Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, May 30, 2014

Joe the Plumber Says a Really Weird Thing About Guns

I have a weird soft spot in my heart for people who get plucked up out of obscurity and find themselves accidental spokespeople for random things because it just seems like whatever it is that makes "good tv to watch" happen, is all over them. So I try not to really judge Joe the Plumber (AKA Samuel Wurzelbacher) the way I do elected officials with a real political job to do, because really--he kind of became the mascot of the McCampaign in a flash of that campaign's need to associate with the "Everyman".  But he blossomed into a real political fringe figure.  So, if mainstream news orgs pay attention to him like he's an actual politician, I sort of feel like I have to do the same.

So it happened that I ignored it when he said that the dead kids of UCSB didn't trump his 2nd Amendment rights; I winced, but let it go. Ever since Charlton Heston gravely intoned that he would relinquish his guns when they were taken from his cold, dead hands (which shows at least, some acceptance of what it might mean to be outgunned, no?) firearms enthusiasts have articulated some form of "over my dead body!" to describe their reluctance to relinquish any license to keep and bear their arms. It just seemed especially tacky to take an "over your kid's dead body!" stand. But so what? Into every life, some tackiness must fall.

But I really must remark upon the thing he said so very lately:

Wurzelbacher lists several reasons for owning a gun (home invasion, etc.) but says the best reason for owning a gun is to keep politicians from trying to take said gun. 
“Guns are mostly for hunting down politicians who would actively seek to take your freedoms and liberty away from you. Google ‘Hitler, Mao, Kim Jung-il, Castro, Stalin’ just for starters,” he suggests. 
“Whistles don’t protect women from rape – a Glock does!” he added. “When armed men come into your house to steal, a baseball bat doesn’t cut it. Unless you have an automatic-baseball bat. I want one of those – email me. 
“When a nut-job decides to go on a killing spree and the cops are 5 to 15 minutes away, you are screwed unless you are carrying a Colt.”

"Guns are mostly for hunting down politicians"? Not home defense or hunting? Seriously?  He's actually articulated the most anti-democratic statement in the world. Think about this--he's kind of saying John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald were just patriots doing what they thought was right. Sure, you can Google really shitty autocratic dictators and find lots of reasons why their oxygen permits should have been revoked, but you won't actually find happy stories about how those motherfuckers were wasted by well-armed citizens and everybody lived happily ever after.

And honest to actual fuck--is he unaware that women have been raped--at gunpoint? That women are likely to be raped by someone they know, who attacks them at close quarters, not some rando they might think to pull a gun on? What is a woman to do--stick a Glock in her bra and live like that? And when a nutjob like Jared Loughner fires on a crowd, actually, being screwed might mean shooting the wrong guy by mistake, which, thankfully didn't happen, but still.

Basically, none of what he said was even close to right. When do we decide the 2008 McCampaign mascots are totally done, then?


Anonymous said...

Hi Vixen,
you make some good points, but you may be missing a piece of common knowledge on the right side of the spectrum.

On our side it is widely understood that the founding fathers made the right to bear arms the second amendment, directly after freedom of speech, rather than, say, the 6th or 7th, because they understood that the 2nd amendment had to be placed very near the top in order to provide protection for the other amendments.

Joe W is not artful, but he is sometimes correct on a variety of points. The founding fathers were very aware of the fact that politicians left unrestrained could introduce policies that were extreme. And if the people are defenseless and have no recourse, they simply become sheep.

He is also correct that in a lot of emergencies a firearm means the difference of life and death. There are many incidents in the news on a regular basis where tragedy could have been averted if only a person had the means of self-defense.

I taught courses on this kind of thing for a while, and my recommendation was that a .38 should become standard equipment in a woman's purse along with her compact and makeup, a Colt, a Smith & Wesson, or a Ruger, that can stand up to +P hollow points.

Of course it could be asked, what if you were invited to a soiree that requires the little black dress and some small, glittering purse. I guess a derringer is the best you can do.

Personal protection, of course, cannot answer every challenge in the world you may be faced with. But it really does answer many of them.

The stories one could tell are endless. But God help you if you fall into the hands of one of those psychopaths and you are completely unarmed. For them you are simply next.

--Formerly Amherst

Vixen Strangely said...

I think there is a good point to be made about the importance of the 2nd Amendment in the context of the American Revolution--the founders had literally justverified that force could bring about change in government--and they had to have valued it greatly. On the other hand, having seen what could be done, just going back to early armed uprisings like the Whiskey rebellion or Shays rebellion, it seems like the government also answered with force to assert the primacy of civil authority. It's kind of a conundrum, I think, and I'm still a little ambivalent about it--I've written before about the difference with which law enforcement has treated the mostly peaceful hippies at G-8 protests or the Occupy movement, with the tolerance the armed Sagebrush Rebellion 2.0 folks at Bundy have pretty much received.

I do wonder if the presence of firearms has made at least the present administration respectful that they should avoid provoking a conflict because the Waco thing during Clinton's Administration left some questions in the minds of the exact kinds of folks who resent government interference right now--yet I could still see where things have a potential of going awry even today.

Government force all around has become highly militarized even at the local police level and one of the problems with a show of arms is the assymetrical power the feds can bring--if say, some open-carry guys were carried away, they'd be carried off because while authority doesn't necessarily come out of a gun, order sometimes does.

Me, I still think I might try to get proficiency at least with a .22 because my awkwardness with what is basically a simple and potentially useful tool vexes me a little. But I still feel more resentful than fearful of a world violent enough where I might have to consider it.