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Selling the Shooting --- William Rivers Pitt

Society & Culture  (tags: activists, americans, children, corruption, crime, culture, death, dishonesty, education, environment, ethics, family, freedoms, government, law, media, movies, police, politics, rights, safety, society, violence )

- 1954 days ago -
All the gun lobby does is bellow about freedom, about the Constitution, about preserving the ability to defend oneself against the onset of an intrusive, tyrannical government.

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Kit B (276)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 3:53 pm
(Photo: Nathaniel Brooks / The New York Times) A boy looks on as a customer inspects a pistol at the Saratoga Arms Fair at the City Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Jan. 12, 2013.

A few hours before President Obama and Vice President Biden unveiled their proposals for gun reform in America, the National Rifle Association launched a preemptive strike on the president's children. To wit: an NRA-sponsored television commercial claimed that, because Sasha and Malia get armed guards in school and your kids don't, Mr. Obama is an elitist hypocrite.

Leaving aside the colossal tin-eared stupidity involved in attacking children in the midst of a debate that was initiated after 20 children were slaughtered, and notwithstanding the fact that, to no small degree, the presidential children need bodyguards to protect them from the very audience targeted by that NRA ad, the simple, ugly truth of the matter is that this most recent example of the NRA's psychotic nonsense is pretty much what we can expect to hear now that the gun gauntlet has finally been thrown down.

The substance of the Obama administration's proposals are historic in scope: enact a stronger assault weapons ban, limit the size of ammunition magazines, require universal background checks for all gun sales, strengthen mental health treatment options, and empower schools to deal with gun violence threats while addressing issues of bullying. Beyond that, Mr. Obama released a list of 23 Executive Orders aimed at beefing up existing gun laws, allowing the Centers for Disease Control to research the underlying causes of gun violence (something the GOP successfully quashed for years), and reviewing safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

On the whole, the administration's proposals are about as bold as one could hope for in this day and age; more than 900 people have been shot to death since the massacre at Sandy Hook, and Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot through the skull, and President Reagan was shot way back when, and his press secretary took a bullet to the head that day and has spent his whole life since trying to keep that from happening to anyone else, and Columbine happened, and Aurora happened, and the Sikh temple massacre happened, and the body count from American gun violence has been spinning like the fare meter on a Manhattan taxicab since Bobby Kennedy got his brains blown out in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen almost 50 years ago, and still, after everything that has happened and after everything we know, we all somehow became convinced that stuffing the Biblical camel through the eye of the Biblical needle would be easier than passing sensible gun control legislation on a national level in America.

That, my friends, is salesmanship.

Salesmanship the likes of which has rarely been seen in history, even in this nation of boiling commercialism. It is no small accomplishment to convince millions of people that their safety and security - indeed, their very existence as a nation - absolutely depends upon the astonishing preponderance of devices that kill them on the hour, every hour, every day.

All the gun lobby does is bellow about freedom, about the Constitution, about preserving the ability to defend oneself against the onset of an intrusive, tyrannical government. This is the song that has been sung for decades now, to the point that it is holy writ to those who think the ability to own an AR-15 with a magazine capacity large enough to take out half of Yankee Stadium, should the need somehow arise, is the apotheosis of American freedom. Good luck with that; send me a note from the front, hero. I'm sure your Red Dawn fantasy will unspool itself any day now.

Convincing so many people that their freedom is inviolably attached to things that kill them in piles every single day is amazingly successful salesmanship...and as we embark upon this national debate over guns, we must encompass this essential truth: all the grandstanding over personal freedom, over the Constitution, over the ability to defend oneself against the government, is the end-product of perhaps the most magnificent sales job ever deployed against anyone, ever.

Understand the bottom line here, best described by an astute observer: "I think the real problem gun manufacturers face is an inability to build planned obsolescence into their products. Unlike other instrument with moving parts, a gun can continue to shoot for a very, very long time. Hence, for gun manufacturers to remain profitable, the number of firearms in society and their lethality must continually increase if for no other reason than to maintain enough novelty to encourage new purchases."

There it is.

The root of the problem.

The NRA and the gun lobby in general getting into bed with the Republicans and the far right, all the shouting about freedom and the Constitution, is just window-dressing to the gun-makers. They don't believe that baloney; they just use it to sell their products, because unlike a Toyota or a blender, their products pretty much last forever.

There was a company once that made tractors, the best damned tractors ever assembled by anyone ever, and every farmer in the country bought one...and after a while, the company that made those excellent tractors went out of business, because all anyone needed was one, and the one they bought lasted forever, so no one ever bought another one.

For the gun-makers, it is about making the product they produce attractive enough to purchase over and over and over again. That is the only way they will be able to stay in business. Period, end of file.

We are going to hear a great deal of insane noise now that debate over guns in America has been fully engaged by - yeah, I'll say it - a president I am proud of today. Do not ever forget, no matter the rhetoric that gets wrapped up in this argument, that this is about the ability to sell guns. This isn't about freedom or the Constitution or anything else for the gun-makers and their friends.

It's a sales pitch, and nothing more.

***information links within article at VISIT SITE *****

By: William Rivers Pitt | OpEd | Truthout |

JL A (281)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 4:19 pm
One of the best follow the money examples illustrated I've ever read--Thanks Kit!

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 4:42 pm
Noted. I love the way Mr. Pitt gets to the heart of the matter and follows the money. Thanks, Kit.

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 5:10 pm

Some how William Rivers Pitt can always cut through the Valentines and lace to get right down to the nitty gritty. The NRA must sell their tote bag of hogwash to the American people, they have hit a stumbling block. We have seen too much violence too many deaths, seen the children that will never grow up, the families forever destroyed so a few Americans can live just as they are told to do, in fear wrapped around swirling conspiracies.

Of all the amendments to the Constitution, only one can rile the pubic into a frenzy of delusional fear - the second amendment. " I must have my military rifle to protect me from the government."

Follow the money and the salesmen, all roads lead to gun manufacturers and not to some "image" of freedom.

Our founding fathers didn't walk around with guns on their person. They did not or could not imagine the sales men of today selling freedom packed into the swaddling guise of liberty.

JL A (281)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 5:23 pm
Similarly, corporations were disbanded after a project was completed so the founding fathers and authors of this amendment couldn't have envisioned corporations manufacturing guns for the consumer wielding this kind of influence on the country.

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 5:38 pm

The second amendment was to prevent the situation faced by founders at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, an untrained and mostly unarmed band of brothers. But hey, if those folks want to buy a musket and join a national militia, go for it. Other than that, we have no need for these salesmen to dictate how we do or do not enact laws of public safety.

The corporations of today are so beyond the scope of Adam Smith ("The Wealth of Nations") that if he could see the world today, he just might ask for his book back.

Mitchell D (87)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 6:26 pm
Ironically, it is the gun lobby that is intrusive (putting a virtual ring through the nose of congress, and using virtually terroristic threats to enforce its will) and tyrannical (like I just said) in its behavior. Also paranoid. Also, making a lot of money for themselves and the industry.

Yvonne White (229)
Friday January 18, 2013, 1:59 pm
Pitt knows how to sell FACTS!:) My dad dropped the NRA after the 60's - he was a sharpshooter & has loads of trophies. He's stopped hunting, eyesight's going. But he dropped the NRA because it got too political, no longer about sharp-shooting & hunting.
The radio said yesterday that NRA was upset that the President put too much emphasis on specific guns & ammo - which is exactly the Point of "gun control"!! A Perfectly Reasonable reaction & result of this latest National Tragedy is that assault weapons & mega-magazines of ammo are DANGEROUS in Anyone's hands (War, riots, & other "approved" actions are beside the point & Prove the point!)... NO one is going to "take our guns" in a general "show us your papers" kind of way! The NRA is EXPLOITING a tragedy to SELL paranoid idiots (as Pitt says, the NRA's base) guns & ammo & ADDED Insult to injury by targeting the President's children (at least they didn't put a bounty on them, Palin-style).. the NRA should be black-listed as a Hate Group!

Angelika R (143)
Friday January 18, 2013, 4:21 pm
Agree with Yvonne, they should as that is what they are. So I'll place my link in here as well, pls sign!
Stop the NRA's attack on the First Family!

Kit B (276)
Friday January 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

Thanks Angie - signed

marie C (163)
Friday January 18, 2013, 5:37 pm
Noted thanks

Ness F (211)
Friday January 18, 2013, 6:26 pm
The image above put chills down my spine.

As many of you may already know I live in Australia..for those whom aren't aware what the gun politics are here in Australia, you may wish to check out this link :

I was travelling around America when the massacre occurred in December, whilst the devastating breaking news hit our TV screen, great discussion in our hotel room occurred ..with many questions..
9 yr old's first reaction like the rest of the world was one of shock and great sadness, "Why??" with many tears, then amongst the tears she asked " Don't they have the same laws as us Mum? Why do they need guns to protect themselves, we don't have them, only hunters and farmers have them and the people who you see on Tv clay shooting and things like that, Why is it you can purchase guns so easily here? Why are there shooting ranges everywhere? How much do bullets cost?, I reckon if they cost thousands of dollars shootings by horrible people like this, wouldn't occur."
Yes ..9 yrs old and the questions proceeded on and off over the next week.

The last question noted above though, reminded me of a Chris Rock skit that was aired around 2008 I think, regarding his "view" on Gun Control and how it should be called "Bullet Control" and that bullets should cost $5,000 ( sure it's easy to google )

I also found it interesting that several morning shows, touched on our gun laws here in Australia, as well in other countries when addressing America's present gun laws.

Yes, gun laws here in Australia have decreased the percentage of gun related killings here, however if a vile cretin wants to get his hands on a gun to intentionally cause harm to another / wouldn't be hard to obtain.


Diane Lewis (0)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 8:41 am
Thank you for the article. Of course it's all about money. Making money off the lives of fellow human beings. Can we bar anyone under 18 from gun shows? To me they are definitely rated X, at least R.

Kit B (276)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 8:44 am

Perhaps the better answer is to just ban the gun shows. It's nearly impossible to regulate these shows, admission is paid and shopping proceeds as if the wares being sold were no different than clothing.

Mike M (40)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 9:32 am
Noted A good read

Roxie H (350)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 2:55 pm
Ty Kit and Ty Angelika, The NRA twisted crap and made a billion off of gun sales since newtown, and over 1,000 people have died since then. Our President is the first one that actually is standing up and asking for some gun rights. And these are not taking away guns, they are some restrictions that are pretty simple, but the NRA are making them complicated. There is video's out there with GWB actually saying he supports gun rights but that they would not pass, and many other GOP for them to actually say it is only a liberal thing is just fools...its radical behaviour and about time for the radicals to sit down and behave..they look like they are creepy even...i personally am glad they are being unmasked.

Kit B (276)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 2:58 pm

NRA = Not Rational Americans

Christine Linley (12)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 4:16 pm
I found it hard to believe that 900 people had been killed in your country since Newtown so I went to look things up and found these facts
At least 31940 people died from gun injuries in 2011.
31,328 people " 2010
31,177 people " 2009
31,224 people " 2007
29,569 people 2004

To understand my disbelief Great Britain In 2008, there were 42 gun related deaths in the UK, in 2007 there were 51.
You inflict 10 9/11s upon yourself every year ! Why isn't your government protecting you ?


Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday January 19, 2013, 4:32 pm

reft h (66)
Sunday January 20, 2013, 1:34 am
thanks for the article

Julie W (32)
Sunday January 20, 2013, 2:51 am
Re the President's children: what a stupd argument! I'm sure they are more likely to be kidnapped or shot than my children. Of course they should be protected - from idiots with guns!

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 20, 2013, 5:06 am

Scott haakon (4)
Monday January 21, 2013, 9:51 am
The right to won guns is not idiotic. It makes sense. When you need to protect yourself ,your children or property what will you use? Harsh words? People get emotional of the issue but one can not let the insane,win. Life goes on and more children die in auto accidents than by guns. Yes military looking rifles are scary because we have not retained the education,and acculturation necessary to condition responsibility. It is we the people who abandoned gun education because we lived in cities where we also lost the reality of where or food comes from. It is us who have failed.
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