounds down range in a pray and spray method. Once it was obvious that Tommy Guns were scary, the assault weapon of their day, they started using Tommy Guns. Also used were BARs. Excessive fire power was the name of the game.
Out of this was born the perception that machine guns were to dangerous for normal people and so they should be limited to the elite/rich, the government, and criminals. The NFA of 1934 was born. Out of the NFA we had to other items that were demonized until they to were perceived as to evil for normal people. The sawed off shotgun and the silencer.
Originally the NFA was going to apply to pistols but not rifles. This brought into existence an entirely new classification of firearms, the short barreled rifle. This was to keep people from having a pistol with a stock added to it from claiming it was a rifle.
In the end pistols were not part of the NFA. But short barreled rifles stayed.
The perception was that the government had dones something about those evil evil criminals by making them double criminals for having NFA weapons. Perception was king.
The reality was that having an unregistered machine gun, SBS, SBR or suppressor was no big deal. If you were caught with an NFA item without the tax stamp you were told you had to register it and pay your tax. This was the state of the law for many many years.
This was the situation until 1963. The perception was that the government had solved the gun issue by the creation of the NFA. It didn’t matter that anybody could still buy NFA items, they just had to pay the transfer tax. In the meantime SCOTUS had heard the Miller case. Nobody testified on behalf of Miller, the government lied, and SCOTUS found the NFA to be constitutional, because shotguns were not used by the military or militia.
In 1963 JFK was assassinated. Guns were back in the news. While some communist asshole had shot the president, the media also played up how easy it was for him to get a gun.
The US Postal Service just delivered it to him.
The papers played up how horrible it was that somebody was able to purchase a sniper rifle via mail order, the Internet of the day. Up in arms they demanded that the government “do something” about the evil guns.
The result was the 1964 GCA. This is the legislation that created Federal Firearm License(FFL). These were the only people that were allowed to buy, sell, import, or manufacture firearms. It was the law that mandated serial numbers and other markings. It brought an end to the mail order sales of firearms.
Well sort of… What happened was that those people that actually wanted to buy and sell guns without having pay a third party for a transfer just got their own FFL. It was relatively safe as it didn’t grant the same sort of right to inspect as today’s FFL does. With an FFL of your own you could still mail order directly. More importantly it created the first definition of prohibited person.
Perceptions were that the government had saved us from the evil gun. No longer would people be able to just mail order a gun and go shooting people and bad people couldn’t buy guns any more.
In 1974 Handgun Control, Inc came into existence. Their stated goal was to ban all handguns. They advocated for this, not making much headway at the federal level but getting more and more state gun control bans in place. They maintained their focus on handguns through this period of time.
In 1982 the abuses of the ATF had gotten the attention of congress and in particular the Senate subcommittee on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
The_Right_to_Keep_and_Bear_Arms Report of the subcommittee on the constitution of the committee on the judiciary united states senate ninety-seventh congress second session.
The report went on to say that 75% of all ATF prosecutions “were aimed at ordinary citizens who had neither criminal intent nor knowledge, but were enticed by agents into unknowing technical violations.” The GCA plus NFA and malicious ATF agents meant that a person could be prosecuted for giving out information on how an NFA item was created. So answering an undercover ATF agents question about the difference(s) between an AR-15 and an M-16 could get you arrested and thrown in prison.
The bill as originally proposed did much to curb the ATF crap. It is where we got the ability to transport firearms through gun unfriendly states. There are states in the north east where you can’t travel to other parts of the country without passing through New York. Since New York has bans on certain classes of firearms you can be found in violation of state laws. The Firearm Owners Protection Act addressed these problems.
As always, Democrats have to cheat. Rep William Hughes, D-NJ tried to sink the bill by adding a “poison pill”. In this case the amendment would ban the sale of newly manufactured machine guns to normal people. The bill passed with the Hughes amendment. As of May of 1985 it became illegal to manufacture machine guns for your own use or to purchase a machine gun manufactured after May of 1985.
The perception was that the country as a whole was no safer, because no more evil machine guns were making their way into the hands of ordinary citizens. The Elites/rich, law enforcement, the government, and criminals continued to buy whatever machine guns they wanted.
Perception was that the government had done something, for the safety of the people.
In 1981 some asshole attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. This is part of the reason for the attention on gun rights in 1985.
During the assassination attempt, James Brady, the White House press secretary for Reagan was shot in the head. Up until he suffered traumatic brain injury Brady was a staunch Republican. Once he was no longer able to speak and do for himself his spouse turned him into a Democrat advocating for gun control.
Handgun Control, Inc. teamed up with the Brady people and pushed for the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
We now have that change in perception. It is no longer “violence” it is “handgun violence”, as if violence with a gun is somehow worse than other sorts of violence. Somehow getting beaten to death with a baseball bat is less violent than being murdered with a handgun.
The Brady Act changed the definition of a prohibited person and created the requirement of a background check prior to taking possession of a firearm. The infamous Form-4473. The original law was intended to create a defacto waiting period. The waiting period being defined as “when the government gets around to granting permission.” The NRA decided the bill was going to pass and changed their effort to get the “instant” in the background check. This resulted in limiting the amount of time that a person could be forced to wait.
Once the NICS system was up and running we got to the point where we can get approval, in most cases, while waiting at the FFL. If more research is required, the government only has three days to make their final decision. If it takes longer than that and they do decide to deny, the government has to go recover the firearm from the purchaser, it is not the FFL’s responsibility.
The Brady Bill went into effect in 1994.
The perception was that the government had done something and no more crazy people would get guns.
The media then pivoted to a new scary thing, the evil rifle. Well it turns out that there weren’t any evil rifles. So they made up a new term, “Assault Rifle.” An assault rifle, as a made up term, was perfect. It meant exactly what the person hearing or saying it meant it to mean, no more, no less. Even if nobody actually knew what it meant.
This helped push the Assault Weapons Ban. It banned a number of rifles by name and still more by feature. Thus my AR-15 pattern rifle of this time period does not have a flash hider. I didn’t even understand that when I originally purchased it.
In 1999, in the middle of the AWB, some assholes went on a murder spree at Columbine High School. Proving that no gun control law has ever stopped somebody with evil in their heart.
At this point the perception went into Black Gun Evil.
At a time when the number of deaths by rifle was and still is under 500/year, the AR-15 is now considered the deadliest of weapons. The media has continued to push this fiction. No matter how many times it is shown that this is not the case, the media continues to paint the AR-15 as the weapon of choice of mass murders.
Which leads us to the dumbest things said on the view in the last week.
Behar read the comments made by Huckabee Sanders while celebrating her win in the Arkansas primary, where she is running for governor. Sanders said, “We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they’re as safe as they are in a classroom.”
Whoopi Goldberg was left nearly speechless, simply saying, “That is really, you know…” and shaking her head while the hosts and audience were all shocked.
Sunny Hostin added, “I heard that and that was crazy.” Behar went even further blasting Sanders saying, “How stupid is she? Come on.”
The facts are that children in classrooms are extremely safe from shooters. We invest huge amounts of time and money into hardening schools. When there is a failure, it makes the news in big ways and the perception grows of how deadly the AR-15 is.
There seems to be an average of around 55 violent deaths at schools per year. That includes students, staff and other school-associated people. It includes violent deaths by any means. There are 49.4 million K-12 students in the US. Or 0.11 deaths per 100,000 students.
In 2020 the there were 930,160 reported abortions. Of every 1000 pregnancies ending in either an abortion or a live birth, 195 ended in abortion. ‘The View’ Says ‘How Stupid Is She?’ For Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Abortion Comments, Calls It ‘Dumbest Statement Of The Day’
UPDATED: Clean up language in last paragraph.
6 thoughts on “Preceptions”
Am I reading that correctly? Nearly half of all pregnancies were aborted? There’s a slash in the larger number so it’s confusing.
195 out of 1000 pregnancies ending in abortion.
19.5% holy shit.
It would be even more amazing if broken down by race.
I’ve got a good idea. Would be nice to have numbers though.
That:s a *LOT* of abortions. Nearly 2/10.
And, let’s join hands, my brothers-and-sisters, and savor the sweet, sweet irony of Joy Behar characterizing anyone, or anything, as “dumb”. I wouldn’t be surprised if planaria, everywhere, exclaim, ‘Joy? Rilly? Howzabout that whole pot-and-kettle thing?”
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